Pervasive computing with everyday devices to build & sustain stress, resilience, and wellbeing

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Pervasive computing with everyday devices to build & sustain stress, resilience, and wellbeing
Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Zoom (Webinar)
Pablo Paredes - Stanford University School of Medicine
Abstract / Description: 

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As society progresses towards increasing pervasive computing levels, I design and build technology-enabled solutions to repurpose everyday devices to help people build resilience and grow wellbeing. I leverage biological and behavioral knowledge to design systems that balance user needs and health outcomes while mitigating surveillance and agency risks. In this talk, I present my research on efficacious and engaging sensors and interventions necessary in the population and public health domains. I share a series of research projects exploring and validating novel ideas on passive sensors - less dependent on subjective surveys or wearables -  and subtle interventions that minimize workflow disruption. I show the promise of repurposing existing signals from computing peripherals (i.e., mouse and trackpad) or cars (steering wheel) into “sensorless” sensors and repurposing existing media as just-in-time micro-interventions that can work across multiple scenarios and populations. I discuss how these data could be used in collaboration with domain experts to study topics as varied as the interaction between stress and productivity in office workers, burnout prevention among clinical practitioners, or the prevention of depression among rural health workers. Finally, grounded in theories from neuroscience and behavioral economics, I propose the evolution of everyday “mundane” devices, such as chairs, desks, cars, or even urban lights, into adaptive and autonomous wellbeing-optimizing interventions. I close with a discussion of the research needed to systematically study ethics in pervasive technology for resilience and wellbeing.



Pablo Paredes earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2015 with Prof. John Canny. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department and the Epidemiology and Population Health Department (by courtesy) at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He leads the Pervasive Wellbeing Technology Lab, which houses a diverse group of students from multiple departments such as computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, anthropology, neuroscience, and linguistics. Before joining the School of Medicine, Dr. Paredes was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University with Prof. James Landay. During his Ph.D. career, he held internships on behavior change and affective computing at Microsoft Research and Google. He has been an active associate editor for the Interactive, Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Technology Journal (IMWUT) and a reviewer and editor for multiple top CS and medical journals. Before 2010, he was a senior strategic manager with Intel in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a lead product manager with Telefonica in Quito, Ecuador, and an entrepreneur in his native Ecuador and, more recently, in the US. In these roles, he has had the opportunity to hire and closely evaluate designers, engineers, business people, and researchers in telecommunications and product development. During his academic career, Dr. Paredes has advised close to 40 mentees, including postdocs, Ph.D., master’s, and undergraduate students, collaborated with colleagues from multiple departments across engineering, medicine, and the humanities, and raised funding from NSF, NIH, and large multidisciplinary intramural research projects.