Informatics Research Centre
Our mission is to become a centre of excellence in informatics – the study of the creation, management and utilisation of information in scientific and economic activities.
The IRC undertakes both theoretical and applied research within the defined themes, with research funded by research grants, Post Graduate Research (PGR) and collaborative partnerships with organisations to deliver impactful research that matters.
Our research is currently undertaken in three targeted thematic areas of Health, Service Operations and Innovation, and User Experience:
Health – Theme lead: Dr Weizi (Vicky) Li
Health theme focuses on addressing real world healthcare challenges using informatics and inter-disciplinary methods. It includes healthcare information systems such as Electronic Health Records, decision support system and interoperability; data-driven healthcare such as advanced analytics, artificial Intelligence, machine learning, real-world data and evidence research for life science and healthcare; healthcare management such as integrated care system, health policy, hospital service and operation management and health inequality. Health theme in IRC emphasise on the co- creation of digital health research with end users such as clinicians and patients as well as industry to achieve real-world impact. It also brings together a multidisciplinary community of researchers across engineering, physical science, ICT and computation, medical and social science for novel digital health technologies.
Example projects include:
- EPSRC Future Blood Testing for Inclusive Monitoring and Personalsied Analytics Network+: https://futurebloodtesting.org/ ; https://www.henley.ac.uk/news/2021/dr-weizi-li-to-lead-1-million-blood-testing-research-using-digital-technologies
- Use of machine learning to identify patients with rapidly declining chronic kidney disease (MachineLearning CKD) (Health Innovation Partnership (HIP) with Royal Berkshire Hospital)
- The Health Foundation (Advancing Applied Analytics). Developing a patient event-based analytical framework to track and identify variation in clinical processes and patient outcome
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) award in applications and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Application and implication of machine learning: understanding and predicting healthcare resource usage and patient risk for improved population engagement”. https://senss-dtp.ac.uk/news-1/2018/08/30/senss-awarded-an-esrc-artificial-intelligence-studentship
- Excellence in Impact Award, “Integrated Healthcare Information system for medical and care quality improvement”, O2RB (the University of Oxford, the Open University, Reading and Oxford Brookes) funded by Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account, April 2018 https://www.socsci.ox.ac.uk/excellence-impact-awards
- Research Engagement and Impact Award, University of Reading. Predicting NHS outpatient attendance to reduce "Did-Not-Attend (DNA)" in Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, May 2020 https://research.reading.ac.uk/engagement-and-impact/intelligent-solutions-to-a-costly-issue/
- Phenotyping patients living with Type 1 diabetes with detailed blood glucose variability and electronic patient record in the context of the continuous glucose monitoring system. https://research.reading.ac.uk/research-blog/a-healthy-partnership/
Service Operations and Innovation – Theme Lead: Dr Phil Davies
This theme focusses on the design and innovation of organisations service delivery systems and business models. In particular, research in this theme focusses on the following topics:
- Supply Chain Resilience
- Value co-creation and value co-destruction
- Process innovation through digitalisation
- Circular economy
Example projects include:
- ActiveOps (KTP): https://www.henley.ac.uk/news/2021/funding-awarded-for-operations-management-knowledge-transfer-partnership
- RAMONA (Responsive Additive Manufacturing to Overcome Natural or Attack-based disruption) (EPSRC): https://www.henley.ac.uk/research/projects/responsive-additive-manufacturing-to-overcome-natural-and-attack-based-disruption-ramona
- Digitally Enhanced Rail Signalling Services (DEARSS) (EPSRC): https://www.henley.ac.uk/research/projects/digitally-enhanced-advanced-rail-signalling-services-dearss
User Experience – Theme Leads: Dr Stephen Gulliver and Dr Markos Kyritsis
Within the modern digital age, data and information pervasively surrounds us. Are people even aware of it? Do users’ really benefit from the potential of this information in our lives? User Experience (UX) research within BISA considers how people, businesses, and/or technologies perceive, assimilate, interpret, and use information in the process of knowledge or wealth creation.
Understanding people’s sense making and perception, cognition, motivation, requirements, and/or interaction is critical to understanding user behaviour, predicting future activity, and supporting the development of technology and business solutions that effectively enhance the users’ experience.
Research topics include:
- Human Computer/Interface Interaction
- Performance and cognitive modelling
- Usability / Use experience assessment
- Conflict analysis
- Information Assimilation
- Technology Acceptance
The thematic areas are supported by foundations in informatics that includes the following:
Organisational Semiotics, developed by Ronald Stamper in the 1970s, uses the concepts and methods of semiotics to study organisations, and has been applied to information systems over the years. Over the years, IRC has contributed to organisational semiotics through teaching and research, as well as the organisation of conferences, workshops and summer schools.
The latest proceedings of the conference in organisational semiotics:
- Liu, K., Nakata, K., Li, W., Baranauskas (eds) (2018) Digitalisation, innovation, and transformation: 18th IFIP WG 8.1 International Conference on Informatics and Semiotics in Organisations, ICISO 2018, Reading, UK, July 16-18, 2018 (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-94541-5)
Enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline that generates innovative and robust business and IT designs to guide the development of capabilities for enterprise strategy and its execution. EA has become increasingly important in a digitally disruptive world.
Henley Business School has a major expertise in Enterprise Architecture that is widely recognised by corporates, consultancies and collaborating universities. Its leading education programmes are supported by impactful research, most notably an EA collaboration with McKinsey over the last six years. This has resulted in several publications in the Journal of Enterprise Architecture.
- Bossert, O. and Manwani, S. (2021) Enterprise Architecture and Digital Leaders - A Survey Report Based on Research with McKinsey & Company and Henley Business School https://assets.henley.ac.uk/v3/fileUploads/Enterprise-Architecture-and-Digital-Leaders.pdf
AI / Data Science
Artificial intelligence (AI) and data science are among the key technologies that are increasingly being introduced in digital transformation.
- Svenson, P., Haralabopoulos, G., Torres, M. (2020) Sepsis deterioration prediction using channelled long short-term memory networks, International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, 359-370.
- Haralabopoulos, G., Anagnostopoulos, I., McAuley, D. (2020) Ensemble deep learning for multilabel binary classification of user-generated content, Algorithms, 13 (4), 83.
- Haralabopoulos, G., Torres, M., Anagnostopoulos, I., McAuley, D. (2021) Text data augmentations: Permutation, antonyms and negation, Expert Systems with Applications, 177, 114769.
Ethical issues in digital transformation
Ethical issues underline any aspects of digital transformation, such as the use of AI.
- Ashok, M., Madan, R., Joha, A. and Sivarajah, U. (2022) Ethical framework for artificial intelligence and digital technologies. International Journal of Information Management, 62. 102433.
IRC has a research facility called Digital Technology Unit (DTU). DTU is a creative space for ideation as well as for conducting experiments and user studies.