William Easley

Participant: PROMISE AGEP Research Symposium, 2014


William Easley
Department
: Human Centered Computing
Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

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ABSTRACT

Developing a Mobile Assistive Technology to Help Blind and Legally Blind People Improve their Quality of Life Through Regulating their Medication Management

Medication management can often times be a difficult or confusing task. According to an Institute of Medicine report from 1999, at least 7,000 people die per year due to medication errors. In order to alleviate these issues many different medication management systems have been developed to assist users with the adherence and consumption of medication. These systems, often times do not cater to the needs of the blind however. Many blind people address the difficulties with medication management with homemade solutions. Quick “hacks” that use everyday objects such as rubber bands (for tactile feedback) to assist with the identification and remembering to take medications. There is no universal “solution” for everyone and limited useful data that has been gathered regarding this problem. Because of this, the way that one blind person manages their medications may be vastly different than the way that the next person manages their medications. This makes the transference of knowledge between people much more difficult. Data on medication management has already been gathered on populations such as the elderly but is seems as though the blind community is often overlooked. This presentation will discuss some of the issues that blind people encounter when interacting with technology. It will also discuss some of the prevalent issues with medication management that people who are blind currently face. This presentation will then close by discussing some of the ways in which this issue has been addressed as well where I see future improvements.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

I am from Silver Spring Maryland. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Information Systems in the spring of 2013s. I am currently pursuing a masters in Human Centered Computing. I eventually wish to pursue a PhD in Human Centered Computing and become a full time researcher focusing on usability testing, assistive technology and mobile computing. Being visually impaired has motivated me to want to help others with disabilities through the use of technology. Being in this field affords me the ability to make a direct impact in society and the medical community in an area that is very personal to me. I believe that we can connect the world in a way that allows equal opportunity for all individuals. . My hobbies include watching and playing sports, listening to music, and playing the drums.

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GENERAL SUMMARY OF GRADUATE RESEARCH

My graduate research has been focused on assistive and mobile technology. So far, .I have been mainly focused on increasing my knowledge of this domain. In order to improve something, it is important to first understand what has already been done and where the issues currently lie. After completing my Institutional Review Board, I plan on conducting interviews in the Baltimore area in order to better address the needs of the people that will be using this system. After that phase is completed, I will then move onto the design and testing of my system.

 

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