An Jacobs, Ph.D., is a sociologist working at SMIT since 2005.Currently she is a part time Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies, teaching Interpretative research methods at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium. She is also Principal Investigator at the research centre SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology). In this position, she is Program manager of the Data and Society program, and an interim unit leader of the research unit “ Digital Health and Work” in close cooperation with imec (Belgian/Flemish R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology).
Her scientific research focuses on the people centred development of digital applications in the health and work context (coördination, communication, monitoring, experience). Participation and empowerment are central concepts in the applied mixed methods.
She built her expertise in the application domain of health over the years in many different local and European collaboration projects: self-management at home, collaboration of different health care stakeholders (GP’s, pharmacists, …), use of digital tools in hospitals ( for example the OR), nursing homes, home care.
As founding partner of the research centre BruBotics (VUB), her team studied human robot interaction in a diverse set of context in health care and manufacturing.
People centred and transparent design of algorithms helping to automate new smart solutions with or without robots is another research interest of the team, in close collaboration with the other researchers within SMIT studying privacy literacy ethics and trust.