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New Platform: Healthy interactive systems: Resilient, Usable and appropriate systems in Healthcare
Renewed Platform Grant (EP/G004560)
recently been awarded renewal of our Platform Grant (2009-2014), joint with the FIT Lab,
Swansea. The focus of this grant is on "Healthy Interactive Systems in
Healthcare", and it is concerned with designing effective user
interactions with a variety of systems in healthcare, from the mundane
(e.g. infusion pumps) through information systems to novel technologies
(e.g. for pain management).
When faced by
complex problems, people turn to tools that improve their performance.
Through studying the use of tools in highly demanding circumstances we
gain valuable insights into how to design effective systems. The design
of interactive computer systems is a complex and multi-faceted
challenge that is amplified when such systems are used in the varied,
sensitive and often pressurised environment of healthcare.
is a domain of immense significance to society, and of great strategic
importance. The use of interactive technologies in clinical practice,
preventative education and the treatment of chronic conditions has
become pervasive. However, there is compelling evidence that current
healthcare systems are under-performing: often unreliable, difficult to
use, and failing to address the needs of clinicians and patients
adequately. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to people's
interactions with those technologies and designing effective
Interactive systems in health raise many
problems of interest to interaction researchers. Clinical appliances
such as syringe pumps have apparently simple interfaces that
nonetheless have contributed to medical errors, while the proliferation
of online material leads to many patients attempting to self-diagnose
or understand a chronic condition. The design of effective interactions
with healthcare systems requires a multidisciplinary approach;
conversely, we can test and extend HCI approaches by working in this
demanding setting. For example, the design of medical appliances raises
challenges of developing formal modelling techniques that can be used
to analyse complex, often messy, systems. Similarly studies of
patient's internet searches, and the rich interactions they have with
and around information, challenge our understanding of interactive
This Platform grant brings together two
research groups with complementary skills and approaches, and a track
record of effective collaboration. It will provide base-line support
for developing a research agenda in "healthy interactive systems", by
which we mean systems that are dependable, usable and appropriate to
their contexts of use, and that empower their users, augmenting
people's understanding and capabilities.
This proposal builds on
outcomes from the current Platform grant on "The design and use of
complex information spaces". The focus on complexity has resulted in
some important developments over the period of the grant, which have
shaped this renewal. These include a shift in focus from compensating
for users' limitations (e.g. designing out error, or helping users
reformulate queries in information seeking) to augmenting their
capabilities (e.g. enabling resilient behaviours, supporting
sense-making) and improving their experiences in a health context. This
Platform renewal will support the development of new research
directions that cover user and system perspectives on individual and
collaborative interactions with technologies in healthcare.
Whereas the original grant was held in UCLIC, this renewal is joint between UCLIC and the FIT Lab in Swansea (following Thimbleby's move to found this new group). This collaboration brings together UCLIC's strengths in user-focused HCI with FIT's in technology-focused HCI, addressing research problems that demand a multi-disciplinary approach. The geographical split will need careful management, but offers benefits including complementary research approaches and different healthcare contexts and cultures to study. The Platform grant will provide career development opportunities and group stability, and support the strengthening of strategic collaborations with international groups and also with practitioners and policy makers.
We have also recently been awarded an EPSRC Programme Grant, CHI+MED, on the design of safer interactive medical devices, taking into account interaction design, human error and situated use.
Nadia Berthouze and others have been awarded an EPSRC grant on pain rehabilitation.
Work is also developing on how people make sense of health information, and on other novel technologies to support health management.
This all builds on the work on our original platform grant.
Page last modified on 29 nov 10 15:04 by Louise M F Gaynor