mHealth Reseach Group



The mHealth Research Group is an internationally-recognised centre for research on mobile technology and health.

The mHealth Research Group was established within the School of Psychology by Dr. Jane Walsh in 2014 and is supported by the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change.

In 2015 the Annual mHealth Conference was established (funded by the Irish Research Council) which was highly successful in developing both national and international research networks, resulting in several successful grant-funded projects including: Horizon 2020, the Irish Research Council, the Health Research Board.

mHealth is the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices (e.g. mobile phones, tablet computers and PDAs), for health services and information, but also to affect emotional states. mHealth applications include the use of mobile devices in collecting community and clinical health data, delivery of healthcare information to practitioners, researchers, and patients, real-time monitoring of patient vital signs and direct provision of care (via mobile telemedicine). mHealth research encompasses a variety of possibilities, including increased access to healthcare and health-related information (particularly for hard-to-reach populations); improved ability to diagnose and track diseases; timelier, more actionable public health information; and expanded access to ongoing medical education and training for health workers.


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mobile healthDr Jane Walsh, Director, M-Health Research Group, School of Psychology, NUI Galway

Jane’s research has focused mainly on developing health behaviour interventions in both the public health domain and in health care settings, with a particular focus on preventive health behaviours (e.g. exercise, diet, screening, vaccination). M-health as an emerging technology lends itself to increased self-monitoring which has been shown to be an effective tool in behaviour change interventions.

Jane has worked in several multidisciplinary teams to develop theory-based interventions in applied settings and has obtained funding for her research from the HRB, IRC, HSE and the Millennium Fund and published her research internationally in high quality journals.

Dr Gerry Molloy

Gerry’s research focuses on the question, 'How does the immediate social environment and one's personality influence health and illness across the lifespan?' In this work self-regulation models from behavioural sciences are used to understand how aspects of social relationships interact with individual differences to influence health and illness throughout life. This programme of work has a particular focus on treatment adherence and in particular the use of daily medications.

Dr Mike Hogan

Michael’s research focuses on Collective Intelligence and Critical Thinking; Behavioural and electrophysiological aspects of executive control, learning and memory; Physical activity and ageing cognition; Emotion, Personality and Cognition in younger and older adults; Emotion and cardiovascular responding; The cerebellum and aging cognition ; Chronic Pain; Mindfulness; and Wellbeing Measurement and Policy. Michael was a key designer of the collective intelligence stakeholder engagement methodology in the SeaforSociety EU project.

 

Dr Liam Glynn

Dr Liam Glynn is Senior Lecturer in General Practice in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway and is also Adjunct Senior Clinical Lecturer, Graduate Medical School, University of Limerick. He is a GP principle in a rural practice in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare in the West of Ireland and is founding chairman of the North Clare Primary Care Team. His primary research interests are in preventive medicine with a focus on diabetes and on bringing technological solutions to healthcare through connected health. Other research interests include chronic kidney disease, hypertension and adherence to medication. He is founding board member of the Irish Primary care Research Network, a network of over 500 GP practices in Republic of Ireland.

He is currently a principal investigator on three major research programmes: ATLANTIC DIP 2: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: Screening Follow up and Intervention in the community (HRB ICE Award €670,000 2011-2015); ITTS: Implementing Transnational Telemedicine Solutions (EU NPP Programme Grant €2.3 million 2011-2014); WIISEL: Wireless Insole for Independent and Safe Elderly Living (EU FP7 Programme Grant €3.9 million 2011-2014)

Dr Glynn is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. He is a referee for several international medical and medical education journals and a member of the Editorial Boards of Forum, the Journal of the Irish College of General Practitioners and the Journal of Comorbidity.

 

Dr John Breslin

John is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Engineering and Informatics, where his research is focused on social media, mobile devices, citizen sensing and web technologies. He was principal investigator on the EC-funded Eurapp project which studied bottlenecks and opportunities in the European mobile app economy. He has also supervised research on the classification of fitness-related tweets from various mobile apps.

 

Dr Brian McGuire

He worked initially as a research psychologist in brain injury rehabilitation in London. He then moved to Sydney where he spent the next 10 years lecturing in psychology and working as a clinical psychologist. He joined NUIG in 2003 and is the former Director of the Doctor of Psychological Science programme in Clinical Psychology and Joint Director of the Centre for Pain Research. His clinical work is primarily in behavioural medicine, such as pain management and diabetes care. His research interests are in pain management, diabetes, and adjustment to chronic physical illness. He was recently awarded a HRB Research Leader award in the area of E-Health.

 

Dr Kiran Sarma

Kiran leads the Risky and Extreme Behaviour Research Group at the School of Psychology and chairs the university-wide Security Research Group (SRG). He works closely with the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network and is the Principal Investigator on a number of projects funded by the Irish Research Council dealing with psychology and counter-terrorism (ARC and GENESIS). He is also research active in the area of risk-taking, and behavioural interventions for reducing risk-taking. For example, he is the principal investigator on a Road Safety Authority (RSA) funded project on the use of in-vehicle phone application monitoring to moderate risky driving by young drivers (RISK-MONITOR).

 

Dr. Molly Byrne, Senior Research Lecturer and HRB Research Leader; Director, Health Behaviour Change Research Group, School of Psychology, NUI Galway

Molly’s research has primarily been in developing health behaviour interventions (e.g. secondary prevention of heart disease; self-management of diabetes) within health care settings. She works with a number of multidisciplinary research teams, and is interested in the processes involved in developing behavioural interventions and testing these in real world settings. She has managed a number of randomized controlled trials of behavioural interventions and has published her work widely.

Molly was awarded a HRB Research Leader Award in 2013 and since January 2014 has held a full-time research leadership role at the School of Psychology, as Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group.

 

Dr Denis O'Hora

Can how we choose tell us about why we choose? This question drives Denis’ research in learning and decision-making. Taking advantage of high-density data captured by modern computers, such as computer mouse cursor movement and data from the Wii remote control, this work addresses fundamental issues such as the continuous updating of our evaluations of the world around us. Beyond the laboratory, Denis works to enhance decision-making in challenging environments, especially in the context of worker safety.

 

Dr Jim Duggan, Vice-Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, College of Engineering and Informatics.

Jim’s main research interests are the application of informatics, modelling and simulation to support public health policy formulation and targeted interventions. He is Project Leader for Ireland’s first participatory surveillance system for influenza monitoring, and is part of an EU-wide initiative to track – in real time - the spread of seasonal flu. He is collaborating on a number of public health initiatives, including: the design of mHealth applications to support wellbeing, long-term capacity analysis of Ireland’s health system, and the use of exploratory data analysis to diagnose diabetes self-management strategies.

 

Dr Oya Beyan

Oya’s research has focused on using semantic web technologies and big data analytics to develop personalized health solutions. In today’s data-intensive world, the landscape of the health care is changing from ’diagnose & treat’ to ’predict & pre-empt’. Oya’s works is to integrate and analyse the diverse data sources to find new insights for holistic representation of health including genomic, environmental and behavioural determinants. Her main interest is in knowledge processing, patient empowerment, and ethical & privacy aspects.

 

Ms Eimear Morrissey, PhD student, Structured PhD in Psychology and Health, School of Psychology, NUI Galway.

Eimear graduated with a BA in Applied Psychology from UCC in 2012 and obtained an MSc in Health Psychology from NUI, Galway in 2013. After working as a research assistant in the School of Applied Psychology in UCC for several months, she was awarded IRC funding to undertake the Structured PhD in Psychology and Health in NUI, Galway beginning September 2014. Her research is based around digital interventions for adherence to medication and physical activity guidelines in a hypertensive population. Eimear is a committee member of the PSI Division of Health Psychology and current Treasurer of the EHPS CREATE committee.  

 

Ms Teresa Corbett, PhD student, Structured PhD in Psychology and Health, School of Psychology, NUI Galway

Teresa Corbett was an undergraduate student of Psychology in Trinity College Dublin until 2011 and obtained a Masters degree in Health Psychology from NUI, Galway in 2012. She is currently a PhD student in the Structured PhD in Psychology and Health, at NUI Galway. Her research relates to the potential for psychological therapies to be used to help cancer survivors suffering with cancer-related fatigue, with a focus on e-Health interventions. She also works as a research assistant for On The Road Again, which is an organisation that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations and people suffering mental health issues by engaging them in walking and running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Teresa is also a co-editor for the European Health Psychology Society Bulletin.

 

Ms Emma Carr, PhD student, School of Psychology, NUI Galway

Emma completed her Higher Diploma in Psychology at NUIG. For her H.Dip research Emma investigated whether a smartphone app using the mechanisms of goal-setting and social support can improve participant’s perceived behavioural control and intentions thereby increasing their fruit and vegetable intake.

 

Ms Lisa Hynes, PhD student, Structured PhD in Psychology and Health, School of Psychology, NUI Galway

Lisa completed a degree in psychology and a Masters degree in health psychology at NUI, Galway. As part of a research project to improve outcomes for young adults with Type 1 diabetes, Lisa is conducting a mixed methods project to develop and test a theory of clinic attendance in order to inform the design of a complex intervention to improve attendance and engagement at young adult diabetes clinics in Ireland. She is interested in the impact of the environment and inequality in determining health, health psychology across the lifespan, and health service delivery.

 

Ms Aoife Kervick, PhD student, School of Psychology, NUI Galway.

Aoife’s research aims to improve outcomes for young, at-risk drivers. Her PhD work evaluates the use of novel smartphone applications as a tool in moderating young driver risk-taking behaviour. Her research at NUI Galway has involved modelling and testing young drivers’ acceptance of such new technology, and currently examines the behavioural impacts of using these applications in simulated driving environments (both short and long-term use). A bursary from the Road Safety Authority of Ireland funds this research project.

 

Irish Research Council Creative Connections Interdisciplinary Research Workshop Award (2015-16)

ASSEMBLE - Bringing together researchers from Arts, Science, Engineering, Medicine andBusiness
Principal Investigators: Dr. Molly Byrne and Dr. Martin O' Halloran
Collaborator(s): Dr. Jane Walsh
Funding amount: €15,000

Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher (2015-16)

Embedding behaviour change techniques into PatientMpower App
Principal Investigators: Dr. Gerry Molly, Dr. Jane Walsh, Ms Eimear Morrissey Mr Eamonn Costello
Funding amount: €5,000

Irish Research Council (New Foundations) (2014-15)

mHealth Conference, NUI Galway
Principle Investigator: Eimear Morrissey
Mentor: Dr. Jane Walsh
Funding Amount: €5,711

Horizon2020 Marie Cure RISE Funding (2017-2021)

Title of study: REMIND -"The use of computational techniques to Improve compliance to reminders within smart environments"
Co-ordinator: Professor Chris Nugent
NUI Galway partner: Dr Jane Walsh
Total Funding amount: €976, 500

Irish Research Council PhD Scholarship (2015-2018)

Title of study: 'Promoting breast awareness: investigating the efficacy of a smartphone application'
Principal investigator: Emma Carr
Co-applicants: Dr Jane Walsh & Dr. AnnMarie Groarke
Funding amount: €72,000

 Irish Research Council PhD Scholarship (2014-2018)

Title of study: Can m-health interventions enhance medication adherence and increase walking in at risk populations?
Principal investigator: Eimear Morrissey
Co-applicants: Dr Gerry Molloy and Dr Jane Walsh
Funding amount: Approximately €80,000

Programme aim: This PhD studentship aims to (1) appraise, select and synthesise all high quality research evidence in the area of m-health adherence interventions through a systematic review (2) identify/design a m-health adherence intervention using theories of self-regulation and behaviour change suitable for clinical populations (3) conduct an exploratory randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the efficacy of a m-health based adherence intervention to enhance adherence to walking and medication

Cancer Care West Hardiman Scholarship (2012-2016)

http://www.cancercarewest.ie/research/our-hardiman-scholars/

Title of study: A Web-based Tailored Program for Disease-free Cancer Survivors with Cancer-related Fatigue: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Principal investigator: Ms. Teresa Corbett
Co-applicants: Dr. Jane Walsh, Dr. Brian McGuire, Dr. Annmarie Groarke.
Funding amount: €85,000
Programme aim: This study aims to answer the following questions:

What is the current state of the literature relating to interventions for cancer related fatigue in post-treatment cancer survivors?
What are the illness perceptions of cancer survivors with persistent fatigue? (Focus groups)
Is an online cognitive behavioural intervention more effective than a usual care control condition in reducing fatigue as measured by the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI)? (Pilot RCT)
The goal of this research is to create achievable solutions that can be incorporated into the daily life of survivors, leading to more successful long-term implementation. This project will add to our existing knowledge of the area in several ways:
Providing an extensive interdisciplinary analysis of the potential psychological correlates of CRF.
A study of the psychosocial mechanisms involved in the experience of cancer patients.
Evaluating an intervention that could greatly improve quality of life in cancer survivors
It is hypothesised that an online cognitive behavioural intervention- based on previous research- will reduce fatigue in survivors of cancer.

Title of study: An M-health Intervention Using a Smartphone App to Increase Walking Behaviour Among Young Adults: A Randomised Control Trial

Researchers: Abra McNamara, Jane C. Walsh, Teresa Corbett, Jim Duggan
Study Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the efficiency of a smartphone application to increase daily step count in young adults.

Title of Study: An M-Health Intervention to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in a Student Population.

Researchers: Emma Carr, Jane C. Walsh, Mike Hogan, Jim Duggan.

Study Aim: To investigate if a smartphone app using the mechanisms of goal-setting and social support can improve participant’s perceived behavioural control (PBC) and intentions thereby increasing their fruit and vegetable intake (FVI).

Title of study: The Effectiveness of Parents as Distraction Coaches using an electronic tablet during Venipuncture: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Researchers: Noelle Martin, Caroline Heary, Susanna Kola-Palmer , & Paula Cahill, Fiona Brady & Edina Moylett, Jane C. Walsh

Study Aim: The study sought examined whether training parents as distraction coaches using an electronic tablet would effectively reduce child pain and distress levels during venipunctures.

Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland Bursary (2012-2015)

Title of study: RISK: Monitor - Using mobile phone applications as in-vehicle technology to monitor driving behaviour.

Principal investigator: Ms. Aoife Kervick.
Co-applicants: Dr. Kiran Sarma, Dr. Denis O’Hora.
Funding amount: €89,000

Programme aim: This research aims to evaluate the utility of smartphone applications designed to monitor, give feedback on and incentivise safe young driver behaviour. The extent to which this kind of monitoring technology is accepted by young drivers will be examined, and the efficacy of these applications tested in simulated driving environments.

Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2014-2016)

Title of study: Development of a robust open data platform to underpin marine data acquisition, predictive analytics and visualisation services for the Marine ICT Sector
Principal investigator: Dr. Jim Duggan, Dr. Enda Howley
Industry Partners: SmartBay
Researcher: Ms. Siobhan Moran
Funding amount: Approximately €48,000

Programme aim: The main aim of this research proposal is to develop an early warning system that can interpret coastal data for a range of users. This system will offer a capacity to assess the risk of coastal flooding as a result of adverse marine and weather conditions. This will serve the needs of a range of stakeholders that would need this vital information in order to plan precautionary measures such as sandbagging and flood defences in urban areas.

 

  • Walsh, JC, Corbett, T, Hogan, MJ, Duggan, J & McNamara, A. (2016). An mHealth Intervention Using a Smartphone App to Increase Walking Behaviour in Young Adults: A Pilot Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 4(3):e109  doi: 10.2196/mhealth.5227
  • Corbett, T., Walsh, JC., Moss Morris, R., Groarke, A., McGuire. BE. Protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial of an online intervention for post-treatment cancer survivors with persistent fatigue. (2016) BMJ Open (in press)
  • Morrissey, E. C., Durand, H., Nieuwlaat, R., Navarro, T., Haynes, R. B., Walsh, J. C., & Molloy, G. J. (2016). Effectiveness and content analysis of interventions to enhance medication adherence in hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Systematic reviews5(1), 1.
  • Morrissey, E.C., Durand, H., Nieuwlaat, R., Navarro, T., Haynes, R.B., Walsh, J.C. & Molloy, G.J. (2016) Effectiveness and content analysis of interventions to enhance adherence in hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Systematic Reviews, 5(96).
  • Morrissey, E.C., Corbett T.K., Walsh, J.C. & Molloy, G.J (2016). Behaviour Change Techniques in Apps for Medication Adherence: A Content Analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 50, 143-146.
  • Walsh, J.C. & Corbett, T. (2015). mHealth Research Group NUI Galway: Using mobile technologies for effective health behaviour change. European Health Psychologist, 17(4); 193-7.
  • Morrissey, E., Corbett, T., Walsh, JC, Molloy, G. (in press) Behaviour Change Techniques in Apps for Medication Adherence: A Content Analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
  • Glynn L, Casey M, Walsh J, Hayes PS, Harte RP, Heaney D. (2015) Patients' views and experiences of technology based self-management tools for the treatment of hypertension in the community: A qualitative study. BMC Family Practice, 9;16(1):119. doi: 10.1186/s12875-015-0333-7.
  • McNamara, A., Walsh, JC & Corbett, T. (2014). An M-health intervention using a smartphone app to increase walking behaviour amongst young adults: A randomised controlled trial (submitted to British Journal of Health Psychology)
  • Carr, E., Walsh, JC, Hynes L. & Duggan J. (2014) An M-Health intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in a student population (publication in preparation)
  • Kearney, K., Walsh, JC, Corbett, T. & Duggan, J. (2014). Physical activity and attitudes: An M-health intervention to increase physical activity targeting affective and cognitive attitudes (in preparation).
  • Kervick, A., O’Hora, D. & Sarma, K. (2014). Young driver monitoring technology – A systematic review of acceptability, effectiveness and the implications for Phone App’ Driver Monitors (publication in preparation).
  • Kervick, A., Hogan, M., O’Hora, D. & Sarma, K. (2014). Testing a structural model of young driver willingness to uptake Phone App’ Driver Monitors (publication in preparation).
  • Lyons GJ, Duggan J. 2014. System Dynamics Modeling to Support Policy Analysis for Sustainable Healthcare. Journal of Simulation. doi: 10.1057/jos.2014.15
  • Martin, N., Walsh, JC., Heary, C., Kola-Palmer, S., Cahill, Brady, F. & Moylett, E. (2014) The Effectiveness of Parents as Distraction Coaches using an electronic tablet during Venipuncture: A Randomised Controlled Trial (Submitted to European Journal of Pain)
  • Corbett, T. & Walsh, JC (2014) An online intervention to educate parents in their use of non-prescription cough and cold medicines in young children (submitted for publication)
  • Heverin, M. & Byrne, M. (2011) The effect of implementation intentions on testicular self-examination using a demonstration video. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 32:1-2, 40-48.
  • Byrne, M. & Curtis, R. (2000) Designing health communication: Testing the explanations for the impact of communication medium on effectiveness. British Journal of Health Psychology, 5: 189-199.
  • T.A. Vickey, K. Martin Ginis, M. Dabrowski, J.G. Breslin, "Twitter Classification Model: The ABC of Two Million Fitness Tweets", The Journal of Translational Behavioral Medicine, May 2013.
  • M.N.K. Boulos, B. Resch, D.N. Crowley, J.G. Breslin, G. Sohn, R. Burtner, W.A. Pike, E. Jezierski, K.Y.S. Chang, "Crowdsourcing, Citizen Sensing and Sensor Web Technologies for Public and Environmental Health Surveillance and Crisis Management: Trends, OGC Standards and Application Examples", The International Journal of Health Geographics, BioMed Central (Editors), vol. 10, no. 67, 21 December 2011.

Presentations

  • Morrissey, E.C., Durand, H., Nieuwlaat, R., Navarro, T., Haynes, R.B., Walsh, J.C. & Molloy, G.J. Effectiveness and content analysis of interventions to enhance adherence in hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference, Cork.
  •  Kearney, A., Morrissey, E., Corbett, T. & Walsh J. A mHealth intervention targeting cognitive and affective attitudes.  European Health Psychology Society Conference, Limassol.
  •  Morrissey, E., Walsh, J. & Molloy, G. Apps for Medication Adherence: A Content Analysis. Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference, Galway.
  • Morrissey, E., Walsh, J. & Molloy, G. Apps for Medication Adherence: A Content Analysis. Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference, Belfast.

mHealth Conference 2016 Presentations