Megan O'Brien, PhD

Megan O'Brien, PhD

Associate Director, Technology & Innovation Hub

About Me

Dr. Megan O'Brien's research examines on the use of wearable technology to monitor or improve movement capabilities. She is currently investigating smartphones and machine learning techniques to assess the everyday movement behaviors and social interactions of stroke patients at home and in the community. The goal of her research is to better understand how patients recover independent mobility outside of the hospital environment.

Dr. O'Brien's previous work in motor control and neuroeconomics examined the influence of risk and emotional state on movement-based decisions.


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 E. Erie

Chicago, IL 60611

Education & Training



    2010 - 2014
    PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
    2010 - 2012
    MS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
    2005 - 2009
    BS, Mechanical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN


    Northwestern University, Chicago, IL NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow using wearable sensors to monitor persons with stroke


  • Sarah Baskin Award for Excellence in Research

Research Interests

  • Machine learning and data science
  • Disease detection, intervention, and prevention
  • Community monitoring and real-world patient behaviors
  • Rehabilitation technologies for mobility, health, and function

Max Näder Center for Rehabilitation Technologies and Outcomes Research

We develop and execute industry-sponsored research in prosthetics, orthotics, rehabilitation robotics, and adaptive technologies.

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