This course covers the design of personal health and wellness technologies. It explores theories informing their design and evaluation, reviews the state of the art in technology designed to measure and support personal health and wellness (including popular consumer technologies in addition to research prototypes) and discusses theoretical and empirical approaches to evaluating their success. This class will include a mix of lectures, hands-on in-class activities and group discussions focused on class readings.

Teaching Staff

Lauren Wilcox, PhD Assistant Professor OFFICE HOURS: M 4:30PM-5:30PM 345 TSRB



Students in the class will likely have different backgrounds and there are no pre-required courses. However, you should be experienced in your area (only senior undergraduates and graduate students will be allowed into the class), and have a deep interest in how computing systems can enable interactive experiences in service of personal health and wellness.

I also recommend using Dr. Braunstein’s online Health Informatics in the Cloud course as needed, to provide further background information on health informatics concepts, architectures or standards if they arise during your project work and/or readings but are unfamiliar to you.


Readings will be posted as PDFs on the class website and/or on T-Square. It is the responsibility of the students to obtain and read the material. The material in those readings may be included on evaluations in the class.


The class will mix lectures with class discussion and participation, in-class activities, and “report-backs” from homework assignments (e.g., what happened when you tried to track thing X with device Y). Readings should be finished well before class so that we can discuss them intelligently. On certain days, students will present to the class in pairs (see details on the Paper Presentations page of the class website–this is part of your grade).

Rules of the Game

You are responsible for all material covered in class. You are also responsible for all the assigned reading (including changes or additions announced in class). If you miss a class, please talk to someone who attended. (Copies of each class’s slides will be linked to the schedule.) Course material will be found on the web through T-Square , and the assignments will be linked through http://health.info.gatech.edu/schedule/.

Submission Policy

All work should be submitted electronically through T-Square using the Assignments feature, before the beginning of the class on the day the assignment is due. If you don’t submit an assignment on time, the following lateness policy applies.

Lateness Policy

The Discussion Questions or Class Presentation portion of your work cannot be late (they happen during a scheduled class). For in-class homework, “make-ups” will not be possible. However, for Homework and Project deliverables, your grade for late work will be docked by 10% for each day that it is late. After three days, late work will not be accepted.

Exceptions to the policy can be made in the event of documented personal illness and family emergencies. Such exceptions will require that the teaching staff be consulted well before the deadline.

Academic Honesty

Please make sure that you’ve read the Georgia Tech Honor Code. Collaboration on any assignment (except as an approved part of group projects) is strictly prohibited. Cases of suspected inappropriate collaboration or cheating will be immediately reported to the Dean of Student Affairs, and will be pursued to resolution.

Courtesy to Fellow Students and Teaching Staff

You can do some simple things to help the class run smoothly. Please turn cellphones and other mobile devices off before coming to class. Do not leave early unless we discuss this first. Finally, please do not hold private conversations during class. I also prefer that you take written notes and leave laptops closed during lectures and class discussions.


The final grade is calculated based on a 1000-point maximum. The tables below describe how these points (and corresponding percentages) are allocated. Three scenarios are included to illustrate concretely how grading works. In “borderline cases” (e.g., your grade is within a percentage point of the minimum needed for the next highest letter grade) I will round up. If needed (e.g., an assignment was not effective) extra credit may be offered. Points associated with EC would add to your earned points while keeping the 1000-point maximum for calculating final grades.

Discussion Questions 20% 200 Points
Paper Presentation 10% 100 Points
Homework 20% 200 Points
Project 50% 500 Points (See table below)

No exams.

Project Grading

Part One: Background and proposal 10% 100 Points
Part Two: Team-specific deliverables
(determined during proposal process)
10% 100 Points
Part Three: Team-specific deliverables
(determined during proposal process)
10% 100 Points
Part Four: Team-specific deliverables
(determined during proposal process)
10% 100 Points
Part Five: Final Report and Presentation 10% 100 Points


Calculating Final Grades

90-100% (900-1000 points) A
80-89% (800-1000 points) B
70-79% (700-800 points) C
60-69% (600-700 points) D
<60% (Fewer than 600 points) Not passing


Scenario 1: You got 90% on each of the five parts of the project (for 450 total points), 90% of the points on each homework (for 180 total points) and 80% on your presentation (for 80 points). You completed discussion questions to participate in class and did pretty well (for an average grade of 93% on these or 186 total points). Out of 1000 points, you’ve earned 896. From 89.6%, I round up to 90%, which means that you have earned a course grade of ‘A’.

Scenario 2: You got a full 100% on each of the five parts of the project (for 500 total points), 90% of the points on each homework (for 180 total points) and 80% on your presentation (for 80 points). However, you did not complete discussion questions. Out of 1000, you’ve earned 760 (76%) for a course grade of  ‘C’.

Scenario 2 with EC: You have a total of 760 points from required coursework. However, you have also completed an extra credit assignment worth 50 points. This EC raises your total points to 810 (81%) and your course grade is now ‘B’.

Scenario 3: You have earned an average of 82% on the project (for 410 total points), 80% on one homework and 82% on another (for 162 total points). Your class presentation is 85% (for 85 points) and your discussion questions are pretty good (averaging 85% or 170 points). Out of 1000, you’ve earned 827 points (82.7%) for a course grade of ‘B’.

Scenario 3 with EC: You have a total of 827 points from required coursework. However, you have also completed an extra credit assignment worth 50 points. This EC raises your total points to 872 (87.2%) and your course grade remains a ‘B’.