Human specialists to develop communication tools for e-health

Plans to model complex group interactions

CSIRO scientists at the e-Health Research Centre will work with their counterparts in Europe and the United States to develop technologies to support effective communication in clinical teams.

The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) International Science Linkages program has made available a $221,145 grant enabling the e-health centre to be involved in the AMIDA (Augmented Multi-party Interaction with Distant Access) project.

AMIDA commenced in October 2006 and aims to improve the way clinical specialists work in teams with communication technologies that support the way people naturally interact.

A key component of the research will be to capture, analyse and model the many communication elements that comprise a complex group interaction - whether the participants are co-located or distributed.

These may include speech, audio, video, slides, handwriting and white board notes.

The centre's research leader, Dr Iain McCown, said the models will be used to develop better technologies to support productive interaction in groups working in clinical settings.

"Clinical networks are important in the delivery of health services. Our focus is on the evaluation of leadership and cohesion in clinical teams through automated measures and models of group dynamics," McCown said.

The project involves specialists in human factors, human computer interfaces, speech recognition, audio and visual content analysis, and software engineering.

As a partner in AMIDA, the e-Health Research Centre is collaborating with a consortium of 12 international research partners coordinated by the University of Edinburgh (UK) and the IDIAP Research Institute (Switzerland).

The e-Health Research Centre is a joint venture between the CSIRO ICT Centre and the Queensland Government.

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