A worldwide demographic shift is in progress and the aged population proportion is projected to more than double across the next four decades. Our current healthcare models may not be adequate to handle this shift in demography, which may have serious consequences for the ageing population who are more prone to chronic diseases. One proposed remediation is to provide in-home assisted healthcare with technology-intervened approaches. Telemedicine, telehealth, e-health are paradigms found in scientific literature that provide clinical treatment through a technology intervention. In evidence-based medical science, these technology interventions are evaluated through clinical trials, which are targeted to measure improvements in medical conditions and the treatment's cost effectiveness. However, effectiveness of a technology also depends on the interaction pattern between the technology and its' users, especially the patients. This paper presents (1) a meta-synthesis of clinical trials for technology-intervened treatments of type 2 diabetes and (2) the Clinical User-Experience Evaluation (CUE). CUE is a recommendation for future telemedicine clinical trials that focuses on the patient as the user from Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) perspective and was developed as part of this research. The clinical trials reviewed were interpreted from a technology perspective and the non-medical or non-biological improvements of the users (patients) rather than the medical outcome. Results show that technology-intervened treatments provide positive behavior changes among patients and are potentially highly beneficial for chronic illness management such as type 2 diabetes. The results from the CUE method show how it complements clinical trials to capture patients' interaction with a technology.
There is an increasing need for environmental measurement systems to further science and thereby lead to improved policies for sustainable management. Marine environments are particularly hostile and extremely difficult for deploying sensitive measurement systems. As a consequence the need for data is greatest in marine environments, particularly in the developing economies/regions. Expense is typically the most significant limiting factor in the number of measurement systems that can be deployed, although technical complexity and the consequent high level of technical skill required for deployment and servicing runs a close second. This paper describes the Smart Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Technologies (SEMAT) project and the present development of the SEMAT technology. SEMAT is a “smart” wireless sensor network that uses a commodity-based approach for selecting technologies most appropriate to the scientifically driven marine research and monitoring domain/field. This approach allows for significantly cheaper environmental observation systems that cover a larger geographical area and can therefore collect more representative data. We describe SEMAT's goals, which include: (1) The ability to adapt and evolve; (2) Underwater wireless communications; (3) Short-range wireless power transmission; (4) Plug and play components; (5) Minimal deployment expertise; (6) Near real-time analysis tools; and (7) Intelligent sensors. This paper illustrates how the capacity of the system has been improved over three iterations towards realising these goals. The result is an inexpensive and flexible system that is ideal for short-term deployments in shallow coastal and other aquatic environments.
Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) is a technique used to teach in large lectures and tutorials. It invokes interaction, team building, learning and interest through highly structured group work. Currently, POGIL has only been implemented in traditional classroom settings where all participants are physically present. However, advances in online learning technologies have prompted increases in the popularity of flexible delivery and distance education courses. Therefore, teaching methodologies need to reflect the changing student demographic. This paper describes a preliminary approach for adapting POGIL techniques for use in tertiary courses delivered online. We discuss the current technologies that can be used for teaching online and contrast their suitability for POGIL. A teaching format is presented using Web 2.0 technologies (a wiki, blogs, and social networking) as a starting point for POGIL. We describe how an online third year Information Technology subject adopted these technologies for a condensed implementation of POGIL.
The use of telehealth to monitor patients from home is on the rise. Telehealth technology is evaluated in a clinical trial with measures of health outcomes and cost-effectiveness. However, what happens between a technology and the patients is not investigated during a clinical trial—the telehealth technology remains as a “black box.” Meanwhile, three decades of research in the discipline of human-computer interaction (HCI) presents design, implementation, and evaluation of technologies with a primary emphasis on users. HCI research has exposed the importance of user experience (UX) as an essential part of technology development and evaluation.
This research investigates the UX of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) with a telehealth in-home monitoring device to manage T2D from home. We investigate how the UX during a clinical trial can be researched and what a clinical trial can learn from HCI research.
We adopted an ethnographic philosophy and conducted a contextual inquiry due to time limitations followed by semistructured interviews of 9 T2D patients. We defined the method as Clinical User-experience Evaluation (CUE). The patients were enrolled in a telehealth clinical trial of T2D; however, this research was an independent study conducted by information technologists and health researchers for a user-centered evaluation of telehealth.
Key analytical findings were that patients valued the benefits of in-home monitoring, but the current device did not possess all functionalities that patients wanted. The results include patients’ experiences and emotions while using the device, patients’ perceived benefits of the device, and how patients domesticated the device. Further analysis showed the influence of the device on patients’ awareness, family involvement, and design implications for telehealth for T2D.
HCI could complement telehealth clinical trials and uncover knowledge about T2D patients’ UX and future design implications. Through HCI we can look into the “black box” phenomenon of clinical trials and create patient-centered telehealth solutions.
The SEMAT project is a multi-institution/multidiscipline program developing advanced wireless sensor networks to collect, store, process and interpret data in coastal systems. The marine environment, specifically coral reefs within the Great Barrier Reef, is one of the initial deployments for a prototype SEMAT network. Wireless sensor networks are being deployed to extract environmental data for research into environmental issues such as climate change, water quality and ecosystem health. Remote monitoring networks in remote marine locations are logistically challenging. However, the interpretation of the complex multidimensional data generated is a problem of at least equal complexity. Application of the semantic tools and methods developed in the Semantic Reef project are being mapped onto the SEMAT use-cases with the goal to develop a data model capable of complex inference, as well as conventional data storage and analysis.
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