Workshop – NextCoach

Pervasive Health Workshop

NextCoach: Next Generation Virtual Coaching in Health

October 8th, 2020

14:30 – 18:00 (CET)

Read the agenda to the NextCoach Workshop here

Join Online through the following link

Georgia Tech, Atlanta


In the last recent years, technology-enabled coaching in healthcare has shown a real potential to mitigate and overcome a series of limitations of National Healthcare Systems on providing timely and good quality treatment to patients. Such limitations include the uneven relationship between number of health professionals and patients and the other criticalities raised by the challenging actual scenario in which more people live longer with chronic diseases while they need incremental support and treatment from health and care professionals. On this picture, Virtual Coaching responds as a possible way to mitigate the challenges above by providing an intermediate layer of attention between patients and health professionals. In this way, support to patients can take advantage of various methods and technologies such as those rendered available today by Artificial Intelligence, big data analytics, personalised approaches to health and care, behaviour change and persuasive technologies, etc. The objective of this workshop is to discuss where we are today on Virtual Coaching research and roadmap the basis for future research topics in this field that is in a transition from its childhood towards more mature horizons.

Background and Motivation:

The overall topic of the workshop is on the future of coaching systems for healthcare. The topic is of particular interest at this point of time since discussions on ICT-based coaching reached a maturity level that will transit in the next years from an emerging field to a consolidated one. In particular latest approaches focused on AI-supported coaching have succeeded to enter into the clinical domain discussions as an opportunity of empowering in one hand the citizens and in the other as a way to overcome limitations of healthcare systems such as lack of enough healthcare professionals through step-based approaches. The main need of establishing the future steps in research on this regard is that even if preliminary developments have demonstrated potential in this field, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. There is a need into further development to come to personalized, preventive, predictive and participative (P4) health care. As is still needed a more clear identification of potential benefits that confluence of technologies and methods may provide towards a more thorough definition of the research agenda in this domain.


We invite 4-pages position papers responding to fundamental questions regarding the future of virtual coaching in health such as (but not restricted to) the following:

  • Where Virtual Coaching for Health field is moving to?
  • What is the relevant research for the future?
  • Will it be connected only to technology or are there other fundamental aspects to bring into?
  • Which are the priorities for new directions of research?
  • How personalisation will be tackled by future health virtual coaches?
  • How future virtual coaching interfaces will look like?
  • How ethics, privacy, and regulations will impact on future vIrtual coaching?
  • How technology needs to evolve for next generation virtual coaching?

Workshop Papers will be published in a dedicated section of the Pervasive Health Conference Proceedings. The materials presented in the position papers should not be published or under submission elsewhere. All submissions will be reviewed by the Program Committee and external experts to reach a decision on acceptance. Submissions must adhere to the double-column ACM format using SIGCHI template. Proceeding templates must be used for preparing the submissions (Word and LaTeX templates are available at Please follow the instructions available at

The contributions should be submitted to Confy+:

Submit here

The outcome of the workshop is intended to enable the organizers and participants to produce a joint roadmap and a reference manifesto for the future of Virtual Coaching research in the following 10 years to be submitted for consideration to a scientific Journal to be decided together among the various co-authors.

Important Dates:

Submission deadline
3 August 2020
Notification deadline
21 August 2020
Camera-ready deadline
14 September 2020

Workshop Organisers:

Oscar Mayora – Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy

Miriam Vollenbroek-Hutten – University Twente, Netherlands

Workshop TPC: (To be Completed)

Harm op den Akker – Roessingh Research, Netherlands

Claudio Eccher – Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy

Jochen Meyer – OFFIS, Germany

Silvia Gabrielli -Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy

Mads Frost – Monsenso, Denmark

Katarzyna Wac – University of Geneva, Switzerland

Workshop Program: To be Announced