Project 2: Wearables for Acute Care Teams (WeACT)

Recruiting organisationEindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. 

Supervisor: Dr. Josette Gevers 

Doctoral Candidate:  Jingwen Yang

Secondments:  Dr. Travis Wiltshire, Tilburg University, The Netherlands (3 months); Prof. Peter Dieckmann, REGIONH, Denmark (3 months)

Summary: This project is focused on developing a tool for (near) real-time feedback to improve performance during high-stakes crisis events such as medical emergencies. Recent research has shown that patterns in team members sensory data reflect teamwork dynamics, and that transitions therein may predict teamwork effective. Therefore, DC2 will a) map existing wearable sensor signals (i.e., physiology, speech, motion) reflecting team interaction; b) investigate how these relate to team processes and functioning and identify transitions in these signals that are indicative of teamwork breakdowns; c) develop and test ways to use these signals for real-time feedback to augment and support shared situation awareness (SA) and effective team functioning. 

Job description

Teamwork is central to safe and effective patient care in complex care contexts. Yet, acute care teams often experience that maintaining effective collaborative functioning is difficult, especially during stressful medical emergency events. Wearable technology applications (such as wrist worn physiological sensors) represent a crucial opportunity for providing teams with real-time feedback to support their effectiveness. So far, the use of wearable tools for teams is hampered by a lack of knowledge about what data is most meaningful and how it can be used for team support and augmentation in practice.

This PhD position is part of the Tools4Teams project, an EU MSCA Doctoral Network. This project will involve working with professional medical teams to collect sensor signals from various modalities (i.e., physiology, speech, motion) and investigating how dynamics in these signals could be used for assessing, monitoring, and eliciting effective team functioning in acute care settings. Furthermore, ways to use these signals for providing real-time feedback will be developed and tested . The research will take place in simulated team training contexts, but our aim is that insights will ultimately also be applicable in real-life crisis scenarios. This research will involve a combination of advanced quantitative (e.g., time-series analysis, signal processing) and qualitative data analysis techniques.

Job setting

The Doctoral Candidate (DC) in this project will be embedded in a project team that spans across two disciplines and universities. The DC will be employed at Eindhoven University of Technology, under the supervision of Prof.dr. Josette Gevers (1st promotor) from the Human Performance Management (HPM) group. Moreover, the DC will work in close collaboration and under the supervision of Dr. Travis J. Wiltshire (co-promotor) from the Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence department at Tilburg University.

The HPM group is part of the School of Industrial Engineering in the department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences of Eindhoven University of Technology. HPM focuses its research and education on the optimization employee functioning and performance in organizations. By examining the ‘people factor’ in operational and innovation processes, HPM aims to ensure that employees can bring organizational strategies to fruition in the most rewarding and efficient way possible. Besides teaching course at the undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels, we work closely with a wide range of industrial and institutional partners to study and support people’s functioning in (high-tech) organizational contexts.

The Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence department at Tilburg University is part of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences. The department emphasizes innovative cutting-edge research in those areas of cognitive science that bring together psychological and computational theories and methodologies. The group is responsible for the Bachelor and the Master program Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence, is co-responsible for the university-wide data science Master program Data Science & Society, and is affiliated with the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science ( Researchers in the Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence track have access to computer clusters, experimental lab facilities, and the virtual and mixed reality DAF Technology Lab and its sensing technologies ( Moreover, researchers play an important role in Mind Labs (, an initiative that fosters collaborations between knowledge institutions and corporations in the field of interactive technologies and behavior.

The appointment involves two three-month secondments to temporarily work at a different research group. The first secondment will take place between June-August 2024 at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, with Dr. Travis Wiltshire. The second secondment will take place between May-July 2025 at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, with Dr. Peter Dieckmann. The research to be conducted during the secondments will be determined in the three months leading up to the secondment, together with the primary supervisor and the secondment supervisor, and is intended to supplement the PhD research.

About us
Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.