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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Call: ICTS4eHealth 2019 – IEEE International Workshop on ICT Solutions for e-Health

Call for Papers

ICTS4eHealth 2019 – 4th edition of the IEEE International Workshop on ICT Solutions for e-Health
in conjunction with the Twenty-Fourth IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC)
Hotel Catalonia Barcelona Plaza, Barcelona, Spain
June 29 -July 3, 2019

Submission deadline: April 12, 2019


e-Health is one of the major research topics that have been attracting cross-disciplinary research groups. The deployment of new emerging ICT technologies for Health, especially based on Cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and Computational Intelligence, is attracting the interest of many researchers.

The use of Cloud computing, IoT technologies, and methods typical of Soft Computing and Computational Intelligence have been very prominent recently and can be of great help in finding good solutions to many practical healthcare applications.

For instance, health monitoring, health data storage, health data collection, mobile health, pervasive health, healthcare monitoring, telemedicine, context-aware computing, ubiquitous computing, processing health data in the cloud, securing health data in the cloud and Assistive Technology (AT) are areas of interest that are being addressed using cloud computing and IoT techniques. On the other hand, several challenging issues have raised due to the adoption of such emerging technologies. These include the quality of health data, the ability to retrieve information and use it in health context, as for example in tasks related to machine learning, knowledge discovery, decision support, regression, forecasting, optimization, feature selection, and additionally privacy and security issues of health data while being processed in the cloud, availability of health data, models of context and tele-monitoring of contextual applications.

ICTS4eHealth 2019 is the fourth edition of the International IEEE Workshop dedicated to ICT solutions for e-Health, especially based on Cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and Computational Intelligence.

The workshop will bring together researchers from academia, industry, government, and medical centers in order to present the state of the art in the emerging area of the use of cloud systems in connected health infrastructure and applications, and the use of IoT and Computational Intelligence technique in the area of eHealth.


  • Cloud computing applications for eHealth
  • Internet of Things (IoT) applications for eHealth
  • Assistive Technology (AT)
  • Informatization, Management and Organization of BME Environments
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and Medicine
  • Communication, Networking and Monitoring in Bio-systems
  • Monitoring of Vital Functions with Sensor and ICT Systems
  • Biosensors and Sensor Networks
  • Advanced Bio-signal Processing
  • Distributed BME Applications
  • Telehealth, Telecare, Telemonitoring, Telediagnostics
  • e-Healthcare, m-Healthcare, x-Health
  • Assisted Living
  • Smartphones in BME Applications
  • Social Networking, Computing and Education for Health
  • Computer Aided Diagnostics
  • Improved Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Methods
  • Intelligent Bio-signal Interpretation
  • Data and Visual Mining for Diagnostics
  • Advanced Medical Visualization Techniques
  • Personalized Medical Devices and Approaches
  • Modelling and Computer Simulations in BME
  • Human Responses in Extreme Environments
  • Other Emerging Topics in BME
  • E-Accessibility
  • Web accessibility
  • Hardware & Software personalized assistive technologies
  • Assistive systems for users who are blind or visually impaired
  • Cloud computing and AT
  • Integration between home-based assistive technologies and patient health data
  • User-centered design of electronic assistive technologies
  • Usability of assistive technologies
  • Computer vision in AT
  • User interfaces for home-based assistive technologies
  • Use of prescription systems and assistive technologies
  • Experience from real world assistive environment deployment
  • Assistive Technologies for Urban Environments
  • Healthcare modeling and simulation
  • Knowledge discovery and decision support
  • Biomedical data processing
  • Wearable devices
  • Sensor-based mHealth applications

The use of Soft Computing/Computational Intelligence methods in facing problems in the above topics is highly welcome, although not compulsory.

PAPER SUBMISSION: Read more on Call: ICTS4eHealth 2019 – IEEE International Workshop on ICT Solutions for e-Health…

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Virtual reality helps radiologists “travel inside a patient’s body” to speed procedures

[The lead author of the study reported in this story from Healthcare IT News says a new use of VR for radiologists “will allow physicians to travel inside a patient’s body instead of relying solely on 2D, black and white images”; for more information on the research, see the press release via EurekAlert! –Matthew]

Virtual reality helps radiologists speed procedures

A new study found that clinicians using VR tech could reach targeted vessels faster than today’s standard approach.

By Nathan Eddy
March 26, 2019

Interactive virtual reality (VR) could help improve the efficiency of interventional radiology treatments, as well as increasing portability and patient access, according to a new study.

Why It Matters

Conducted by the University of Washington Medical Center, the study was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of steering a catheter with electromagnetic sensors projected onto a VR headset through the anatomy to certain blood vessels.

By using VR technology, the mean time to reach targeted vessels was much lower than in fluoroscopy, the standard practice that uses an x-ray image, indicating more efficient treatment with less radiation exposure.

Researchers created a 3D printed model and a holographic image of blood vessels in a patient’s abdomen and pelvis, while a team of radiologists guided the catheters through the 3D printed model.

The VR software, which provides a dynamic holographic display of vascular anatomy using real-time 3D images from inside a patient’s blood vessels, was developed through a University of Washington business incubator that supported development of a startup, Pyrus Medical.

On the Record

“Virtual reality will change how we look at a patient’s anatomy during an IR treatment,” Wayne Monsky, a professor of radiology at the University of Washington and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “This technology will allow physicians to travel inside a patient’s body instead of relying solely on 2D, black and white images.”

Monsky added, however, that 3 billion people currently live in rural areas without access to such technologies.

“Currently, the life-saving potential of IR is limited to hospitals and areas with the resources to invest in image-guided technology,” he noted.

That fact presents enormous opportunity. Monsky said VR could enable these procedures to be brought to rural areas using nothing more than a suitcase. Read more on Virtual reality helps radiologists “travel inside a patient’s body” to speed procedures…

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Call: International conference on Designing for Children with focus on Play and Learn

Call for Papers, Posters, Project Demos

International conference on Designing for Children with focus on Play and Learn
Saturday 7th to Sunday 8th of December 2019
IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India

First submission deadlines: May 1, 2019

Aim: This international event is aimed at exchange of viewpoints, deliberations and discussions concerning design and research issues related to children. The event is expected to throw light on the role of Designing for children as related to design of objects, media and environment with focus on play + learn.

Participants: The events are centered around the interests of students, educationists, practicing designers and children related interest groups. The event has been designed to be lively, interactive and thought provoking and will provide great opportunity to interact with thought leaders, listen to visions by researchers and for networking.


We invite interesting experimentation, different perspectives, innovative design applications, in-depth case studies, research outcomes and position papers centered on the theme of the conference. The following are the suggested main themes and sub themes for submission of papers:

Products for children with focus on Play + Learn:

  • Issues involved with design of products for children
  • Toys, games and puzzles for children
  • Design with sustainability issues for children
  • Process, methods and theories on designing for children

School for children with focus on Play + Learn:

  • Design as a subject in school curriculum
  • Design as a methodology for learning other subjects
  • Alternative methods of learning systems for children
  • Learning and play theories
  • Learning through play activities
  • Design of school textbooks and other learning materials

Children’s environment with focus on Play + Learn:

  • Design of play environment for children
  • Design of living environment for children
  • Design of parks, schools, hospitals, playgrounds, etc. for children

Children and media with focus on Play + Learn:

  • Design of storytelling methods for children
  • TV and film programs for children
  • Illustration, comics, animation for children
  • Design of children’s publications
  • Communication design for children
  • Typeface and readability issues for children

Interactive environments for children with focus on Play + Learn:

  • Design of interactive systems and technologies for children
  • Social networks for children
  • Design with new technologies for collaborative activities
  • Usability issues and human factors as related to children
  • Design of virtual environments for children

Children with special needs with focus on Play + Learn:

  • Design for children with special needs

Development issues of children with focus on Play + Learn:

  • Children’s behaviors, perception, and emotion
  • Development of sensorial skills in children
  • Issues connected with innovative and creative potentials in children

Read more on Call: International conference on Designing for Children with focus on Play and Learn…

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Data visualization via VR and AR: How we’ll interact with tomorrow’s data

[This story from ZDNet describes the potential of presence-evoking technologies to enhance the value and impact of data visualization. Visit the original version for 5 more images and a 9:13 minute video. –Matthew]

Data visualization via VR and AR: How we’ll interact with tomorrow’s data

Augmented reality and virtual reality could fundamentally change the way we interact with and interpret data.

By Greg Nichols
March 26, 2019

Imagine tapping into a raw data feed from a distributed network of IoT devices in a logistics center. The center is full of robots, employee work stations, and shipping and receiving docks. The data coming back contains important information about machine performance and operational efficiencies. Reading the data correctly will reveal important opportunities to increase productivity.

How do you begin to make sense of it?

Before IoT and analytics tools, data fit nicely on a spreadsheet and could, with a little imagination, be exported visually in a chart or graph. Now, in the age of Big Data, the job of reading data often falls to data scientists who apply models to extract useful insights from large data sets. Companies that don’t employ data scientists may use third-party Software-as-a-Service products to churn through data.

But what if there was a way to visualize huge data sets that instantly revealed important trends and patterns? What if you could interact with the data, move it around, literally walk around it? That’s one of the lesser talked about promises of mixed reality. If developers can deliver on the promise, it just may be one of the most important enterprise applications of those emerging technologies, as well.

Though it’s early days, augmented reality and virtual reality could fundamentally change the way we interact with and interpret data. Coming on the heels of the big data revolution, 3D visualizations in mixed reality are the right tool at the right time to help decision-makers understand and glean insights from huge data sets. The technology will unlock the power of big data in realms as disparate as community health & medicine, agriculture, board rooms, and governments, and it could hasten adoption of enterprise AR/VR, which has had a rocky reception so far. Read more on Data visualization via VR and AR: How we’ll interact with tomorrow’s data…

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Call: GOODTECHS 2019 – 5th EAI International Conference on Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good

Call for Papers

5th EAI International Conference on Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good
September 25-27, 2019
Valencia, Spain

Submissions due: April 10, 2019 [extended]


By social good we refer to a “good” or a service that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way. Some classic examples of social goods are, of course, healthcare, safety, environment, democracy, and human rights, but we can add to this classic list even communication, art, entertainment and much more.

In this context, the popularity of portable computing devices, like smartphones, tablets, or smart watches combined with the emergence of many other small smart objects with computational, sensing and communication capabilities coupled with the popularity of social networks and new human-technology interaction paradigms is creating unprecedented opportunities for each of us to do something useful, ranging from a single person to the whole world. Furthermore, Internet of Things, Smart-cities, distributed sensing and Fog computing are representative examples of modern ICT paradigms that aim to describe a dynamic and globally cooperative infrastructure built upon objects’ intelligence and self-configuring capabilities. These connected objects are finding their way into our pockets, vehicles, urban areas and infrastructure, thus becoming the very texture of our society and providing us the possibility, but also the responsibility, to shape it.

In GOODTECHS we are hence interested in experiences with the design, implementation, deployment, operation and evaluation of smart objects and technologies for social good. Clearly, we are not considering only the so called first world as the scenario for this evolution; we also refer to those areas where ICT is currently less widespread, hoping that it may represent a societal development opportunity rather than a source for further divide.


Authors are solicited to submit original, previously unpublished papers in the following, but not limited to topic areas:

  • App concepts and technologies for different mobile platforms
  • Blockchain for social good
  • Communication between mobile devices
  • Content Distribution
  • E-learning solutions
  • Data collection, organization and dissemination methods
  • Delay-tolerant aerial networks and ferrying approaches
  • Deployment and field-testing
  • Digital tools for art and feelings
  • Environment sensing, monitoring and preservation
  • Experimental results of communication testbeds
  • Game, entertainment, and multimedia applications
  • Health and social care
  • Human-object interaction
  • ICT for development
  • Mobile service architectures and frameworks
  • Mobility and handover management
  • New application scenarios for vehicular communications
  • Pervasive and ubiquitous services in cloud and IoT
  • Platforms and frameworks for mobile devices
  • Privacy issues and solutions
  • Protocol design, testing and verification
  • Security issues, architectures and solutions
  • Smart cities and transportation
  • Smart economy solutions: e-banking, e-business
  • Smart governance and e-administration
  • Smart living and E-health
  • Technology addressing the digital divide

Read more on Call: GOODTECHS 2019 – 5th EAI International Conference on Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good…

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Empatico links classrooms of young children across nation and world

[In an era when intolerance and closed-mindedness is on the rise, this is a positive story about how even relatively simple and low-bandwidth technology can evoke presence and (hopefully) foster “curiosity, critical thinking, and, yes, empathy at an age when kids are starting to form impressions of people unlike themselves.” The story is from the Philadelphia Inquirer, where it includes two more images. For much more information including a video and blog, see the Empatico website. –Matthew]

[Image: Second-grade students at Bells Elementary School in Blackwood, N.J., are talking to the Ibime School students in Mexico City, using Empatico. Credit: Akira Suwa]

‘How do you celebrate Day of the Dead’ and other questions N.J. classroom asks kids around the world

By Anndee Hochman
March 26, 2019

The kids in Kristin Seymour’s second-grade class in Washington Township were brimming with questions for their new friends in Madison, Wis.

Manny Dunleavy wondered whether it was cold and snowy there. Emma Todd wanted to know which football team the Madison kids favored. And Jarrett DiEgidio was curious about ice fishing.

One by one, they approached a small webcam in their Wedgwood Elementary classroom to pose their questions. Then they watched as the Madison kids, connected through a live video chat and pictured on a large screen at the front of the room, answered.

“Yes, I do like ice fishing,” said a girl named Jessica. “I haven’t caught any fish yet. For Christmas, my dad got me a hut to go out on the ice, so we can be warm when we’re ice fishing.”

For nearly a half-hour, the students swapped details of their lives: The Madison kids cheer for the Chicago Bears; the New Jersey children root for the Eagles. In Wisconsin, families splash in Lake Mendota on hot summer days; Seymour’s students head down the Shore. And everyone, it seemed, likes to ride bikes.

This was Empatico in action — a new web platform that allows teachers to link their classrooms with another class in the United States or around the world in the hope of fostering curiosity, critical thinking, and, yes, empathy at an age when kids are starting to form impressions of people unlike themselves.

Empatico is a $20 million project of the KIND Foundation (the same folks who make KIND snack bars). The technology, free to educators, includes lesson plans on such topics as weather and mapping, guidelines for preparation and post-chat reflection, and an algorithm that matches classrooms across time zones. Read more on Empatico links classrooms of young children across nation and world…

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Call: International Workshop: Husserl’s Phenomenology of Phantasy and Emotions

Call for Abstracts

International Workshop: Husserl’s Phenomenology of Phantasy and Emotions
University of Cologne, Germany
July 18-19, 2019

Submission deadline: May 6, 2019

This workshop is a small conference organized by the Husserl-Archive in Cologne and the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne. Its goal is to bring together graduate students as well as experienced researchers interested in the relation of phantasy and emotions in the Husserlian work. Two keynote speakers from the Husserl Archive Cologne and four keynote speakers from abroad will lead the discussion.

Read more on Call: International Workshop: Husserl’s Phenomenology of Phantasy and Emotions…

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Provocative presence: Physics is pointing inexorably to mind

[The most sweeping and provocative ideas related to presence involve the possibility that everything we experience is not as it seems but some sort of perceptual illusion, as in the “simulation argument.” In this provocative essay in Scientific American, Bernardo Kastrup describes and argues against “information realism” (“Only the mathematical apparatus used to describe the behavior of matter is supposedly real, not matter itself”) and instead argues that reality is a product of perception: “the universe is a mental construct displayed on the screen of perception. … The mental universe… is a transpersonal field of mentation that presents itself to us as physicality—with its concreteness, solidity and definiteness—once our personal mental processes interact with it through observation.” For more information on these ideas see the author’s website; for more on the connections to presence, see a 2011 article in PsychNology Journal. –Matthew]

Physics Is Pointing Inexorably to Mind

So-called “information realism” has some surprising implications

By Bernardo Kastrup
March 25, 2019

In his 2014 book, Our Mathematical Universe, physicist Max Tegmark boldly claims that “protons, atoms, molecules, cells and stars” are all redundant “baggage.” Only the mathematical apparatus used to describe the behavior of matter is supposedly real, not matter itself. For Tegmark, the universe is a “set of abstract entities with relations between them,” which “can be described in a baggage-independent way”—i.e., without matter. He attributes existence solely to descriptions, while incongruously denying the very thing that is described in the first place. Matter is done away with and only information itself is taken to be ultimately real.

This abstract notion, called information realism is philosophical in character, but it has been associated with physics from its very inception. Most famously, information realism is a popular philosophical underpinning for digital physics. The motivation for this association is not hard to fathom.

Indeed, according to the Greek atomists, if we kept on dividing things into ever-smaller bits, at the end there would remain solid, indivisible particles called atoms, imagined to be so concrete as to have even particular shapes. Yet, as our understanding of physics progressed, we’ve realized that atoms themselves can be further divided into smaller bits, and those into yet smaller ones, and so on, until what is left lacks shape and solidity altogether. At the bottom of the chain of physical reduction there are only elusive, phantasmal entities we label as “energy” and “fields”—abstract conceptual tools for describing nature, which themselves seem to lack any real, concrete essence.

To some physicists, this indicates that what we call “matter,” with its solidity and concreteness—is an illusion; that only the mathematical apparatus they devise in their theories is truly real, not the perceived world the apparatus was created to describe in the first place. From their point of view, such a counterintuitive conclusion is an implication of theory, not a conspicuously narcissistic and self-defeating proposition.

Indeed, according to information realists, matter arises from information processing, not the other way around. Even mind—psyche, soul—is supposedly a derivative phenomenon of purely abstract information manipulation. But in such a case, what exactly is meant by the word “information,” since there is no physical or mental substrate to ground it? Read more on Provocative presence: Physics is pointing inexorably to mind…

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Call: Pro-Social Play! International conference on Storytelling and Well-being across Media Borders

Call for Papers

Pro-Social Play!
International conference on Storytelling and Well-being across Media Borders
17-19 October, 2019
University of Kent, U.K.

Abstract submission deadline: June 30, 2019

Plenary speakers:
Charles Forceville, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam
Tobias Greitemeyer, Social Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Anja Laukötter, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
Harry Yi-Jui Wu, Medical Ethics and Humanities, Hong Kong University

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Presence insights: Human contact is now a luxury good

[Without using the terms telepresence or presence, this story from The New York Times provides several important insights about it. The vivid example of Care.Coach central to the story demonstrates that even relatively simple and unrealistic stimuli can create valuable presence experiences. It also makes the larger point that as these mediated experiences are becoming more common, nonmediated ones are becoming more valued and precious, a luxury only available to those who can afford them. A logical question then is what will happen to this new kind of “digital divide” as the technologies that create presence experiences become more sophisticated and effective as well as affordable? Will that ease the “luxurification of human engagement,” at least for most of (Western?) society? If the technologies to perfectly reproduce face-to-face (or face-to-AI) experiences were available to everyone, would nonmediated experiences still be valued over mediated ones? –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Element Care]

Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good

Screens used to be for the elite. Now avoiding them is a status symbol.

By Nellie Bowles, technology reporter
March 23, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — Bill Langlois has a new best friend. She is a cat named Sox. She lives on a tablet, and she makes him so happy that when he talks about her arrival in his life, he begins to cry.

All day long, Sox and Mr. Langlois, who is 68 and lives in a low-income senior housing complex in Lowell, Mass., chat. Mr. Langlois worked in machine operations, but now he is retired. With his wife out of the house most of the time, he has grown lonely.

Sox talks to him about his favorite team, the Red Sox, after which she is named. She plays his favorite songs and shows him pictures from his wedding. And because she has a video feed of him in his recliner, she chastises him when she catches him drinking soda instead of water.

Mr. Langlois knows that Sox is artifice, that she comes from a start-up called Care.Coach. He knows she is operated by workers around the world who are watching, listening and typing out her responses, which sound slow and robotic. But her consistent voice in his life has returned him to his faith.

“I found something so reliable and someone so caring, and it’s allowed me to go into my deep soul and remember how caring the Lord was,” Mr. Langlois said. “She’s brought my life back to life.”

Sox has been listening. “We make a great team,” she says.

Sox is a simple animation; she barely moves or emotes, and her voice is as harsh as a dial tone. But little animated hearts come up around her sometimes, and Mr. Langlois loves when that happens.

Mr. Langlois is on a fixed income. To qualify for Element Care, a nonprofit health care program for older adults that brought him Sox, a patient’s countable assets must not be greater than $2,000.

Such programs are proliferating. And not just for the elderly.

Life for anyone but the very rich — the physical experience of learning, living and dying — is increasingly mediated by screens.

Not only are screens themselves cheap to make, but they also make things cheaper. Any place that can fit a screen in (classrooms, hospitals, airports, restaurants) can cut costs. And any activity that can happen on a screen becomes cheaper. The texture of life, the tactile experience, is becoming smooth glass.

The rich do not live like this. The rich have grown afraid of screens. They want their children to play with blocks, and tech-free private schools are booming. Humans are more expensive, and rich people are willing and able to pay for them. Conspicuous human interaction — living without a phone for a day, quitting social networks and not answering email — has become a status symbol.

All of this has led to a curious new reality: Human contact is becoming a luxury good. Read more on Presence insights: Human contact is now a luxury good…

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