Health Sense



Health Sense, is a system of plug-and-play wellness monitoring, wearable components for children that are easy to build and program. Innovations in health informatics include the design of a new health sensing system that integrates seamlessly into a person’s life by unobtrusively monitoring and presenting health information – akin to a sixth, health sense. The proposed research extends work in wearable computing and associated interaction paradigms for children. This research comes at a critical time as childhood obesity rates continue to rise and put future generations at-risk for life threatening chronic conditions. Thus, providing children the ability to reflect on their health by crafting their own personalized, monitoring system, empowers them to consider preventative health measures (take the stairs to make a brooch light up) instead of specific treatments (walk for 30 minutes). The specific objectives of this research are:

  1. Design plug-and-play wellness monitoring Health Sense components. Design and develop modular components that are easy to interconnect and communicate health data intuitively to the user.
  2. Design a graphical programming environment to control the actions of the Health Sense systems. Extend current graphical programming environments to make Health Sense easy to program for children.
  3. Understand how children use Health Sense systems. In a lab and field setting, we will explore how people build, program, and use Health Sense systems to monitor and reflect on their health.
Funding: National Science Foundation (Award #IIS-1231645)


  • Swamy Ananthanarayan*, Katie Siek, and Michael Eisenberg (2016). A Craft Approach to Health Awareness in Children. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems.
  • Swamy Ananthanarayan* and Miranda Sheh# and Alice Chien# and Halley Profita* and Katie A. Siek (2014). Designing Wearable Interfaces for Knee Rehabilitation. In 8th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare.
  • Swamy Ananthanarayan and Nathan Lapinski and Katie Siek and Mike Eisenberg (2014). Towards the Crafting of Personal Health Technologies. In Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems.

Outreach Materials


  • Swamy Ananthanarayan (2014). Towards the Crafting of Personal Health Technologies. Designing Interactive Systems, Vancouver, Canada. (Presentation)
  • Katie A. Siek (2014). Health Bridge to Health Sense. Consumer Health Informatics in the Midwest Consortium. Fort Wayne, IN. (Presentation)

  • Katie A. Siek (2014). If you Build It. University of Notre Dame Computer Science and Engineering Colloquium. Notre Dame, IN. (Presentation)

  • Katie A. Siek (2014). If you build it.. Purdue University Colloquium Series. West Lafayette, IN. (Presentation)

  • Katie A. Siek (2013). Interdisciplinary Research: Making a Broader Impact.. CRA-W Graduate Cohort Workshop. Boston, MA.

  • Katie A. Siek (2013). The Potential of Computing to Improve the Health Information Feedback Loop. Indiana University, The School of Informatics and Computing Colloquium Series. Bloomington, IN.
  • Katie A. Siek (2012). Patient Engagement Panel.. Computing Community Consortium Health IT Symposium. Bethesda, MD.

  • Katie A. Siek (2012). Health Sense in the Smart Health and Wellbeing Projects Panel.. Workshop on Interactive Systems in Healthcare (WISH). Chicago, IL.


* denotes graduate student collaborators at the time of writing
#  denotes undergraduate student collaborators at the time of writing

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. (IIS-1231645). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.