Digitalized solutions for future healthcare (DigiHealth)

Nowadays, vast amount of digital data is generated in all levels of health-related research. In DigiHealth profiling area, we will create a world-class multidisciplinary research-based hub for developing and validating digital technologies for data-driven health applications, valorizing University of Oulu’s strong expertise in medicine, wireless sensors and business combined with outstanding regional co-creation, thus responding to bottlenecks in health care and services through a wider uptake of eHealth solutions, interoperability and cost-effectiveness.

The research focus is highly multidisciplinary crossing the boundaries between university’s research focus areas and faculties. DigiHealth profiling area will be primarily coordinated and managed by strategic research focus institute Infotech Oulu.

Director: Prof. Simo Saarakkala, Scientific Director of Infotech Oulu
Vice director: Prof. Jarmo Reponen, Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology

Coordinator: Docent Tuire Salonurmi

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Mathematics and AI: Data Insight for High-Dimensional Dynamics (HiDyn)

Large data sets and dynamic modelling now penetrate all areas of research, yet a paucity of required expertise curtails full use of the rapidly growing data-based science. HiDyn is set up as a hub that extends University of Oulu´s high expertise in multidisciplinary data science and AI to serve a broader range of disciplines, with a focus on Bayesian predictive analytics and machine vision. HiDyn is targeted to strongly benefit all our profiling areas and the 6G Flagship in their tasks to address global challenges (topics include climate change, arctic ecosystems, wireless sensors and disease prediction), and it will increase research-based development and know-how in the surrounding company ecosystem and in society. The research is carried out by transcending faculty boundaries.

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6Genesis: Re-imagining how we create

As has been experienced many times before, a new generation of mobile technology appears approximately every ten years. This suggests that the sixth generation, or 6G for short, will emerge around 2030. Developing vertical applications for the future requires re-imagining of how we create and deliver data and services.

The University of Oulu´s 6G-Enabled Wireless Smart Society & Ecosystem (6Genesis) Flagship is one of the six Academy of Finland’s funded Flagships. 6Genesis will develop the fundamental 6G competence needed for smart societies.

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Generation Z and beyond: Co-evolution of human capabilities and intelligent technologies in the 21st century (GenZ)

GenZ is a strategic profiling theme of the University of Oulu, funded by the Academy of Finland (PROFI4, 2018-2022). GenZ aims to strengthen human capabilities, anticipate future challenges and increase human resilience through world-class interdisciplinary research within the identified themes.

As new technologies are rapidly developing and becoming more intelligent, invisible and ubiquitous, the entanglement of these technologies with human everyday life presents a 21st-century challenge and transformation that will not exclude any individuals, communities or processes. In spite of this, contemporary approaches to the technological transformation take the human-being for granted and are too narrow. They merely focus on how humans, communities or societies react to new technologies and how people use a technology after it has been developed and designed; or they predict dystopian futures emerging from the co-existence between humans and technology. This is not enough. A concerted response is needed to generate research-based knowledge about the co-evolution of humans and intelligent technologies, making possible the renewal of human capabilities and competences in all walks of life.

Director: Prof. Pentti Haddington, Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Literature, University of Oulu

Vice Director: Prof. Rauli Svento, Oulu Business School, Economics, University of Oulu

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Ubiquitous wireless sensor systems - Building future information infrastructures

UBIQUITOUS WIRELESS SENSOR SYSTEMS is a profiling area in the Digital solutions in sensing and interactions strategic research focus area of the University of Oulu. This area is funded by the Academy of Finland to strengthen the research profiles of universities in Finland.

We anticipate future information infrastructures to consist of large numbers of wireless sensors, actuators and environment embedded user interfaces, resulting in intertwined real and virtual worlds. 6G and Artificial Intelligence will be key enabling technologies for such infrastructures. Also, novel electrical and optical sensor techniques for collecting rich data from the environment and advanced technologies for realising user interfaces, like AR/VR and holograms, will be essential. The devices in the environment will be small, inexpensive, wireless, and they will harvest energy from their environment. These developments call for energy-efficient wireless connectivity supporting low latency and high reliability, novel system and software architectures, and software engineering methods and tools for designing and managing software and systems. Internet of Things provides a system view to integrate sensing, acting, user interfaces, and data intensive services to our everyday life at homes, in traffic, at workplaces – practically everywhere and all the time.

The goal of this profiling area is to generate fundamental new knowledge for building future information infrastructures that fulfil the needs of the society. The University of Oulu´s globally strong ICT research value chain will be sharpened with the profiling measure. In addition, researchers from the field of humanities, educational sciences and social sciences bring the expertise to integrate into the technological focus the aspect of technology adoption as a phenomenon interwoven with human groups, communities, and societies. We build on these competencies to create a strong research community for the profiling area. The target is that within five years, the University of Oulu will be one of the world’s leading innovation centres in ubiquitous wireless sensor systems.

The globally distinct research infrastructure being built on the main campus of the University of Oulu will provide unique tools to achieve the set goals. The infrastructure enables merging at a single site recognising the needs of the individuals and the society, creating the key technologies, evaluating the technologies in real environments with real users, and analysing how the technology affects the society, human everyday life and behaviour. We target high impact by focusing the research on problems that have relevancy to the society, by feeding the research results in applied research that is performed in close collaboration with the industry, and by encouraging and supporting the researchers to commercialise their research results in spin-out companies.

The research is carried out by the university’s strategic research focus institutes of Infotech Oulu and Eudaimonia and in faculties of: Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Education, and Humanities.