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UNITY (Using Natural Interfaces To support empathY): a culturally-sensitive environment for flexible natural interaction to support transitioning from a chronic care hospital context: full time presential collaboration

Abstract

The Visiting researcher will contribute to the development of the UNITY Project (Using Natural Interfaces To support empathY), sponsored by Microsoft-FAPESP Institute, proc 2010/52135-9, in which he is Associated Researcher from UBC, Institution partner at the Project, that, in a partnership with a special chronic care hospital for individuals with neurological and brain disorders, intends to focus on patients that are in the hospital selected for transitioning to live in society again. That project looks mainly to investigate how ICT can enhance natural interaction among health professionals that can lead to a more connected, tuned and active community, specially considering the nomadic nature of their work. Therefore, in the Hospital space and surrounds, it is necessary to investigate how a more natural, integrated and environmental ICT interactive system can provide better supportive tools and shared devices for executing those tasks, helping them on the challenge of monitoring and communicating with patients, potentially allowing a smoother transition process for the patients from the Hospital to the community, the main concern and also mandatory by law in Brazil. Our research will investigate three key areas to assist with their socialization, aiming to integrate institutionalized people into their home and the society: (1) supporting the community of health professionals to have new information channels to establish a support workflow and framework amongst themselves, (2) supporting the patients' community within their environment to allow them to establish communal skills and participate in their community, (3) support communication mechanisms between health professionals and the patient community based on natural interaction paradigms to coordinate monitoring and assistance appropriate to the level of support required by the patients to establish a sustainable model for community transitioning responsive to the dynamic nature of social inclusion. In each area, we are considering the health professional team and patients skills, culture, natural and flexible (adaptive and adaptable) interaction mechanisms and adopted procedures as well as how the health professionals and patients respond to ICTs as requirements to be addressed during the project. We anticipate the NUIs we expect to design as tools for the health professional and patients will be useful for any group that has socialization deficits. As well, these technologies may also support patients' inclusion as it they will provide access to the same social structures using the same devices as the non-disabled community. O projeto (AU)

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