Personal Health Interface Design & Development

HINF 5300

College of Computer and Information Science &
Bouve College of Health Sciences
Northeastern University


Current Offering: Fall 2017

Past offerings

Fall 2016


Fall 2015


Fall 2014 Syllabus

A short article on the Boston Magazine website was published mentioning the Fall 2014 course.


Fall 2013 Syllabus

In Fall, 2013, the offering of this course was possibly the first in the country on the use of head-mounted computers for health. Projects from the Fall 2013 offering of the course were featured in the Northeastern News and in the Northeastern research blog.



This project-based seminar course (or special topic course/independent study) explores the design of innovative personal health human-computer interface technologies. Examples include assistive technologies that aid persons with disabilities, consumer wellness promotion applications, patient education and counseling systems, interfaces for reviewing personal health records, and eldercare and social network systems that monitor health and support independent living. Working in transdisciplinary teams, students will design and build a prototype personal health interface system to solve a real problem using advanced HCI technologies.


Topics surveyed in the course during project design and development cycle include participatory design, iterative user interface design methods for advanced mobile systems, health interface development, innovative sensing for mobile systems, software architectures for iteratively testing prototype personal health interface technologies, human-computer interaction issues related to personal health technology, and technology transfer requirements to support future validation studies of technology.


Advanced (PhD) students will cover these topics in more depth, discussing case studies specific to doing health research with prototype health interfaces with transdisciplinary teams.  


Students in this course will acquire practical experience working in a team to develop an innovative health technology concept from idea conception to fully functional prototype. Students will also practice public speaking, writing, and team skills critical for success in the workplace. Technical students will develop programming skills for an advanced user interface technology (e.g., Google Glass, Android Wear smartwatches, Amazon's Echo, etc.). 


The best interface technologies developed by teams in this course will be field tested or used in personal health informatics experiments by students who take a follow-up course in the spring (HINF 5301:Personal Health Technologies: Field Deployment and System Evaluation).