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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7283-7298; doi:10.3390/ijerph10127283

Elderly Healthcare Monitoring Using an Avatar-Based 3D Virtual Environment

Center for Internet Excellence, University of Oulu, Erkki Koiso-Kanttilan katu, P.O. Box 1001, 90570 Oulu, Finland
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Received: 3 September 2013 / Revised: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telehealthcare)
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Abstract

Homecare systems for elderly people are becoming increasingly important due to both economic reasons as well as patients’ preferences. Sensor-based surveillance technologies are an expected future trend, but research so far has devoted little attention to the User Interface (UI) design of such systems and the user-centric design approach. In this paper, we explore the possibilities of an avatar-based 3D visualization system, which exploits wearable sensors and human activity simulations. We present a technical prototype and the evaluation of alternative concept designs for UIs based on a 3D virtual world. The evaluation was conducted with homecare providers through focus groups and an online survey. Our results show firstly that systems taking advantage of 3D virtual world visualization techniques have potential especially due to the privacy preserving and simplified information presentation style, and secondly that simple representations and glancability should be emphasized in the design. The identified key use cases highlight that avatar-based 3D presentations can be helpful if they provide an overview as well as details on demand.
Keywords: home care; elderly care; wearable sensors; 3D visualizations; avatars; information visualization; user interfaces; user studies home care; elderly care; wearable sensors; 3D visualizations; avatars; information visualization; user interfaces; user studies
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pouke, M.; Häkkilä, J. Elderly Healthcare Monitoring Using an Avatar-Based 3D Virtual Environment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 7283-7298.

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