This is an archived page for Winter 2016


Human-Computer Interaction for Health (HCI4H) explores the challenges of introducing new interactive and sensing technology to study healthcare and address its core problems. The advent of new interactive technology including tablets, smartphones, tracking devices, depth cameras, wearable devices, and so on, has raised new opportunities for studying and applying this technology to the healthcare domain. However, healthcare is an extremely challenging environment to research and develop technology for. Numerous regulations for the protection of patients and their data have an impact on how technology can be used in healthcare. These rules include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), federal administrations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and institutional bodies such as the human subject protection programs and the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Nevertheless, developing technology to improve care and study human-computer interaction in healthcare has the potential to have a clear and important impact on improving the workflow of healthcare professionals, and ultimately the life of patients.

In this class students will be exposed to the healthcare domain at large, including visits to hospital facilities, such as emergency rooms, trauma rooms, operating rooms, outpatient medical offices, medical students teaching facilities such as the new multimillion Medical Education Building (MET), which includes the Simulation Training Center (STC), the Center for the Future of Patient Care (CFS), and the Center for the Future of Surgery (CFS), but also other measurement centers such as the Calit2 Exercise and Physical Activity Resource Center (EPARC), sleep clinics, and technology-centered health companies such as the West Health Institute.

The HCI4H class will approach the field by studying regulations and enrolling in the human protection courses offered by the CITI program. We will also study a variety of cutting-edge interactive technologies that are currently being used and can potentially be used in the near future to support healthcare, including Microsoft KinectGoogle glassesDigital Pens, Mobile Health tracking devices (Fitbit/digital scales/Basis/Microsoft Band/Apple Watch), and more. We will explore current research with and around this technology based on a variety of currently running projects such as TraumaPen and TraumaGlass, the wearable Google Glass Chroma, the SMART physical activity and diet project, StrokeKinect, the QUICK project on quantifying use of the electronic medical records, and so on.

Students will be required to author weekly essays on the discussed topics. Starting on week 5 they will pair up in groups of 2 and explore the introduction of new interactive technology in one of the domains discussed in class. A basic infrastructure for data collection and activity tracking composed by Kinect cameras, eye tracking, finger tracking, directional microphones will be made available to students if needed. Considering this (and other) technology students will have to envision the introduction and studying of new interactive technology for healthcare in terms of a short NSF proposal for the Smart and Connected Health (SCH) program that will have to be submitted to the instructor by the end of the quarter. 

Depending on the proposed project, students will be offered opportunities for undergraduate research (CSE 198 o
r CSE 199) or graduate research (CSE 293 or CSE 298) in the following quarters.



HCI4H is a blended class that incorporates senior undergraduate students and graduate students (both MS and PhD). The class is offered both in the undergraduate curriculum as a CSE 190 and in the graduate curriculum as CSE 291. At both levels it is students can take it as a 4 units class.

The course is aimed to be interdisciplinary and bring together students from CSE, CogSci, DBMI, Medicine, Public Health and others.

Given the diversity of potential students, course pre-requisites fro this class are hard to establish. The only real pre-reqs are to be well experienced in your domain (hence only senior undergraduates and graduate students will be allowed into the class), to have a deep interest in research around technology and healthcare, and to have some experience in healthcare, technology or both.

To enroll in this class, you need instructor approval. Please fill this form:



Week 1: Introduction/Admins + Research Ethics
Week 2: Access to Healthcare settings + Studying HCI4H: Ethnography and Methods
Week 3: Emergency Medicine
Week 4: Models and Theories for HCI4H
Week 5: Medical Devices and Mobile Health
Week 6: Specific Environments
Week 7: Operating Rooms
Week 8: ICT4D and Special Populations
Week 10: Final Presentations






Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30-10:50
EBU3B (CSE Building) 2154 

(Visits are offsite around UCSD campus or close-by)



Prof. Nadir Weibel
Office: CSE 3224
Office Hours: By Appointment

Khalid Alqinyah (TA)
Office Hours
When:  Thursday 1:00 to 2:00pm
Where:  B240A


Teaching team: