Pervasive Systems in Healthcare

As many as 400,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors, many resulting from miscommunication between clinicians. This makes preventable medical errors the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Communication issues are especially problematic in critical care settings where the possibility of mistakes is more likely. To address this issue, we are exploring how interactive shared displays as cognitive aids can improve provider training and patient outcomes for critical care procedures. Our research aims to address this problem through the use of human-computer interaction techniques that focus on improving communication between clinicians during these procedures.

Using projected interfaces and shared displays, our goal is to improve how clinicians communicate with each other in critical care settings using a projected display that focuses on specific tasks at a time of a larger procedure. By translating task-level procedures to systematic checklists on these displays, we aim to improve coordination of processes that are too complex to be carried out by memory alone. Furthermore, by giving healthcare providers various modes of interaction, we aim to give providers a way to use the tool in settings where a mouse and keyboard are not traditionally present (such as intensive care units).

Previous Work

We have also focused efforts on patient-provider communication during initial diagnosis meetings for cancer patients. We explored some of the conflicts that occur in designing such systems among both patient and provider needs, and provided considerations for the design of a shared display to support patient-provider communication during these discussions.


Selected Publications:

Gonzales, M.J. and Riek, L.D. (2013). "Co-designing Patient-centered Health Communication Tools for Cancer Care". In Proceedings of the 7th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth). [Acceptance Rate: 30%]. [pdf]

Gonzales, M.J., O'Connor, M.F., and Riek, L.D. (2013) "Contextual Constraints for the Design of Patient-Centered Health IT Tools". Studies in Technology Health Informatics, 194, 75-81. PMID 23941934. [PubMed]

Gonzales, M.J. and Riek, L.D. "A Shared Interface to Improve Oncologist-Patient Communication." (2012). 6th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. [pdf]