Advancing Wellbeing Seminar Series: Stephen Intille

February 26, 2015


MIT Media Lab, E14-633


New mobile apps and wearable devices for measuring health-related behavior and motivating health behavior change are being introduced by academia and industry at a dizzying rate. There are certainly some exciting opportunities in “just-in-time” behavioral measurement and intervention technologies enabled by these technologies. There are also, however, some major hurdles to overcome to prove that these new ideas lead to meaningful improvements in health. Part of the challenge is that short-term behavior change may be relatively easy, but maintaining behavior change is fundamentally difficult for most people to do. To address this, trans-disciplinary teams of technologists and behavioral scientists must work together to deploy prototype technologies in “messy,” real-world settings for relatively long periods of time. Dr. Stephen Intille will discuss some of his group’s experiences building and deploying systems for measuring or motivating behavior change, and use them to frame some challenges researchers working in behavioral health technology may want to consider going forward.


Stephen Intille, PhD, is an associate professor in the College of Computer and Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. His research focuses on the development of novel healthcare technologies that incorporate ideas from ubiquitous computing, user-interface design, pattern recognition, behavioral science, and preventive medicine. Areas of special interest include technologies for measuring and motivating health-related behaviors, technologies that support healthy aging and wellbeing in the home setting, and mobile technologies that permit longitudinal measurement of health behaviors for research, especially the type, duration, intensity, and location of physical activity. Dr. Intille received his PhD from MIT in 1999 working on computational vision at the MIT Media Lab, an MS from MIT in 1994, and a BSE degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He has published research on computational stereo depth recovery, real-time and multi-agent tracking, activity recognition, perceptually based interactive environments, and technology for healthcare. Dr. Intille has been principal investigator on sensor-enabled health technology grants from the NSF, the NIH, foundations, and industry. After ten years as technology director of the House_n Research Consortium at MIT, in 2010 he joined Northeastern University to help establish a new trans-disciplinary PhD program in personal health informatics. 

Host/Chair: Pattie Maes

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