Tilburg University department Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence

E-health Innovations with Cognitive Neuroscience & AI

Developing solutions that can improve health, healthcare, public health and society is challenging. Healthcare is a complex environment with many stakeholders, whose interests do not always align. Additionally, even though we like to think of ourselves as rational human beings, the way we act and behave, react and feel, think and decide, is often very much driven by automatic, unconscious processing.

  • Elisabeth Huis in 't Veld

    dr. Elisabeth Huis in ‘t Veld, MBA

    Principal Investigator

In this research line we use psychophysiological techniques to measure the things we cannot ask people. In the current FAINT project for example, we use Infrared Thermal Imaging and video analysis, as well as heart-rate measurements. With this data, we are developing artificial intelligence algorithms that are able to ‘see’ anticipatory fear or fainting processes in your face that occur when you are waiting for a blood test, long before you are consciously aware of them.

This research line is all about identifying problems in health(care) that in some way can only be solved by going beyond the conscious mind. We aim to develop innovative e-health solutions by harnessing knowledge from automatic, unconscious human emotion, attitudes, behaviours and cognitions on the one hand, and from artificial intelligence and data science methodologies on the other.

AINAR is a start-up that is developing a serious game that implements the algorithms from the FAINT project. AINAR the game can help you conquer your needle fear and fainting, by teaching you how you can control these processes that you can’t even feel, through AI driven biofeedback. A constant element throughout the research is the close collaboration and co-creation with all stakeholders, from patients to phlebotomists to doctors and management.


  • FAINT (FAcial INfrared Thermal imaging in the prevention of needle induced fainting) (funded by an ZonMW Veni)
  • AINAR (Artificial Intelligence for Needle Anxiety Reduction) (funded by an NWO Take-off Phase 1 and Phase 2, a University Grant)
  • Blood, sweat and fears: implementing an AI driven e-health solution to help patients conquer needle fear at the ETZ (WeCare grant)
  • MasterMinds: Serious games for decision-making


  • Sanquin (the non-profit organisation responsible for blood and plasma supply chain in the Netherlands)
  • Hulan B.V. (a serious game developer)
  • Elisabeth TweeSteden Ziekenhuis (ETZ hospital)
  • Saltro B.V.
  • Port of Rotterdam
  • The Barn Games