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  • Designing a Smart Helmet for Wildland Firefighters to Avoid Dehydration by Monitoring Bio-signals

    (CHI’21) Jiali Zhang, He Feng, Chee Jen Ngeh, John Raiti, Yuntao Wang, Linda Wagner, Paulo Goncalves, Gulnara Sarymbekova, Jenna James, Paul Albee, Jay Thiagarajan
    Smart Helmet is a new wearable device to monitor wildland fre- fghters’ real-time bio-signal data and alert potential health issues, i.e., dehydration. In this paper, we applied the human-centered de- sign method to develop Smart Helmet for frefghters. We initially conducted multiple rounds of primary research to collect user needs and the deployment constraints by interviewing 80 frefghters. Tar- geted on dehydration caused by heat exhaustion and overexertion, we developed a smart helmet prototype, named FireWorks, with an array of sensors collecting the frefghter’s bio-signals, including body temperature, heart rate, and motions. When abnormal bio- signal levels are detected, the alert system will notify the frefghter and their supervisor. The notifcation is achieved by an on-device algorithm that predicts imminent health risks. Further, we designed a mobile application to display real-time and historical bio-signal data as well as alert users about potential dehydration issues. In the end, we ran user evaluation studies and iterated the prototype based on user feedback, and we ran the functional evaluation to make sure all the implemented functions work properly.

  • Integrating a Voice User Interface into a Virtual Therapy Platform

    (CHI’21) Yun Liu, Lu Wang, William R. Kearns, Linda E Wagner, John Raiti, Yuntao Wang, Weichao Yuwen
    More than 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. serving as family caregivers are the backbones of the healthcare system. Caregiving activities significantly affect their physical and mental health, sleep, work, and family relationships over extended periods. Many caregivers tend to downplay their own health needs and have difficulty accessing support. Failure to maintain their own health leads to diminished ability in providing high-quality care to their loved ones. Voice user interfaces (VUIs) hold promise in providing tailored support family caregivers need in maintaining their own health, such as flexible access and handsfree interactions. This work is the integration of VUIs into a virtual therapy platform to promote user engagement in self-care practices. We conducted user research with family caregivers and subject matter experts, and designed multiple prototypes with user evaluations. Advantages, limitations, and design considerations for integrating VUIs into virtual therapy are discussed.