About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Doctors can Target Underserved Patients Using Computer Technology

by Kathy Jones on July 11, 2010 at 3:15 PM
Font : A-A+

 Doctors can Target Underserved Patients Using Computer Technology

Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine are able to serve patients with diverse language, literacy and computer skills thanks to multimedia talking touchscreens, housed in computer kiosks at clinics and hospitals.

The easy-to-use touchscreens read questionnaires, provide patient education material and collect patient data. Each piece of text on the screen has sound attached to it, and users record answers by pressing buttons.

Advertisement

The talking touchscreens are currently being used in a Cancer Care Communication study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Three Chicago-area cancer clinics for underserved populations are participating in the study to administer education material to newly diagnosed breast and colorectal cancer patients.

Elizabeth Hahn, an associate professor in the department of medical social sciences at Feinberg, developed the touchscreens as a tool to help end health disparities in underserved populations. Right now, the computer is capable of talking in English and Spanish. More languages may be added in the future, Hahn said.
Advertisement

This tool provides more privacy and allows people to complete questionnaires in their native language, at their own pace.

Hahn's current study includes up to 200 study participants. Half of the participants get standard booklets printed with educational information, the other half get that same information on the multimedia talking touchscreen.

Hahn said: "Our goal is to demonstrate that information from a multimedia touchscreen can improve satisfaction with communication, knowledge, self-efficacy and adherence to treatment compared to information provided in standard booklets."

People with good reading skills may benefit from the technology as well, Hahn said, because the addition of audio may enhance concentration. The kiosk also houses informational videos and other tools such as a patient-generated list of topics to discuss with their health care providers.

In the future, Hahn hopes that every clinic waiting room will have talking touchscreen technology. After registering at the front desk, a patient could sit at the kiosk, complete questionnaires, access health information and even feed their data into an electronic medical record.

Hahn said: "Imagine being able to have that information available, so that by the time patients get in to see their doctors, there would be a print-out with a quality of life score, a health literacy score and self-identified needs for today's visit. We have the technology to do it. That link of getting it to the electronic medical record is an area we are working on now."

Source: ANI
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended Reading

open close
CONSULT ONLINE WITH A DOCTOR

×

Doctors can Target Underserved Patients Using Computer Technology Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests