Annica Kristoffersson, Assistant Professor

Annica Kristoffersson is a researcher working in the ESS-H+ (Embedded Sensor Systems for Health Plus) profile , Division of Future Intelligent Technologies, since April 2019.

Annica has conducted research within human-robot interaction, smart homes and evaluations thereof since 2009. She recieved her PhD degree in Information Technology in 2013 from Örebro University. The topic of the PhD thesis was: Measuring the quality of interaction in mobile robotic telepresence using presence, spatial formations and sociometry. (see thesis)

Annica has worked as a researcher, work package leader, test site coordinatior, co principal-investigator and assistant project manager in  a number of projects during her time at Örebro University. Projects include: the AAL JP project ExCITE (Enabling Social Interaction Through Robotic Telepresence), the FP7 project GiraffPlus (Combining social interaction and long term monitoring for elderly), the Länsförsäkringar Research Foundation project "En metod för att mäta ett sensornätverks inverkan på Trygghet, the Vinnova testbed "Smarta äldre", and the Knowledge Foundation distributed research environment E-care@home.

Within ESS-H+, Annica is involved as a researcher and as the overall responsible for ensuring that the user perspective is taken into consideration during development and evaluation of technology.

Annica is also a co-supervisor for two PhD students employed at Örebro University and one industrial PhD student at Mälardalen University.

 My research within ESS-H+ is multifaceted, broadly it can currently be divided into the following areas:

Fall prevention and gait monitoring. One of the subprojects of ESS-H+ is focussed at fall prevention and gait monitoring. The current research comprises: (1) assessments of needs and requirements on technology through the interviews with staff at an Orthopaedic clinic in Region Västmanland, observations of staff making fall risk assessments on patients after undergoing surgery, (2) the conduction of a literature study to (a) determine which requirements can possibly be met by existing technology and (2) to outline where technology development is needed to fulfil requirements, and (3) assessing if the technology fulfills the requirements with hospital staff. It can be expected that the plan for research in this area will by modified during the next few years.

Mitigating diabetes using technology and physical activation. Plans are ongoing for a pilot trial on how physiological and quality of life aspects are affected by following a specific physical activity scheme (guide and follow up) or using an invasive technology for monitoring blood glucose and administering insulin.

IT platform for health monitoring. Work towards a generic middleware for embedded sensor systems transmitting health parameters following the MDR is ongoing.

In addition, I recently joined the supervisory team for the industrial PhD student Ann-Louise Lindborg who develops robotic eating assistance devices for increased independence.


My research conducted at Örebro University up until 2019 can be divided into the following areas:

To measure interaction quality.

Interaction via telepresence robots. During my PhD studies, conducted within the AAL JP-project ExCITE, I measured interaction quality along three tracks: observations (F-formations), objective quantitative measures (sociometry), and subjective questionnaires (perceives social and spatial presence and ease-of-use).

The PhD student Sai Pathi Krishna (who I am currently a co-supervisor for), uses the F-formation theory (how we spatially position ourselves with respect to each other during interaction) and proxemics theory, while developing algorithms such that social robots can automatically position themselves in a natural way with respects to humans.

Social robot as an exercise coach for older people. The other Phd student Neziha Akalin (who I am also a co-supervisor for), develops an adaptive social robotic system. The system shall offer physical and cognitive traning at different difficulty levels depending on the individual and his/her development. The robot shall be able to vary its social behavior.  Performance, facial expressions and physiological parameters are used as input.

Can sensor networks increase safety and security ("trygghet")? Many products designed for older people are said to increase safety and security in marketing. What this means, however, is not clearly defined but it involves physical, mental as well as existential aspects. In one of my previous projects, we attempted to study safety and security through a series of questionnaire administered to older people and their relatives during a five month evaluation of a sensor-based cognitive assistive technology. To measure safety and security is difficult but the study provided an increased insight in a sensor network's impact on quality of life and its usability. The study also provided an insight in the importance of building in privacy-by design.

What smart technology do we (the older people) want? This area involves 19 longitudinal test sites with observations of usage, interviews, administration of questionnnaires etc as well as the development of personas (older people, relatives, care professionals) and use cases for a potential E-care@home system.

In sum, my research profile, I am intersted in human-robot interaction, smart homes and how internet communication technologies can be developed to support a safe and secure life during aging. This user perspective should be considered during development of new products. Here, knowledge about the context in which older people are in, and how needs may change over time, is included.

My research has resulted in a number of publications. See my Google Scholar profile for information.

PhD students supervised as assistant supervisor:

Ann-Louise Lindborg
Neziha Akalin (former)
Sai Krishna Pathi (former)