My main research area is in digital health, where I investigate, design and develop new technologies which can provide treatment and (self-) management of health conditions, through effective prevention, early intervention, personalised treatment and continuous monitoring of the conditions. I am particularly interested in virtual worlds (virtual or augmented reality), computer games, sensing technologies.
Games and virtual worlds
Computers applications today are not restricted to conventional 2D displays, but can be in forms of 3D immersive visualisation and augmented information embedded in the physical world. Traditionally, this new form of computing has mostly been found in entertainment applications such as games but is increasingly making an impact in other more “serious” application domains such as training and healthcare. I work with psychologists and psychiatrists looking into how virtual reality (VR) and gaming technologies can be used in assessment and interventions in mental health. Recently, we have developed VR applications for anxiety disorder training, pain management and emotion detection with VR eye tracking.
I collaborate closely with researchers in electronic engineering to develop integrated hardware and software online systems with an aim to solve people’s and societal problems through smart technology. I have recently completed a project developing a tangible interface using RFID tag on day-to-day objects that allows people with dementia to immerse in a 3D virtual world for reminiscence. I am also part of the Kent Speech and Swallowing Group, designing and developing low cost monitoring devices using skin-like sensors and 3D visualisation for biofeedback for Dysphagia therapy. A recent project involves the use of skin-like EMG and EEG sensors for eating behaviour tracking and real time wheelchair control.
PhD project supervision
- Completed: Panote Siriaraya (currently post doc at TU Delft, NL), Investigation of Virtual Worlds as a Platform to Support Healthy Ageing
- Completed: Anthony Emeakaroha (currently deputy energy manager in NHS Medway), Analysis of Energy Conservation through product-integrated persuasive feedback using a smart sensor in a University Campus.
- 2015 – present: Jittrapol Intarasirisawat (Royal Thai Government Scholar), Use of VR and Gaming Technology for Cognitive and Effective Assessment
- 2015 – present: Deogratias Mzurikwao (Commonwealth Scholar), Skin-like EEG sensors for real time computer control
- 2015 – present: Luma Tabbaa, Affective Responses in Virtual Reality
- 2015 – present: Boris Otkhmezuri, Virtual Reality for Psychological Therapy
- 2015 – present: Maria Matsangidou (Kent VC scholarship), Virtual Reality Neurorehab and Pain Management
- 2014 – present: Ben Nicholls (EPSRC funding), Skin-like EMG sensors and 3D biofeedback for Dysphagia therapy.
- 2013 – present: Pruet Pjorn (Royal Thai Government Scholar), Internet of Educational Things for Students in Rural Thailand
I am currently interested in supervising PhD projects in all the above areas, specifically in: a) Study, design and evaluation of novel virtual reality/augmented reality/gaming technology for positive social change and well being; b) Creative and innovative use of integrated hardware-software systems in various domains, with a focus on healthcare.