Providing group medical consultation in virtual world while preserving privacy


Providing group medical consultation in virtual world while preserving privacy

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Abstract of the Talk: Providing group medical consultation in virtual world while preserving privacy

(Collaborators: Fatemeh Mariam Zahedi, Huimin Zhao, Patrick Sanvanson, Nitin Walia, Reza Shaker)


COVID-19 created a great deal of personal, social, and economic anxiety in the USA and across the globe and exposed the inadequacy of traditional medical systems in handling large-scale emergencies. Additionally, it has highlighted the severe shortages of qualified medical personal. While telemedicine and virtual visits have become popular as a result, they end once a visit is over, hence lacking data persistence and continuity in caring for patients. Also, they continue to use one to one care model not addressing the issue of shortage of medical personal.
Using the design science research approach with support from the theory of affordances, we
designed and implemented a medical system (called wepital) in which patients receive care
through their real avatars in a group setting while completely preserving their privacy, enabling hospitals and other medical centers to provide immediate care to large number of patients that can continue for as long as patients need it. Real avatars are digital representations of patients that embody their real-time vital signs and health information. We have created a functional prototype to demonstrate how the proposed design can work. To assess the usability of the design, we have used the prototype in an experiment to provide medical advice to patient volunteers. Based on a theory-based conceptual model, we collected survey data after the experiment to identify factors contributing to the success of such a system, as measured by patient satisfaction. We report the factors that significantly contribute to the patients’ satisfaction. As part of the application and policy implications of our work, we propose a nationwide system that could supplement and expand the capacity of medical systems at the national or even global level.


Bio of the Speaker:

Hemant Jain is W. Max Finely Chair and Professor of Data Analytics, at Rollins College of Business at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, USA. He is also the Director of the MS in Data Analytics program, a joint program between Rollins College of Business and the Computer Science Department. He has published more than 70 articles in leading Information Systems and computer science journals such as ISR, MISQ, JMIS, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics, Naval Research Quarterly, Decision Sciences, Decision Support Systems, Communications of ACM, and Information & Management. He recently co-edited a special issue of ISR on Humans, Algorithms, and Augmented Intelligence: The Future of Work, Organizations, and Society. He received the best paper award from the European Journal of Information Systems. He also received IEEE Technical Committee on Service Computing’s Outstanding Leadership Award. He served as Associate Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Services Computing and as Associate Editor of JAIS & ISR.
He received his Ph. D from Lehigh University, an M. Tech. from IIT Kharagpur, and a B. E. University of Indore, India.


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