Thursday, 23 February 2017

Looking through the Tobii Pro Glasses


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.

IMG_4706.jpg IMG_4691.jpg

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.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Technology: who cares?! events - less than three weeks away!

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.
Techwhocares_Poster3 (1)-1
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:

For more information about this event, visit the #SFOSE website or contact Laura Murray. No booking required.
Please share this news story with your networks and print the poster for display on your notice boards. Thanks!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

New vacancy:

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.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Prof Luc de Witte delivers a lecture as part of ScHARR seminar series

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.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The RCSLT Outcomes Project

The RCSLT Outcomes Project
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
·       Participation – impact on levels of social engagement and autonomy
·       Wellbeing – 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 interventions.
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.

Project evaluation
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 potential:
·       to identify gaps in service and impact of resources
·       to evaluate service delivery models and specific therapeutic approaches
·       to benchmark 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:
·       Further development of ROOT
·       Method of data collection - Direct data entry / export method
·       Aggregated data reports and their uses
·       Development of 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.

Further information

Information about the RCSLT’s journey with outcome measurement is available on the RCSLT webpages and by contacting RCSLT Outcomes Project Officer

Friday, 3 February 2017

The 2nd Workshop for the Urban Slums Project team in India

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 included.

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 toolkit.

For more information about the project, please visit the link below:

Written by Sarah Abdi (Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare) Email:

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Sheffield Occupational Therapy Clinical Academic (SOTCA) network meeting

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.  Everyone  agreed 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 doing  research, 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 submissions...

The next meeting is planned for  Thursday 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: . 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 

Written by Becky Field