Design thinking in health IT systems engineering: the role of wearable mobile computing for distributed care

PI: Prof. Larry Leifer, PhD


This proposed research explores the role of design thinking in the field of health IT systems engineering, through the use of design collaboration technology for distributed care. Specifically, we aim to use the groundbreaking Google Glass head-mounted display as a platform for enhancing distributed collaboration in healthcare scenarios. Building on software applications developed for the previous HPDTRP-sponsored pilot study in wound care management, we propose an experiment to test the use of Glass for point-of-view sharing during live surgical cases at Stanford Hospital. In particular, we aim to examine the use of bi-directional voice and data communication among clinicians at remote study sites, and real-time data transfer between a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) and healthcare providers. Lessons learned from the surgical pilot will aid in planning an extended study in wound care assessment at the San Mateo Medical Center. The proposed work impacts design thinking research through (1) examining the use of technology for complex distributed problem solving through interdisciplinary collaboration; (2) studying the impact of human augmentation on healthcare team performance; and (3) exploring the ability of an augmented reality system to influence behavior change in situations requiring acute decision-making through interaction between centralized experts and point-of-impact delivery personnel.