Anind Dey, Ph.D., dwellSense Principal Investigator, Carnegie Mellon University
During an earlier phase of our research, we identified the prospective information needs of our various stakeholders: elders, caregivers, occupational therapists and primary care physicians. In particular, our elders were quite interested in real-time or daily information about their performance of their everyday activities, but didn’t find a lot of value in long-term data or trends. They weren’t opposed to the long-term data, but they really wanted to have the daily information in order to see if they had taken their medication, and to see how well they were doing each day.
We designed the visualization below to run as an application on a Samsung Galaxy 10.1” tablet. The visualization has three horizontal panels, one for each of the ODLs that our sensing systems are tracking: medication taking, making phone calls and coffee-making. The large type size, the colors used and the simple design were purposefully chosen to make it easy for the elders to consume the information.
For medication tracking, we present information about morning and evening pills. In the visualization below, you can see that the subject took their morning medicine on time at 5:07 a.m., but had difficulty determining the right day of the week, having opened the Sunday and Monday doors before correctly opening the Tuesday door. The subject missed the evening pill completely. The two bar charts on the right indicate how timely the subject was in taking his or her medicine and how well the subject performed the task. Because the subject missed his or her evening medicine, the timeliness bar chart is red . The other chart is yellow to indicate his or her difficulty in selecting the correct pillbox door. These bar charts are intended to serve as quick additional abstractions to make it easy to consume the medicine-taking information.
For the phone calls, the visualization indicates the number of calls made and, of those, the number of times the user . The bar chart provides a summary of how well the user performed this task.
For coffee-making, the visualization indicates whether the subject made coffee correctly. In particular, it shows whether the subject performed each of four key coffee-making tasks correctly: getting water, adding the coffee, placing the carafe in the coffee maker and starting the machine. In this case, the subject performed all four tasks correctly, which is what the associated bar chart indicates.
We are still going to provide a long-term visualization to some of our subjects to see what value it can provide, despite their seeming lack of interest. This will be a more traditional line graph, with time on the horizontal axis, and the quality of the performance of the task on the vertical axis. Subjects will be able to click on any of the data points to receive the regular daily view for the chosen day. We expect that by providing both kinds of views, we can improve subjects’ awareness of their own performance, and that this will cause them to engage others in discussions (e.g., caregivers, occupational therapists, doctors) about their abilities, with the goal of improving their performance over time.