How is vi.co Hospital used?
The application, during and following the completion of the programming phase, was tested by the Fondazione Bambini e Autismo ONLUS research team, which noted a significant improvement in the compliance of both children and adults with ASD, with regard to visits and examinations to which they were subjected, thanks to the use of the application.
The interest for the application is noticed immediately upon the presentation of the same. However, the best results are obtained if, prior to its utilisation in a real-world context, the app is used in a simulated environment in which the individual can be provided with an adequate amount of time to approach each step, to understand them thoroughly, to become accustomed and comfortable with the ideas presented, to verify their impact and to take advantage of the reward granted if all expected steps are performed.
Therefore, vi.co hospital is intended primarily for family members and care givers, precisely for coaching and assisting people with difficulties to face required medical procedures without anxiety and without offering resistance, while its application for health workers operating in hospital emergency departments is only secondary and not focused on best performing the examinations to which the patient must be subjected.
The application offers a very simple interface, which facilitates immediate access to all users. This is possible thanks to a well-structured organisation of content and information that meets criteria of accessibility and usability (visible buttons, clear menus, procedures organised in simple steps). The simplicity and clearness of the interface attempts to minimise sources of sensory interference and elements of distraction (sounds, colours, noises, unnecessary graphical elements), in order to improve the interaction and to facilitate the learning and the final result.
At the moment there are 15 procedures:
- electrocardiogram (ECG)
- physical examination,
- plaster of paris for broken arms
- drawing blood
- chest X-ray
- radiography of arms
- remove plaster of paris from arm
- swab test
- mask application
- ophthalmology visit
- dental visit
- otolaryngology - ENT specialist
Visual code on three levels.
Depending on the individual level of understanding, it is possible to select between the use of an iconic code, a photographic code or video, for showing and demonstrating in detail and step by step, to those affected by difficulties, the way visits, physical examinations, medical tests, etc. are carried out.
Following the principles of behavioural psychology, the individual gradually proceeds with success to the performance of each procedural step, earning a token that at the end will correspond to a reward for their cooperation.
Vi.co offers a multilingual platform, in terms of the content as well as the audio of the procedures. The languages supported are: Italian, English, French, Spanish and German. The user will initially be configured with the default language detected based on iPad settings and will then be able to select one of the available languages with a few simple clicks.
We are looking for resources to implement and develop vi.co Thanks to vi.co Hospital, we have already experienced the approach thanks to which it is possible to simplify the experience of people suffering from autism or affected by communication problems in hospital environments. It is our intention to develop other specific vi.co applications, in order to render the lifestyle of individuals affected by autism and of their families easier in other contexts. With your help, we are sure that we can continue this project.