Portrait of Kenton O'Hara

Kenton O'Hara

Principal Research Manager


Kenton works in the Healthcare ML Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. His research is focused on developing Human-Centred Machine Learning perspectives and more specifically how these can be used to develop transformative solutions in Healthcare contexts. Such Human-Centred perspectives are not simply concerned with rendering the outputs of machine learning algorithms more intelligible, transparent and interpretable to human stakeholders.  Rather, these perspectives acknowledge the ways that clinical knowledge work and decision making take place within a larger system of collaborative work practices. Understanding these work practices and the factors that configure them are fundamental to the ways that we develop ML infused experiences. By forming a dialogue between machine learning and insights from social studies of healthcare his research aims to develop machine learning outcomes that are actionable and meaningful in the context of real world clinical practices. The research is using these perspectives in a diverse range of clinical scenarios including radiology workflows, critical care admission and discharge, bed management, prediction and management of adverse clinical events in peri-operative care, and  remote monitoring in cystic fibrosis care pathways.

Prior to joining the Healthcare ML team Kenton was part of the Human Experience and Design Group at Microsoft Research.  His work there explored everyday social and collaborative practices in both workplace and consumer scenarios to derive insights that inform the design and development of new technologies.  Over the years, his research has investigated new technologies in a variety of domains including healthcare settings, the home, mobile environments, urban settings and the workplace. As well as understanding human practices through qualitative research methods, a critical component of the research approach is to transform the behavioural insights into innovative prototypes that can be deployed and evaluated in real world contexts. In adopting this approach, numerous aspects of Kenton’s research work have been successfully realised in key Microsoft communication and collaboration products.

Before to joining Microsoft Research, Kenton also held positions as Senior Principal Scientist and Director of the HxI Initiative at CSIRO in Australia, and as Senior Researcher at Xerox EuroPARC, HP Labs and the Appliance Studio.