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DEBII Candidacy Presentation by David E. Forbes

Digital Ecosystem and Business intelligence (DEBII)Institute

PhD candidacy
An Integrated Type 2 Diabetes Monitoring and Management
ICT Applications Model for Rural and Remote Indigenous
Patients in Western Australia.

David E. Forbes
Supervisor: Dr. Vidyasagar Potdar
Co-supervisor: Dr. Jaipal Singh
Associate Supervisor: Dr. Maja Hadzic
Chairperson: Professor Tharam Dillon

Venue and Time
Date: Thursday, 18 February 2010
Time: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (GMT+08:00) Perth.
Location: DEBII Board Room Enterprise Unit 4, De Laeter Way, Techpark
RSVP: by Tuesday 16th February 2010 (essential for catering purpose)

Distance, terrain, climate and inadequate medical resources seriously constrain health care accessibility for rural and remote Indigenous communities of Western Australia (WA). Management of the chronic condition Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) requires a complex assortment of time-sensitive measures to avert serious complications, prolonged hospitalisation and premature death.

Diabetes deaths in 2006 were eight times higher in WA’s Indigenous people than in non-Indigenous[1]. Digital Point of Care Testing (PoCT) will support timely intervention for these T2DM patients, if devices and health practitioners can rely upon remote management ICT systems designed to overcome service obstacles. Communications barriers arising from pervasive cultural misunderstanding in the primary care setting transcend language differences. Practitioners and patients, and the User Interfaces (UIs) of digital PoCT devices, lack the capability to facilitate dialogue for shared meaning in the examination and testing discourse. Indigenous patients are especially disadvantaged through low levels of engagement with ICT. A culturally sensitive purpose-driven informatics approach will address this barrier. Utilizing ontologies to support ICT semantic interoperability, this approach will educate participants and enrich health care communications options for clinical service providers and patients. Indigenous Sociolinguistic and Pragmatics communications studies offer aural, narrative text and visual sources for designing patient-provider interactions. Australian Aboriginal English (AAE) represents a cultural middle ground for building a much improved T2DM patient-practitioner dialogue. These conveyors for dialogue will be harnessed within overlapping ontologies. One will be focused on standardization of generic T2DM treatment protocols, the other on AAE T2DM patient oriented semantics, thereby facilitating a more productive primary care interaction. This research will take a science and engineering based approach toward the development of AAE ontology to facilitate patient and practitioner communication. The prototype implementation will be used as a proof of concept and would be later commercially exploited with the industry.

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