Københavns Universitet
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PhD defence by Vlad Manea

Ph.d.-forsvar — On 14th April 2021, Vlad Manea, PhD Student at Department of Computer Science, will defend his PhD thesis titled "From Participation Factors to Co-Calibration of Patient- and Wearable-Reported Outcomes in Behavioural, Health, and Quality of Life Studies".


Date & Time:

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Department of Computer Science



From Participation Factors to Co-Calibration of Patient- and Wearable-Reported Outcomes in Behavioural, Health, and Quality of Life Studies


Chronic diseases represent a significant share of the burden of disease globally. They are responsible for 86% of premature deaths in Europe. Unhealthy behaviours, such as physical inactivity, insufficient sleep, poor nutrition, and tobacco intake, explain up to 50% of chronic disease risk. However, the evidence is not precise enough to assess the risk for each disease.

Human subject studies monitoring behaviours over long periods (longitudinally) during daily life (in situ) by leveraging unobtrusive (observational) technology can allow human behaviours to unfold. They can not only qualify, but also quantify the relationships between behaviours, health, and Quality of Life (QoL) outcomes from compliant participants. This PhD thesis explores two research areas. In the first area, we research the motivation and facilitation of participation in human subject studies. We propose a presentational model using personalised stories to improve human studies’ participation. We design two unifying frameworks for conducting a wide range of human subject studies (mQoL mobile app, mQoL-Chat chatbot). They leverage two modules designed and developed by the author in mQoL-Lab, the lab platform of the Quality of Life Technologies lab.

In the second area, we research the relationships between behavioural, health, and QoL outcomes (co-calibration). We present the coQoL computational model for co-calibration. We demonstrate its feasibility in a study on N = 42 healthy older individuals (a population at risk, appropriate for disease prevention, and having benefitted from insufficient co-calibrations). They answered questionnaires on eight physical and psychological validated scales (physical activity: IPAQ, social support: MSPSS, anxiety and depression: GADS, nutrition: PREDIMED and SelfMNA, memory: MFE, sleep: PSQI, and health-related QoL: EQ-5D-3L). They wore consumer wearables (Fitbit Charge 2) for up to two years. The wearables reported behavioural markers (physical activity, sleep, heart rate) in situ. We observed new relationships between these outcomes. We described the study’s human factors and data quality.

The scientific contributions in both research areas can inform the design of future studies leveraging consumer technology that monitors behaviours longitudinally in situ to assess and improve health and QoL.

Assessment Committee

  • Chairperson: Professor Thomas T. Hildebrandt, Department of Computer Science, UCPH
  • Prof. Dr.,Chair in Digital Health, Bert Arnrich, Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany
  • Professor, Nancy Mayo, McGill University, Canada

Academic supervisors

Professor, Katarzyna Wac, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen


Department of Computer Science,
University of Copenhagen

For an electronic copy of the thesis, please go to: