PITA Fiscal Year 2011 Projects

Context-Aware Communication in Hospitals

Lead University: Carnegie Mellon University
PI: Asim Smailagic, ICES
Co-PI: Dan Siewiorek, HCII, Carolyn Rose, SCS, Julie Downs, SDS
PA Industry: Vocollect
Inefficient communication in hospitals and healthcare institutions has been recognized as a major burden to their operation [1], [2], [3]. We strongly believe there is a need for a device/system that provides real-time, hands-free communication in healthcare, with other functions such as documentation and task guidance using voice. The right paradigm for communication in this environment is yet to be defined. It is a challenge with unique requirements, and no system has been able to address the complexity of the hospital environment yet. The proposed project represents an effort to make a clear contribution in this area. We will focus on communication modalities for healthcare products, taking into account the context in which hospital workers perform their tasks, human factors, information flow, intensity and urgency of communication exchange, monitoring of the users’s situation, and location awareness. Also, our approach will include delivery timing, role reliance, and artifact / device location and states [5]. We will target the following occupations: floor nurses, IV nurses, specialist doctors, respiratory therapists, and phlebotomists.