Due to the growing lack of medical specialists, tele-medicine and tele-robotics are emerging research fields. They should allow to overcome various logistic constraints such as geographical constraints (e.g., in rural areas) or time constraints (e.g., after regular working hours) and allow patients the access to a valuable diagnosis in time. Tele-medical services include tele-surgery, tele-pharmacy, tele-nursing, tele-rehabilitation, and tele-psychiatry. These services also aim at facilitating the work of medical personnel. The Center for Human-Computer Interaction has expertise in analyzing users requirements, as well as in the evaluation of these systems.

As the healthcare context is highly sensitive, a careful assessment of user requirements and constant evaluation is inevitable in designing new systems. In our research, we investigate and identify the user requirements with a wide variety of different methods. In the scope of the ReMeDi Project, we already identified the most important user requirements in a tele-operated robot by different activities, such as a literature review in the fields of remote ultrasonography, physical examination, and robotic systems within a medical context. We executed two observations of a health check by a doctor of a patient. The observations were done in a self-experiment, in order to gather more insights from the patient’s perspective. We also organized two workshops with doctors, one in Austria and one in Poland. The aim was to gain a deeper understanding in the two examination techniques the robot should allow – ultrasonography and physical examination. In the workshops, we used the instant-card technique introduced by Beck et al. [1]. We investigated the patient’s perspective in two additional workshops. We used an extended version of the robot toolkit, which was originally introduced by Weiss et al. [2], to examine the preferences by patients in the appearance of a remote medical robot. To quantify the qualitative results of the workshops, we conducted two online surveys with patients and doctors. The whole requirements analysis process informed the design of the ReMeDi robot prototype. The next step is to evaluate system components against the requirements.

[1] E. Beck, M. Obrist, R. Bernhaupt, and M. Tscheligi, “Instant card technique: How and why to apply in user-centered design,” in Proceedings of the Tenth Anniversary Conference on Participatory Design, PDC ’08, 2008, pp. 162–165.
[2] A. Weiss, D. Wurhofer, M. Lankes, and M. Tscheligi, “Autonomous vs. Tele-operated: How People Perceive Human-Robot Collaboration with HRP-2,” in Proceedings of the 4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, HRI ’09, 2009, pp. 257– 258.

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