Care for Cancer – Reflections on Uppsala Health Summit 2018

This summer I participate in and organised Uppsala Health summit together with lots of other people. For me the theme of the Health summit was indeed top priority as I have many friends and family with cancer. I have seen how cancer treatment work at close hand through my husband who was diagnosed and treated with cancer a few years ago. Since I have done studies on patients and health care professionals, this experience gave me another depth in my understanding of cancer. It is difficult to imagine living with the uncertainty of treating cancer, and also the change of adapting your whole life to cancer treatments. Luckily my husband has had few side effects from the cancer, and everything has gone very well so far.

As a part of organizing the Uppsala Health Summit we wrote a debate article that was published in Dagens Samhälle, found here. Some of the things we say in this debate article are:

  • We need to work with the infrastructure so that IT systems can share information and data. I have seen this at close hand, and the computer systems are sometimes like black holes in health care. The system at the different departments did not talk to each other, so there was little coordination between radiation and chemotherapeutic treatment for example.
  • Physical treatment needs to be an integrated part of all cancer treatment, and also a part of what is recommended as a part of life for cancer survivors. No one mentioned that physical activity was so crucual during my husband’s treatment and we didn’t understand that it was that important.
  • Cancer treatment needs to be more equal across the world. During the Uppsala Health Summit it was shocking to hear the circumstances in other parts of the world, and to listen to the presentations made about the understanding of cancer. This is an area that I would like to get involved more in and to try to help!

I hope that the Uppsala Health Summit has contributed to some steps being taken towards better cancer care.

Less Screen Time and More Family Time

Now it’s soon time for annual leave through a slow summer holiday. My plans are very few and include reading non-work related booked, having lots of barbeque dinners, watching kids swim in the pool and going jogging. I will avoid working and only do very little, and deadline driven things.

Spring 2018 was really good and the two large achievements was being promoted to Excellent teacher and Full Professor. Few semesters have that kind of happenings 👍🏼.

I will be back blogging when the semester starts again in the end of August. I hope that you will have some time off too!!

Attending Conferences and Bringing Kids Along

I have four kids, and I have frequently attended conferences when they have come along. Perhaps it is not always optional to bring them, but the alternative would be to stay at home – and I don’t want that. Then I think it is better for me to go and try to balance work-life as good as I can and I adapt the trip to the kid so that they get a nice experience too.

When my youngest son was one years old he had been to many countries (nine?), and one result from us travelling so much with him is that he speaks OK English at the age of six. This is many years before he starts English at school.

The picture below is from Gothenburg and ICSE 2018 where I did a key note, and my husband attended one of the workshops on computer science education. We also met our very good colleague Tony Clear who helped Sixten try the conference T-shirt.

Tony and Sixten

Some tips for making it work to bring kids: 

  • Perhaps grand-parents have the possibility to travel with you to the conference with you? It could be a nice experience for them and for the kid
  • If it doesn’t work 100% as expected that is quite normal. Having kids is often a bit like leaving the planning to someone else… 🙂
  • If you go to the conference as a couple you can share responsibility for the kid. We often try to share the responsibility
  • Plan something that the kid likes to do so that the trio becomes a positive experience for everyone
  • Be prepared to replan things, and make up a plan B if plan A fails.

Writing Full EU Project Proposal Instead of Having a Vacation

My vacation is a bit postponed this year. Our pre-proposal for a co-funded project with Gender-Net Plus was accepted!!! :-))  And now I am writing a full proposal instead of having a vacation.

The team onboard writing the proposal is indeed excellent, and we span all research areas relevant for the idea of the proposal. I will not write the details here in the blog as I’m not sure that that would be ok given the review process of the proposals.

Last week we all met at Arlanda airport to discuss the project details, and to agree on the set up of the project. It was indeed a productive day with lots of ideas. It was also a day full of great Swedish fika and nice food.

If we are funded we will be working together in this project in eHealth for the coming three years. I will be the coordinator of the project, but I have very experienced help in my team and I think that I will do fine.

Interviewed for ”Research Profile of the Month”

Being interviewed is always a learning experience, as you get questions that you seldom ask yourself. The interview for the “Research Profile of the Month at the Faculty of Science of Technology” took several hours (3?), and the questions were related to all my areas of research. The person who interviewed was really a good listener, and had planned the interview carefully.

For me the interview created lots of reflection, and I will make use of it while thinking about where I want to go in my work life. Perhaps I will take a few minutes and relax in the grass, as illustrated in this blog post picture, during summer holidays.

Some of the questions were:

  • Why have I chosen the research questions that I am studying?
  • What are my plans forward?
  • How is it to do research on areas that have no clear and simple answers?
  • How is it to combins family and research?
  • What is my strongest personality trait?

In the link below my research is presented at Uppsala University’s web page.

http://www.teknat.uu.se/news/nyhetsdetaljsida/?id=10926&area=5,32&typ=artikel&lang=en

Reflections from Uppsala Health Summit ”Care for Cancer”

I will spend a few very good days at Uppsala Health summit with the theme “Care for Cancer”. If you ever have the chance to participate in one of these summits, I strongly recommend it.

What is Uppsala Health Summit? Uppsala Health Summit is a policy arena for dialogue addressing challenges for health and health care. I helped organize a workshop on use of technology for preventing childhood obesity a few years ago, and this time I am organizing a workshop on using existing data for diagnosing and treating cancer.

Who are participating? The people who are at the summit are personally invited decision makers, opinion formers and experts from around 35 countries in the world. The health summit is initiated by Uppsala University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala County Council, Uppsala City Council and World Class Uppsala.

Sightseeing at the Scandion Clinic. Wednesday eventing we were invited to visit the Scandion clinic which is world class cancer clinic treating patients with proton therapy which makes it possible to treat cancer more efficiently and with fewer side effects. The building in itself ware really worth the visit, as it was designed with care and very appealing.

Before the visit it felt quite odd to do sightseeing in a cancer clinic, but it was really an inspiring experience. One of the reflections from visiting was that the nurses working there are actually doing a very technically oriented work with large computers. When I asked them about this they said that they have studied technical aspects of radiology as a part of their education to radiology nurses.

Christiane has written more about Uppsala Health Summit in this blog post if you want to know a bit more about our workshop on using existing data for treating and diagnosing cancer.

The Self-Flipped Classroom Concept: Underlying Ideas and Experiences – paper accepted for Frontiers in Education

Anna Vasilchenko, Mats Daniels and I had a paper accepted for Frontiers in Education very much based on Anna’s excellent work!!

The paper is a conceptual paper on self-flipped classrooms and we will continue working on research in the area in the fall. We will make use of experiences from the new course that I am teaching with Diane Golay.

Anna, Mats and I have also done one application for funding of this research and I really hope that we will get that!!

Here is the abstract:

In the modern fast changing world no formal education is able to provide learners with a complete set of knowledge, skills and competences that they would need to successfully compete on tomorrow’s job market. Therefore, the role of universities is increasingly shifting towards provision of an environment where students have a chance to acquire lifelong learning skills. This paper presents underlying ideas of, and practical experiences with, an innovative pedagogy that addresses the lifelong learning skills acquisition along with additional benefits for science and technology students. The proposed approach is called Self-Flipped Classroom (SFC) and it is built on a synergy of two pedagogies: learning through making (“self” part of the name) and Flipped Classroom (“flip” part of the name). To unveil the construct of the SFC concept, we discuss each of its components individually presenting appropriate theoretical grounding. We also report on our experiences from Self-Flipped Classroom implementations in two countries, CountryA and CountryB, and in three different educational settings. From our work with the SFC concept we have identified four different roles the students can assume in a SFC scenario: creators, collaborators, communicators, and learners. We present our observations regarding challenges and opportunities related to the identified roles that have been found in the studied settings. We also outline future research directions in this space.

Five Rejected Papers in 48 hours

Sometimes academia is not so great, and now and then I run into periods of lots of failure. Impostor syndrome doesn’t help either and hits me straight away when things are not going my way: “Do I really belong?”

This past week I got five papers rejected in 48 hours. Gah!! This was really tough! A personal record indeed. I thought that the papers were really OK, and some of them well written – but reviewers (completely) disagreed.

So far, I haven’t really had the energy to read the reviews either so I can’t really proudly say that I failed and learned lots of things through the failures. So far I have just failed and felt like a failure.

 

ACM SIGCHI EIT Health Summer School in Interactions Magazine

The current number of the magazine Interactions has an article about the EIT SIGCHI summer school that we organized last summer in Dublin and Uppsala/Stockholm.

I must say that the summer school gave me very good new contacts, and I have enjoyed following the research of many of the participants on Twitter since then. For me the summer school resulted in me being the examiner of several of the PhD thesis that has been put forward since last year, and also in Leysan Nurgalieva visiting us in Uppsala. Really great!!

You find the short article here

Submitted Programme Application

This week I submitted an application for funding of a research programme related to equal communiation using ICT for foreign-born people. The programme will include three complementary research areas and addresses an urgent societal problem. The three areas are caring sciences, computer science and health economics.

The writing process was really very much fun this time. I collaborated with a full professor of Caring Science, and we had a great time even though we don’t know each other that much. The full professor of Caring Science is the Principal Investigator of the application.

In the programme we will work with the exploration of communiation needs of foreign-bron people with chronical diseases, and then continue with implementation of ICT related support to improve communication. The programme will run for six years, if funded, and will include three PhD students and two post doc positions some of which are in caring sciences and others in computer science.

When writing applications for funding, chances are quite low that you get funded. However, if you don’t submit any applications there will for sure be no money….

I really hope that we get funding for this programme and that I can get the possibility to explore this area!!