...combines the expertise of three research groups at the University of Sheffield: Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Group (RAT Group), the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) and the Telehealth and Care Technologies theme of CLAHRC YH (http://clahrc-yh.nihr.ac.uk/)
Last week, CATCH had a detailed training session in our Home Lab for our newly purchased Tobii Pro eye-tracking equipment from Scott Hodgins, Director of Acuity ETS Ltd., authorised resellers for Tobii the UK. The glasses were purchased with kind support from the EPSRC Capital Investment for Robots and Autonomous Systems scheme.
The Tobii Pro Glasses 2 are a wearable eye-tracking system which, as well as recording the wearer’s view of the world, can also wirelessly stream a live view to a computer. Ultra-lightweight, user-centric design promotes natural viewing behaviour and ease of use, giving researchers insight into where wearers direct their gaze when interacting with their environments.
The Glasses are suitable for all ages. A strap at the back and different bridge fittings customise the glasses to practically any size of head or shape of nose. Their design ensures they also fit on top of most conventional spectacles.
At CATCH, we research, develop, evaluate and implement new technologies to enable people to live well and age well. We are very pleased to have available two pairs of Tobii Pro Glasses 2 in our Home Lab for researchers to now use for their projects.
For many applications, the recorded video showing the wearer’s focus will be all that is required. But the Tobii Pro Lab software package offers a range of sophisticated tools to help researchers to design their experiments, record and manage their data, replay videos, and interpret and present their results. So, for instance, functions can be applied to the video to identify gaze fixations, while automatic mapping of the video data onto snapshots help to aggregate the wearers’ views on a visual field.
CATCH researchers are hoping to use the equipment to explore how humans communicate with other humans and with machines and robots.
In the photos above, Phil Joddrell, PhD student from CATCH, is interested in tracking how users view games designed for use by people living with dementia (l); and Dr Emily Collins, a Research Fellow from Sheffield Robotics, is interested in using the glasses to track how humans interact with robots (r).
We now encourage members of the University and our collaborators to make good use of the eye-tracking equipment. They are available for use either in the Home Lab or can be booked for short-term use outside.
For more information, or to book some time with the glasses, please contact CATCH Centre Manager, Simon Butler.
For more information about the Tobii Pro Glasses 2 please see the Tobii website here.
Technology: who cares?! Two exciting events from CATCH, taking place as part of the Sheffield Festival of Science & Engineering, are less than three weeks away.
We're excited to introduce our event collaborators - download the poster here.
Join us at 5.15pm on Friday 10th March for Professor Luc de Witte’s ScHARR Inaugural Lecture entitled “Technology, who cares?!” at the Diamond building, University of Sheffield. Booking is required - book your place here.
On Saturday 11th March from 10am - 3pm, bring all the family and visit us in the Sheffield Winter Garden to experience our "living room of the future" and meet our collaborators:
A part time vacancy for a Research/Monitoring Associate has arisen within ScHARR. Working on the ShareHD project, in this part time role you will explore currently available data, set up systems for monitoring, interpretation and dissemination of routinely
collected quantitative data to support these evaluations and ongoing service improvements. This will involve some time spent
as an embedded researcher within commissioner and provider organisations across the region. Some travel and working at
different sites will be required.Closing date Monday 6th March 2017. Please click here for the About the Job document.
Prof Luc de Witte, CATCH Professor and renowned name in the field of technology and innovative healthcare, was the guest of the last ScHARR seminar series on Tuesday 14th February.
Luc delivered a fascinating talk entitled “Health in Slums: Challenges and potential solutions” to a packed audience. This talk aimed to give more insight into the challenging living conditions of the slums’ communities and to discuss potentials solutions to reduce the burden of ill health due to these conditions. Luc also discussed the current projects running as part of the Health in Slums programme, and some of the future plans for ScHARR and CATCH.
The seminar was attended by many ScHARR staff and students from different sections and has instigated some interesting discussions about the topic.
Luc will return for a public talk on Friday 10th March 2017 for his Inaugural Lecture entitled "Technology; who cares?!" in The Diamond as part of the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering. Booking is required - please secure your place here.
For more information on ScHARR seminar series, please click here or contact Sarah Abdi.
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
(RCSLT) has embarked on an innovative and ambitious project to support speech
and language therapists with delivering and measuring effective outcomes.
In 2013, RCSLT members devised a list of criteria to
identify an existing outcome measurement tool to enable comparable, valid and
reliable data to be gathered from across the profession. Over 60 outcome
measures, frameworks and systems commonly used by speech and language
therapists (SLTs) were appraised against this set of criteria. Therapy Outcome Measures for Rehabilitation
Professionals 3rd Edition (TOMs, Enderby and John, 2015) was selected as
the ‘best fit’.
TOMs scales address four dimensions of an individual
in line with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and
Health (WHO, 2007).
·Impairment – the
severity of the presenting difficulty/condition
·Activity – the impact
of the difficulty on the individual’s level of independence
impact on levels of social engagement and autonomy
impact on mental and emotional wellbeing
In 2015, the RCSLT Council approved the development
of a proof of concept online tool to support collection of TOMs data.
Proof of concept pilot
The RCSLT Online Outcome Tool (ROOT) is a stand-alone
system that has been developed to collect and collate outcomes data. Clinicians
can use the tool to record and monitor outcomes for individual service users
and access reports that show change over time in association with SLT
Users of the tool can input TOMs data for service
users directly into the ROOT via a web-based application, or upload data that
has been extracted from databases within existing electronic systems. The ROOT
collects data about the individual’s age, gender and diagnoses and TOMs ratings
at different points in time.
The ROOT aggregates data recorded by an SLT service
and generates reports. These can be used by service managers to evaluate the
outcomes delivered and support them with monitoring outcomes for specific
clinical groups and evidencing the impact of SLT. Filters can be applied to the
reports to drill down to specific clinical groups at the required level for
data analysis and reporting.
Adult and paediatric SLT services across the UK are
currently piloting the use of the ROOT, and the software is being developed in response
to their feedback.
An independent evaluation of the proof of concept
pilot has been undertaken with services that are piloting ROOT (November 2016).
Feedback from the pilot sites has indicated that ROOT, particularly the
aggregated data reports, offers the potential to add value to SLT services, but
further time is required to embed the use of ROOT into services to allow
further testing. It was suggested that the reports generated by ROOT offer the
·to identify gaps
in service and impact of resources
service delivery models and specific therapeutic approaches
against other services (offering the opportunity to compare and improve
services, and inform commissioners)
Following consideration of the findings and
recommendations of the independent evaluation, the RCSLT Board of Trustees approved
an extension of the pilot for a further six months (December 2016). This will provide
an opportunity for the SLT services engaged with the pilot to gain more
experience of using the ROOT to collect data and generate and test the reports.
During this time, the following key areas will be explored:
development of ROOT
·Method of data
collection - Direct data entry / export method
reports and their uses
resources e.g. to support use of the ROOT, information governance
Phase 2: Framing TOMs as part of other resources available
In parallel to the proof of concept pilot, the
outcomes project steering group has recommended the initiation of ‘phase 2’ of
the project. This phase of the project will include scoping the use of other
sources of data and the available resources, outcome measures and frameworks
that can be used alongside TOMs to evidence the impact of SLT services.
Enderby, P. and John, A. (2015) Therapy Outcomes Measures for Rehabilitation Professionals, Third
edition, J&R Press Ltd.
Last month, Prof. Luc de
Witte and Prof Mark Hawley joined project partners in Bangalore, India for a
2nd workshop as part of our international project “a mobile diagnostic and
screening toolkit for urban slums settings”.
18 participants from our
local partners attended the workshop, held in Bangalore Baptist Hospital,
Bangalore. This included technology experts, health professionals and community
health workers with experience working in urban slums.
The workshop aimed at reaching
a consensus between the team and project partners on the design of the mobile
toolkit. Many exciting discussions were
undertaken covering a range of topics from key consideration in the design of
the toolkit, the toolkit content, to the tests and technology that will be
At the end of the workshop, the team agreed on the next phase of the
project which will include designing and evaluating a basic prototype of the
more information about the project, please visit the link below:
http://www.catch.org.uk/current-project/urban-slums-settings/ Written by Sarah Abdi (Centre for Assistive
Technology and Connected Healthcare) Email: email@example.com
A meeting of the Sheffield
Occupational Therapy Clinical Academic (SOTCA) network was held on 26th
January 2017. The network was started by Laura Di Bona and aims
to provide peer support, form collaborations and consider service developments.
Occupational therapists based in Sheffield Health and Social
Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield
Children’s Hospital, Rotherham Housing Services, University of Sheffield, and
Sheffield Hallam University attended. All were interested in or to pursue
research, and ways to combine research with clinical practice. There was a
great variety of clinical and research experience in the room with people at
different stages of their careers. Some had done research MSc modules, some
MSCs, some were studying for PhDs, and some had submitted applications to the
NIHR clinical academic pathway doctoral fellowship programme. Sam Armitage
(Occupational Therapist, Sheffield Children’s Hospital), Laura Di Bona
(University of Sheffield & Sheffield Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust)
and Professor Gail Mountain (Professor, University of Bradford) all gave
informal presentations about their research journeys. It seemed that carving
out a clinical academic career required resilience, commitment and flexibility,
and that there wasn’t one clear, established ‘pathway’ to follow, the
presenters had all created and responded to opportunities.Everyoneagreed to meet again, perhaps with presentations- possibly related to Occupational Therapy
and assistive technology research,or
the MSc in Clinical Research – to be confirmed.
Any occupational therapists, or
occupational therapy students interested in doingresearch, service evaluation/development are
welcome! You can come for general interest and/or use the group for support,
for example project ideas, funding applications, conference or publication
The next meeting is planned forThursday 27th April 5-7pm at the
Assessment and Rehab Centre(ARC) in
Nether Edge although this will be confirmed nearer the time.
SOTCA has a new website at: http://www.catch.org.uk/current-project/sotca/ . If you are interested, please log on to it and register your
details with our new Mailchimp account so you can be sure to hear about future
work of the group. Also, please follow us on twitter