Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Today I received an e-mail from Charles De Vilmorin, from Linked Seniors, about their entertainment products and services for people who live in senior communities, including skilled nursing facilities.
Invention Helps Seniors Get Plugged In: Device Caters to Interests, Needs and Tastes
Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, 3/19/09
Here is a quote from the article:
"Two young inventors have created a device, with the help of hands-on testing at a Fairfax County retirement community, that they say might change the way older Americans get news and entertainment.Using modified MP3 players, computers and large touch-screen monitors in high-contrast colors for people with impaired vision, Charles De Vilmorin and Herve Roussel have created a digital kiosk that serves as a sort of iPod for older people."
who moved my dentures? musings on aging
Internet Surfing Better than Reading for Brain Stimulation
"“The study results are encouraging, that emerging computerized technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle-aged and older adults,” says principal investigator Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and director of the campus’ Memory and Aging Research Center."
Everyware Health Care: Mobile Patient Communicator- an interactive touch screen for patient education
Via the Cloud Computing Journal:
New Mobile Patient Communicator Gives Patients and Interactive Education Tool and Boosts Nurse Productivity
"“Nurses spend a lot of time simply escorting patients from the waiting room to the exam room. We have found that the MPC can effectively room patients, while creating more value-added time for nurses to assume additional clinical tasks,” said Kelvin Buncum, president of International Medical Solutions. "
"“A compelling attribute of the MPC is that it increases nurse and support staff productivity, since it frees up caregivers to devote more of their valuable time to patient evaluations,” noted Buncum, who with his partner Jaime Mitchell, developed the MPC in conjunction with a family practice physician who saw the need to improve his medical support staff‟s productivity to meet growing demand and patients‟ knowledge of their chronic disease."
"During their wait time patients can view educational videos in private to learn about critical matters involving their acute illness, chronic condition and procedures. The user-friendly MPC delivers subject matter specific to the patient‟s stage of care, treatment regimen, rehabilitation, care plan and disease management."
"Serving as a personal health tutor and trainer, the MPC can perform pre- and post-instruction tests, scoring patients on their disease knowledge and retention. Healthcare providers can also grant users access to their clinical Web portal and patient applications via the MPC, providing significant utility over stationary kiosks."
The International Medical Solutions company offers a selection of touch-screen mobile patient communicator devices that would have come in handy during my father's longer-than-expected stay in an intensive care unit:
7 Inch MPC
12 Inch MPC
11-inch Rugged MPC
I'm devoting some of the posts I write for this blog on the topic of "Everyware Health Care", an over-arching concept that emphasizes how existing and emerging technologies can help to improve delivery of health care and also enhance health-care user experience.
About 182,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic use MyChart, an in-house electronic medical record. More recently, the hospital is testing out Google Health Records with 1,500 patents and Microsoft's Health Vault with 500 patients. According to an article in the Plain Dealer, the hospital supports the use of electronic medical records because it can reduce costly mistakes and redundancies.
|Checking blood pressure|
The video above shows how blood pressure can be charted and tracked daily, providing the physician with information that can better monitor and adjust medications. With Microsoft's Health Vault system, patients can upload medical information via a glucometer, pedometer, weight scale, or blood pressure monitor, depending on the nature of their health concerns. The system provides a means for uploading information to the system wirelessly, which is important for people who travel a lot for their jobs.
My Family Health Portrait is an on-line tool provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that allows people to enter their family health history, create drawings of family health history to share with health care providers or other family members, and to integrate the health history of other family members into your own. The source code for developers is available for free.
Some of the basic work related to integrated electronic medical information systems is hospital-focused Microsoft's Amalga software, which has been rolled out in several hospitals around the world. The following video shows how the system works at Bumrungrad International Hospital, and how it improves the hospital user experience, not only for the patient, but for the medical staff as well:
Cleveland Clinic makes electronic medical records personal, more accessible
Sarah Jane Tribble, Plain Dealer 3/31/09
News about wireless technology in healthcare from Healthcare Informatics
POST: ElderGadget: Tech Devices for Health
POST: "Everyware Health Care": A Personal Focus
POST: Everyware Healthcare: Microsoft Health's Common User Interface website, usable health care applications, pervasive health games....
POST: SoftKinetic 3D Gesture Recognition for Games and Rehabilitative Play
Microsoft plans big move into European healthcare market
Tola Sargeant, Ovum
"Amalga does not complete with electronic health or patient records, it compliments them. As well as providing a single view of the patient, it enables analysis of all data from across the organization, which in turn can be used to drive change and performance improvement."
Microsoft releases hospital IT system as Amalga
Dana Blankenhorn, ZDNet Healthcare 2/13/08
Will Behavioral Health Be Left Behind?
David Raths, Healthcare Informatics 3/30/09
"While the stimulus bill was being written, Scalia said, his company worked with the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare to try to have the Medicaid incentive language changed. They were not successful, he added, because there was a concern that it would increase the cost of the incentive section above the $20 billion mark."
Monday, March 30, 2009
"Nnub Moggill is a touch-screen digital noticeboard located at the Moggill General Store. All content on the digital noticeboard is generated by users of Nnub Moggill and by aggregating content relevant to the local community from other sources. Content can be uploaded to the digital noticeboard at http://www.nnub.net."
"Nnub aims to help build better, searchable, indexable, information for local communities. Our philosophy is that anyone can post. At Nnub we moderate web submissions only for porn and profanity."
The Moggill nnub follows the principles of the Seattle Community Network"Nnub is a research project conducted by researchers at the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland as part of the Australasian CoOperative Research Centre for Interaction Design (ACID).
RELATEDNnub: Getting to the Nub of Neighbourhood Interaction (pdf)
Urban Interfaces (pdf)
The above video demonstrates how RFID technology from Anerian can enhance the user's experience in museum settings. The prototype allows people to drive down micromedia-audio, video, or text to mobile devices to gain more information. The system also provides real-time analytics about the way visitors interact in museums.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Today I came across the ElderGadget Blog when I was searching for technology that might be helpful to my father, who recently spent the last few weeks in an intensive care unit.
Here are a few things I found on the blog, including what I found when I followed a link to the bindependent website:
Smart Table: A Broadband Communication System for the Elderly
ID Studiolab, Delft University of Technology, NL
"The smart system is aimed to prevent possible social isolation between elderly people and their social contacts. It consists of the Smart Table and the Smart Messenger, which provide easy and intuitive way for elderly people to benefit from the advantage of communication technology and improve the satisfaction of their social activities."
"During the design research, a working prototype is made and evaluated by a user test. The Smart Table offers people a way to use broadband communication without the need for a computer. The television will be used for video communication (web-cam) and the table as user-interface. On the table contact persons can be selected and images and video can be shared. The elderly person can capture images that will be shared instantly. The contact person can select images from his or her computer, which will be projected on the table of the elderly person". (TU Delft - Faculty Industrial Design Engineering - Master Design for Interaction - Project Interactive Technology Design - Vincent Steurs & Juin-Yi Huang)
Demy Kitchen Safe Touchscreen Reader
Clarity-C900: Amplified Big Button Cell Phone
911 Guardian: "Tiny wearable speakerphone"
Extra Large TV Remote Control
SmartShopper: Electronic grocery-list maker
Bierley's ColorMouse Video Magnifier
Voice Pod: Digital recording and playback system
YouTube Vlogger: Geriatric1927
Geriatric Gripes and Grumbles
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The interaction that had me at "hello world": SixthSense TED presentation by Pattie Maes, of MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group
Photo Via Google Images
Although research about multi-touch and gesture interaction has been going on for many years, it took the release of the 2002 movie Minority Report to fuel the recent mini-explosion of interest. Members of MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group have been working on projects that are making the science fiction of the film a reality, and at a reasonable price.
(Similar post on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog)
In the following video, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry,of MIT's Fluid Interfaces Group, demonstrate SixthSense, wearable technology that incorporates a video camera, a projector, a digital camera. I especially like this application because it supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction. Although it is in the prototype/demo stage, it looks like it is a mobile technology that has potential.
From the SixthSense website:
"The SixthSense prototype is comprised of a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable device. Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks user's hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques. The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at the tip of the user’s fingers using simple computer-vision techniques. The movements and arrangements of these fiducials are interpreted into gestures that act as interaction instructions for the projected application interfaces. The maximum number of tracked fingers is only constrained by the number of unique fiducials, thus SixthSense also supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction."
Photos from the SixthSense website.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The following picture, from Open Gardens, shows how our mobile devices can be used to interact with the "Internet of Things", also known as the "Web of Things":
The Open Gardens blog is authored by Ajit Jaokar.
The slides below are from one of Jaokar's presentations about the impact of open source technologies and mobile communication:
Related to this topic is the concept of mobile social software, also known as MoSoSo. For more information read this paper about Mobile Social Software, a thesis written by Clint Heyer.
Friday, March 20, 2009
In my opinion, HCI/Usability/UX intervention is sorely needed in the converging fields of embedded systems and wireless sensor networks. I fear what the future will hold if usability and user experience factors do not receive attention.
I think there is hope, despite my quote in a previous post about some usability issues related to the SmartGrid City project.
For a good overview of the future of sensor networks and ambient technologies, read the transcript of Tim O'Reilly's "Web Meets World" keynote presentation from the 2008 Web 2.0 Expo, or watch the video below:
O'Reilly asks, "What are our best and brightest working on?" and "Are we working on the right thing?" (He even touches on Richard Bookstaber's "A Demon of our own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation", a book published in 2007 that discusses how the best and brightest developed innovations that made investments more risky. We now know the outcome of those innovations!)
A number of different system concepts have become apparent in the broader context of embedded systems over the past few years. Whilst there are some differences between these, this book argues that in fact there is much they share in common, particularly the important notions of control, heterogenity, wireless communication, dynamics/ad hoc nature and cost.
The first part of the book covers cooperating object applications and the currently available application scenarios, such as control and automation, healthcare, and security and surveillance. The second part discusses paradigms for algorithms and interactions. The third part covers various types of vertical system functions, including data aggregation, resource management and time synchronization. The fourth part outlines system architecture and programming models, outlining all currently available architectural models and middleware approaches that can be used to abstract the complexity of cooperating object technology.
I wonder how much of this book is devoted to usability and user-experience topics!
Graphics for Embedded Systems
Niall Murphy's PanelSoft : User Interfaces and Usability for Embedded Systems Articles
Dr. Kristof Van Laerhoven (Multimodal Interactive Systems)
TinyOS (free, open source operating system for wireless sensor networks)
Siftables: Physical, Natural Way to Interact with Information and Media
My post: Tangible & Fluid User Interfaces Part I: Siftables
Link to previous post:
The UX of SmartGridCity: Control Your SmartHouse Remotely, Online
My interest in interactive wireless sensor networks has been growing over the past several months. This technology supports how we will interact with our "things" in the world. It sounds futuristic, but the technology is here and is in the implementation stage in Boulder, Colorado, known as SmartGrid City.
There are some issues facing the usability of this system for homeowners who participate in the SmartGrid City project. Here is an example from an article in the Wall Street Journal:
"...The Petersons' experience with the smart grid has not been entirely smooth. Mrs. Peterson says it can be cumbersome -- and "boring" -- to use the smart-grid Web site to manage her home's energy use. She has to set more than a dozen data points just to get her bedroom temperature where she wants it through the week.
Her husband finds some of the online charts that track his home's energy use too abstract. "If I told you that today you saved four pounds...of carbon emissions, what does that mean to you?" he asks. He prefers when the software serves up analogies he can visualize: He's saved enough energy to microwave 9,550 frozen pizzas or to light a major-league ballgame for three innings."The system, of course, was designed by engineers, right?
If you click on the graphic below, you will link to an interactive graphic from the Wall Street Journal that gives a good visual overview of a house that is linked to the SmartGrid City:
"SmartGridCity is the nation's first fully integrated smart grid community and will boast the largest and densest concentration of these emerging technologies to date."
More information from the Xcel website:
SmartHouse Graphic and Description (pdf)
"Xcel Energy's SmartGrid Consortium is imagining a future that would allow you to communicate your energy choices to the power grid and automatically receive electricity based on your personal needs".
- Advanced sensors distributed throughout the grid and a high-speed communication network tie the entire system together
- Smart Thermostat
- Smart Appliances
- Smart Meter
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Car
- A dynamic system rich in information technology
- High-speed, real-time, two-way communications
- Sensors throughout the grid enabling rapid diagnosis and connections
- Decision making data and support for peak efficiency
- Distributed generation technologies (such as wind turbines, solar panels, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles)
- Automated "smart substations"
- In-home energy control devices
- Automated home energy use
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Eyeborg Project takes Microsoft's SenseCam concept to the next level.
From the Eyeborg Project Website:
"Take a one eyed film maker, an unemployed engineer, and a vision for something that's never been done before and you have yourself the EyeBorg Project. Rob Spence and Kosta Grammatis are trying to make history by embedding a video camera and a transmitter in a prosthetic eye. That eye is going in Robs eye socket, and will record the world from a perspective that's never been seen before."
Jimmy Fallon Spoofs the Eyeborg Project from eyeborg on Vimeo. Jimmy insists that he received an Eyeborg when he had Lasix surgery to improve his eyesight.
CONCEPT DRAWING OF THE EYEBORG BY JOENIS NORAC
Finn Creates USB Finger Drive
Jerry Jalava, a computer programmer who lost his finger in an accident, created a prosthetic finger that contains a USB drive:
From the Microsoft Research SenseCam Website:
"SenseCam is a wearable digital camera that is designed to take photographs passively, without user intervention, while it is being worn. Unlike a regular digital camera or a cameraphone, SenseCam does not have a viewfinder or a display that can be used to frame photos. Instead, it is fitted with a wide-angle (fish-eye) lens that maximizes its field-of-view. This ensures that nearly everything in the wearer’s view is captured by the camera, which is important because a regular wearable camera would likely produce many uninteresting images."
New study proves that Microsoft's sensory innovation aids memory recall
Technology Review Article
Images from Microsoft Research:
Research and Publications
Sunday, March 8, 2009
For the next few weeks, I'll be focusing some on my experiences with technology and health care.
This time, my posts will be on a more personal level. As I write this post, I am sitting in the family waiting area of the cardiac ICU at the Cleveland Clinic. My dad's surgery was Tuesday, and it is now Sunday, so I have had plenty of time on my hands to observe how technology is used to deliver his care, monitor his progress, and support his recovery.
Since I view things from a broader human-computer interaction perspective, I've decided to share some of my thoughts the"Hospital UX" picture, putting myself in the shoes of patients, family members, and medical professionals.
This is the new lounge where families wait while their loved ones undergo cardiac surgery. The old family waiting area at the Cleveland Clinic had a cozy, home-like feel, with comfortable chairs and cheery art. The new waiting area has a very sterile, minimalist feel. The chairs are NOT comfortable, especially if you are middle-age or older and have the usual aches and pains!
Corridor to Nowhere?
Some of the corridors at the hospital have a surreal, institutional feel.
Hospital Corridor Eye Candy
You are.... where?!
It is still quite difficult to figure out where you are and how to get to where you are going.
Microsoft Health Common User Interface: Patient Journey Demonstrator
via Martin Grason: Adventures of a 'Devigner'
Future Hospitals form Designit 12/30/08
"How can hospitals offer a better service – for patients and visitors? And improve working conditions for staff? Designit has been asked to find the answer by applying explorative, user-driven innovation at the heart of public sector delivery: Odense University Hospital, Denmark's largest hospital."
"The project, which starts in January, aims to deliver groundbreaking service innovation that could serve as a blueprint for future public healthcare improvements – in Denmark and abroad."
Obama's Plan to Digitize Medical Records Draws Criticism from Doctors
Dan Nosowitz, Gizmodo, 3/7/09
Computer Will See You Now
Anne Armstrong-Coben, New York Times, 3/5/09
"Now that I’ve been using a computer to keep patient records — a practice that I once looked forward to — my participation with patients too often consists of keeping them away from the keyboard while I’m working, for fear they’ll push a button that implodes all that I have just documented...Room is provided for text, but in the computer’s font, important points often get lost. I have half-joked with residents that they could type “child has no head” in the middle of a computer record — and it might be missed....The personal relationships we build in primary care must remain a priority, because they are integral to improved health outcomes. Let us not forget this as we put keyboards and screens within the intimate walls of our medical homes.."
Note: Anne Armstrong-Corben is a clinical professor of pediatrics at Columbia.
Obama's Big Idea: Digital health records
David Goldman, CNN Money 1/12/09
Friday, March 6, 2009
Internet of Things: Roadmap for the Future
Video from the Internet of Things Workshop at Lift'09
LIFT09 - Internet of Things Workshop - webofthings.com from vlad trifa on Vimeo.
Sample of Interesting Links from Web of Things:
Designing with RFIDNatural Interaction: The Real World, Naturally Interactive
Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
Yanko Design: Form Beyond Function
sixthsense: a wearable gestural interface (MIT Fluid Interface Group)
Palantiri Systems: Next Generation Device Connectivity - Collaborative Devices
Manifesto of Open Disruption and Participation (Eric Paulos, 2/20/09)
blip: Berkeley IP Implementation: IPv6 for TinyOS
Tom Igoe: notes on physical interaction, sustainability, networks, simians, cats, and more
also try: Tom Igo.net
For animal lovers: Sniftag
"The SNIF Tag gives you, a dog owner, peace of mind and a unique insight into your pet's activity around the clock. By monitoring your dog's actions at home, in the park, and when you're apart, the SNIF Tag lets you track behavioral patterns, determine fitness levels, and better understand the life of your dog."
What is the Web of Things?
I just came across the blog of the same name. The concept is similar to the "Internet of Things", but in my opinion, Vlad and Dominique, the guys behind the blog, have wrapped the concept into a more "user-friendly" package. They have found a way to articulate this concept far better than my feeble attempts, and for this, I am very thankful.
Web of Things: Architecting the Web of Things, for techies and thinkers!
Here is what I lifted from the "About" Section of this blog, plus a few other quotes:
"What is WebofThings.com?
It is a web page founded by Vlad Trifa and Dominique Guinard, two researchers/geeks working at ETH Zurich and SAP Research Zurich. It is more a scrap book that is here to dump our thoughts ideas on our research and work topic, which is the Web of Things. Unlike most Web 2.0 sites that are about advanced powerpoint engineering, we talk about real things that’s under the hood.
There are three main topics in here. First technologies, this section is only for geeks, simply put. It’s about coding, developing toys, plugging kettles on the web (and we actually did that!). The second part is about new ideas, new technologies that are in the lab. It’s about research papers, and software philosophy, and about researchers worldwide. The third part is about end-users and products. You, me, but especially my grand-ma. It’s about products that exist, or at least should exist (or should not!). It’s about marketing and new ideas out there.
Thanks, but it doesn’t help. What is the Web of Things then?
It is an alternative vision to what the Web of tomorrow will look like. It’s about taking the Web as we know it and extending it so that anyone can plug devices to it. It’s basically about giving eyes, ears, and all kinds of sensory appendixes located worldwide to it. It’s about seamlessly connecting the physical world with the virtual.
Why do you want to change the Internet? What’s wrong with it?
Not much really. It’s just a little boring. It only contains data published by other humans, but it’s not enough linked with our physical reality, not real time / real world enough for our taste!
Why should I read this blog?
Well depends how much you care about technology. It’s both for geeks/hackers who need a playground to develop and try ideas. But it’s also for the security expert who wants to take part to make the Web a safer place to hang out. It’s also for people who want to find new ideas.
Cool! SAP has a blog!
Actually, not really. All what we write here is only our own opinions and thoughts, and doesn’t reflect the views of any of our employers. "
"One things that I don’t understand, is that most people in our field do not really like our approach, or maybe they simply don’t get it. Indeed, we’re kind of stuck between several worlds: wireless sensor networks (WSN) people that find our approach too esoteric, and HCI people that find it not enough sexy. It is a bit annoying, as people don’t take us very seriously, especially not WSN researcher. I overheard comments like “What? You want to use the Web to connect devices? hahaha! I can’t stop laughing, haha it hurts me! Come on, be serious dude! Using the Web for that!! Man, you’re great, I gotta call my colleagues to tell them your idea, they’re gonna *love* it“. Jeez! -Vlad Trifa"
"Let’s do something concrete with WSN, that works, and that’s usable, and that people will really need."
Note: When you visit the Web of Things blog, make sure you visit their links!
Why do I think this is important?
First of all, I'm someone who would love to take a class about embedded systems and wireless sensor networks. I got a taste of some of this in a ubiquitous computing class I took a couple of years ago, and I'm still fascinated with these concepts. Imagine a web-browser that could support all sorts of data streaming in from all sorts of things and places, an intelligent web browser that could make perfect sense of he wealth of information that is potentially "out in the wild".
I think that the Web of Things is a concept that will have numerous applications in the very near future. The arena that is foremost in my mind is health care.
Why? I've spent hours hanging around hospitals and health care facilities since my father's health took a down-turn a couple of years ago. If you've been in my shoes, you know what I mean.
I'm writing this from the family waiting room of the cardiac ICU at the Cleveland Clinic, where I've spent the better part of the week with my father, who had surgery and a few complications. I've had plenty of time to spend listening and observing.
Earlier today, as I was visiting my father in the ICU, I had a chance to chat with a nurse who was an IT guy in his previous life. I rarely have a chance to engage in "geek speak" in my day job as a school psychologist, so I welcomed the chance to talk about the concept technology and health care.
I asked the guy if he'd heard of the "Internet of Things", and we discussed how a cross platform web browser, linked to all of the various devices and patient monitors in the ICU could potentially solve many of the problems faced by nurses and related health professionals in their day-to-day tasks. The nurse pointed out that wireless technologies would eliminate the need for a number of the wires connected to my dad's body. That was a good point!
We had a good discussion about how software needs to be user-focused and user-friendly. In health care, as in many domains, it is not. Usable, intuitive software, at least in the health care setting, would decrease medical errors, increase efficiency, save time, save lives, and in the mid-to-long run, save lots of money.
Everyware Health Care: Microsoft Health's Common User Interface, website, usable health care applications, pervasive health games.....
Wireless Sensor Networks for In-Home Healthcare: Potential and Challenges (pdf)
ALARM-Net: Wireless Sensor Networks for Assisted Living and Residential Monitoring
(Crossbow Blog, 9/28/08)
"Wireless Nodes Dynamically Link to Build Intelligent Sensing Networks"
John Suh, RTC 6/2005
Wireless sensor and data transmission needs and technologies for patient monitoring in the operating room and intensive care unit Paksuniemi, M., Sorvaja, H,; Alasaarela, E.' Mylyla, R. Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2005, IEEE-EMBS 2005
Healthcare Service with Ubiquitous Sensor Networks for the Disabled and Elderly People
Yung Bok Kim & Daeyoung Kim, Computers Helping People with Special Needs 7/2006
Malignant Spaghetti: A Symposium on Wireless Technologies in Hospital Health Care
(A must-read if this topic is of interest)
The first international conference on Sensor System and Software
"The widespread acceptance of these new services can be improved by the definition of frameworks and architectures that have the potential to radically simplify software development for wireless sensor network based applications. The aim of these new architectures is to support flexible, scalable programming of applications based on adaptive middleware. As a consequence, WSNs require novel programming paradigms and technologies. Moreover the design of new complex systems, characterized by the interaction of different and heterogeneous resources, will allow the development of innovative applications that meet high performance goals. Hence, WSNs require contributions from many fields such as embedded systems, distributed systems, data management, system security and applications. The conference places emphasis on layers well above the traditional MAC and routing, and transport layer protocols."