Newly added (at the end) Paolo Masci’s training video for the FDA, and Sarah Wiseman’s Sifteo cubes demo.
CHI+MED and impact on the public
Later today, along with others on the CHI+MED project, I’m giving one of a series of talks to our advisory committee about what we’ve been up to in the last year. The theme for the day is impact and covers a wide range of sub-themes to do with our research, but I’m talking about our work in public engagement and science communication.
During my presentation one of my slides will send people to this blog, and to this post – so this is a little bit like the ‘DVD extras’ for my talk 🙂
I’ll update this post with some facts and figures after I’ve given the talk.
Table of contents
- Persuasive Games
- Number entry games
- cs4fn magazine
- Schools talks
- Getting people involved in our research
- Teaching London Computing
This is a project that gets people thinking about human error (and the fact that it’s pervasive) and also the fact that blaming someone for an error may not be the best response, particularly in a medical or other safety-critical setting where doing so might miss an opportunity to learn from it. While people might be (quite reasonably) reluctant to share examples of medical errors most people are happy to share everyday examples, which are often quite funny. The thinking (cognitive processes) behind everyday error is the same as medical error, so we can use a collection of the everyday ones to learn about the different types of error. The website (http://errordiary.org) collects examples of everyday errors that people are happy to share, for example with the Twitter hashtag #errordiary.
There are some healthcare professionals who’ve shared examples of medical errors that they were involved in, these generated a great deal of discussion on social media and hopefully lots of real-world discussion too. We wrote about two examples here Two examples of wrong-site surgery shared this weekend via social media – Dr Helgi (@TraumaGasDoc on Twitter) shared his ‘Wrongfooted’ story of wrong-site surgery and Dermot O’Riordan (@dermotor) shared his story ‘Failure to learn’.
Posts on this blog tagged with Errordiary
These are games that have been designed to communicate a message and get people thinking about different issues. We hosted a games competition with student designers to develop games that would raise awareness about human error and blame culture. You can read more about that, and the winning games, in this post.
Number entry games
We’re interested in the interfaces used by medical devices and they way in which they can help people avoid making errors (or minimising the effects of them) and we’ve used a number of ways of making this more user-friendly for school children, using microwave racing and a dance-style number entry game. In both of these children get to pretend to be usability experts and critique our interfaces (getting a microwave to heat up some popcorn, or deciding which number entry pattern marked out on the floor works better).
Earlier this year we hijacked the cs4fn (Computer Science For Fun) magazine and filled a whole issue (issue 17 – machines making medicine safer) with information about the CHI+MED project, including how we research both the technical (interfaces, algorithms) and social (blame culture) aspects of using medical devices under stressful conditions in busy wards (also social aspects!).
We also highlighted how different types of scientists (including computer scientists, ergonomists, computer scientists etc) are working together to make medical devices safer. Our magazine’s been downloaded over 6,500 times since March.
Colleagues at QMUL often give talks, and magic shows, to schools and we take the opportunity to tell them about CHI+MED themes. For example magic provides a nice ‘in’ to talk about how you design an environment or system, and how you can present information. A magician wants to ‘fool’ his or her audience by getting them all to make the same error at the same time. To achieve this they need to prevent people from spotting something (which would ruin the trick). Where medical devices are concerned though we want the reverse – we know it’s very easy to make a mistake (remember human error is pervasive) and so we want systems that are designed to highlight these prominently, so that the user can take action and remedy it.
Getting people involved in our research
We’ve had a number of recent examples of this including Karen Li’s MoSeMa, Errordiary’s various workshops with people with diabetes – but sometimes it’s hard to recruit a wide cross-section of people. Different strategies work better in different areas – Aisling from UCL found that recruiting people with diabetes for projects in different cities required some lateral thinking (Reddit more successful in Los Angeles and flyers in pharmacies in London!).
Although some of our projects have now finished you can see some examples in this post on How to get involved with the research on our CHI+MED project (making medical devices safer).
Teaching London Computing
TLC is a sister project to cs4fn, the computer science outreach project mentioned above. cs4fn is aimed at school children but TLC supports teachers who’ll be delivering the new Computing curriculum that’s recently begun to be taught from September 2014. The project covers a lot of topics relating to Computer Science but there’s also some CHI+MED material in there, relating to HCI (human-computer interaction). One of our free workshops for teachers – Computational thinking: it’s about people too – focuses on the fact that computing is not just about technology, but about people too.
Medical Device Training: Design Issues in Medical User Interfaces
Paolo Masci, QMUL
Though more related to stakeholder engagement than public / patient engagement or involvement… because a few people at our CHI+MED conference are visiting this page (hello!) I thought I’d add in a link to Paolo’s FDA training video. To link it to public engagement I will draw your attention to the fact that it has subtitles – metadata like this is one good way of increasing the findability of a video as the text is searchable (open to Google).
Sifteo Cube number entry interface
Sarah Wiseman, UCL
Gerrit Niezen gave a talk on physical computing and open source hardware – in it he mentioned his visit to ThingsCon, and he wrote about this for the blog. In his talk he also mentioned the 2013 CHI+MED hackday which was lots of fun and one of the outputs was Sarah Wiseman’s development of a number entry user interface using Sifteo cubes.
Sarah came up with a program that let her manipulate numbers on the screens, controlling them as single digits but also as a combined number. In single digits the number 38 will become 39 and then 30 if you increase the final digit independently. If you treat 38 as a number rather than independent digits then increasing it will result in 39, 40, 41 and so on. You can see the results in the brief video below.