Telemedicine provides access to medical experts regardless of where you live
The bottom line is how usable the technology can be made
Medical images are used in telemedicine for remote consultation. Diagnosing patients on the basis of images is not easy. This is why it is important to design the technology so that it does not place any barriers between humans and computers.
Today many hospitals produce digital medical images. One example is computer tomography, which makes it possible to create pictures that show the structure and cavities of the brain. Another is magnetic resonance, which can yield extremely sharp and detailed images of organs and the skeleton. These pictures contain information that is essential for correct diagnosis, but they are not easy to interpret.
The images are often sent to an experienced specialist for consultation. It is hoped that telemedicine, sending pictures via the Internet, for example, will make these activities more efficient. Another important aspect is greater equality, in that access to expert knowledge is made universal, regardless of where you live or happen to be.
The drawback has been the difficulty associated with providing usable computer support in health care. The systems available have proven to be hard to use or simply have not suited the complex environment that care providers work in.
This is why the design of the computer systems is crucial to getting results. With knowledge about design and human beings, specialists in human-computer interaction can devise and construct systems that work better in health care.
CHILI is one example of how human-computer interaction has helped construct a system that is simple to use. The system was designed with usability and personnel efficiency in mind. It turned the most common needs into simple moves—sending images for consultation requires only three clicks. More than 7 million pictures have been sent back and forth using the system.
Foto: © Martin Cejie
”With knowledge about design and human beings, specialists in human-computer interaction can devise and construct systems that work better in health care.”