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Working Together


What if patients could see all of their images, whenever they wanted? What would they do with them? What would they need to make that useful?

MicroLens started with that question and is an exploration of what that would mean for patients and carers, and the different ways it could work, for different staff, patients and carers in our service.

Specifically, we wanted to bring a design-led approach to thinking about some new technology. By that, we mean, instead of jumping in feet first and writing some code, we wanted to explore use and needs, and then let the technology follow.

Historically, patients had images taken (X-rays, ultrasound, CT) at a hospital. These were then reported by a radiologist, and the report went to whoever had requested the imaging. Then the patient came back to discuss the results with their treating team. More recently, we have had the ability to show those images to patients in clinic, so we can explain and demonstrate what the report shows. Over the last few years, some centres now offer routine access to imaging reports for patients through “Patient Portals” which let patients see their blood tests results, letters, reports, etc. 

Technology is currently at a place where patients can look at their own images outside of a clinical consultation but the evidence available shows that there is a mismatch between what patients and users want to what clinicians and medical teams think patients and users need/ want.  The MicroLens project is about us taking the time to hear from a wide range of people (patients, caregivers, researchers, multidisciplinary team members (radiologist, CNS, oncologists, surgeons), technical minded people) over a five month period to hear what would be practical, needed, feasible and how they would best use and understand their images instead of starting with the technical aspect. This is part of a wider move in the lab that we explore in this post on Design-Centered AI.

BrainWear: Research
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