A human-robot interaction platform for long-term diabetic behavioural change support

Abood, Suhail Najm (2013) A human-robot interaction platform for long-term diabetic behavioural change support. (MSc(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


A key requirement for current and emerging healthcare systems is to facilitate flexible interactivity between patients and their health carers to improve follow up and timely intervention in cases of poor disease management rather than relying on periodic clinic visits which typically takes weeks or even months. In current self-management of Type l Diabetes Mellitus (TlDM), which mainly develops in children and adolescents, the main focus is on how to adjust insulin doses to balance carbohydrates in daily meals. Other social and behavioural care dimensions which affect the self management health outcome are not yet part of the routine care of T1DM. This thesis aims at implementing a dialogue-based Human Robot Interaction (HRI) platform to support multidimensional care of T1DM. This involves instructing the robot or modify its behaviour over a distance to perform a wide range of patient-carer interaction dialogues. The platform achieves this by: 1) local (on robot) verbal instructions performed by the patient, and 2) remotely created instructions that are hosted on an existing Web-based health portal. These dialogues are then downloaded and performed with the patient by a humanoid robot along with appropriate gesture and/or posture emotions (e.g. happy, excited, sad, etc.). Internally, the flexible eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Document Object Model (DOM) is used to implement the dialogue-based HRIs. These HRls can be tailored to support self-management of diabetes in various ways such as remote collection of patient's data verbally, provision of educational information, and timely feedback advices tailored to the individual needs of patients. It also facilitates pre-assessment of psychological and behavioural aspects of the disease care process. A rapid prototyping methodology is adopted throughout the development lifecycle of this project, including: requirement elicitation, design modelling, implementation, integration with the health portal, and test phases. A fully functional prototype of the proposed system based on the suggested dialogue structure is developed and tested where numerous human-robot interactions are built and performed successfully with a high navigation flexibility.

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