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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

We use the phrase health-related information to describe information that goes beyond electronic health records or measurements such as blood pressure or cholesterol. It describes information about meetings with healthcare providers, diet and exercise recommendations, insurance and other information that cannot be easily captured in existing platforms. Retaining and using this information remains an important concern for the elderly, who must often juggle such information based on ongoing interactions with several healthcare providers for multiple ailments (Bouma 2007). This is an important concern that will only get worse with an aging population (OECD 2012; Mariño et al. 2016). It is, therefore, imperative to experiment with assistive technologies (Vichitvanichphong et al. 2017) towards this purpose. \ \ Following a design science approach (Hevner et al. 2011), we are developing a voice-enabled tool that can be used by the elderly for capturing, storing and accessing such health-related information. The voice interface is considered natural and less demanding compared to a traditional web-based or application interface because of problems the elderly may face such as vision impairments, difficulties with controlling the mouse and others. The voice-enabled tool consists of a set of skills built on top of the Amazon Alexa™ platform. The work so far has been difficult because of the unstable and emerging technology platform, problems related to seemingly simple functionality such as data storage, as well as larger concerns related to the design of spoken conversations (CHI 2018) and maintaining context across utterances and interactions. In spite of these obstacles, the research team has successfully implemented and is testing some of voice skills (see Figure 1 for an architecture). \ \ Figure 1. Architecture of Voice Skills with Alexa \ \ This effort is part of a larger research project that investigates how the priorities of the elderly can influence the design of assistive technologies. As a part of that project, the research team has conducted primary data collection from the elderly to surface these requirements and priorities, and explored alternatives for the design of assistive technologies for managing health-related information. The experience so far suggests that the larger problem of allowing value priorities (Schwartz 2005) to dictate the design of assistive technologies remains difficult. As we move forward with the work, we are returning to the elderly community to shape the emerging design, resembling the cycles in an action design research approach (Sein et al. 2014). \ \ Acknowledgement: The work reported has been funded by the National Science Foundation under award number 1641148. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF). We also acknowledge participation from members at the Waltham Council on Aging.

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

So Talk to Me: Designing Voice-enabled Tools for Health-related Information

We use the phrase health-related information to describe information that goes beyond electronic health records or measurements such as blood pressure or cholesterol. It describes information about meetings with healthcare providers, diet and exercise recommendations, insurance and other information that cannot be easily captured in existing platforms. Retaining and using this information remains an important concern for the elderly, who must often juggle such information based on ongoing interactions with several healthcare providers for multiple ailments (Bouma 2007). This is an important concern that will only get worse with an aging population (OECD 2012; Mariño et al. 2016). It is, therefore, imperative to experiment with assistive technologies (Vichitvanichphong et al. 2017) towards this purpose. \ \ Following a design science approach (Hevner et al. 2011), we are developing a voice-enabled tool that can be used by the elderly for capturing, storing and accessing such health-related information. The voice interface is considered natural and less demanding compared to a traditional web-based or application interface because of problems the elderly may face such as vision impairments, difficulties with controlling the mouse and others. The voice-enabled tool consists of a set of skills built on top of the Amazon Alexa™ platform. The work so far has been difficult because of the unstable and emerging technology platform, problems related to seemingly simple functionality such as data storage, as well as larger concerns related to the design of spoken conversations (CHI 2018) and maintaining context across utterances and interactions. In spite of these obstacles, the research team has successfully implemented and is testing some of voice skills (see Figure 1 for an architecture). \ \ Figure 1. Architecture of Voice Skills with Alexa \ \ This effort is part of a larger research project that investigates how the priorities of the elderly can influence the design of assistive technologies. As a part of that project, the research team has conducted primary data collection from the elderly to surface these requirements and priorities, and explored alternatives for the design of assistive technologies for managing health-related information. The experience so far suggests that the larger problem of allowing value priorities (Schwartz 2005) to dictate the design of assistive technologies remains difficult. As we move forward with the work, we are returning to the elderly community to shape the emerging design, resembling the cycles in an action design research approach (Sein et al. 2014). \ \ Acknowledgement: The work reported has been funded by the National Science Foundation under award number 1641148. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF). We also acknowledge participation from members at the Waltham Council on Aging.