State of Stakeholder Opinion on the Federal Communication Commission's Broadband Transparency Inquiry

In January of 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [CG Docket No. 22-2] on broadband transparency. Although the Commission sought comments on a range of matters relating to improved transparency for broadband consumers, the focal conversation of this NPRM sought to understand whether it was appropriate to mandate modifications, or other general changes, to broadband label content and format.

Sound Science and Engineering (SSE)

Speakers, hands holding electrical probes, a microphone

 

About

Sound Science and Engineering is a grassroots Georgia Tech initiative with faculty members, students and other researchers from a wide range of disciplines, departments and institutes. From the technology of music to early detection of earthquakes, SSE promotes the integration of research, education, training and outreach in sound and acoustics.

The Sound Lab

The Sound Lab is a student-led make-and-measure space at Georgia Tech. Like Invention Studio, The Materials Innovation Learning Laboratory, The HIVE, Aero Studio and the Open Polymer Active Learning Laboratory, fully engaged students from any major enjoy 24/7 access to great equipment. Others with a GT affiliation, from high school intern to visiting professor, also may access the facilities and engage in any of the activities. Sound Lab supports a culture of learning, discovery, education and outreach in the science and engineering of acoustics, from music generation to sonification (assigning sounds to other physical phenomena). Students can learn and hone their skills in leadership, management, and measurement of sound and other acoustic phenomena. Members design new materials, explore sonochemistry, develop advanced electronics, perfect the art of noise cancellation, build advanced sensors and transducers, improve the quality of human-computer interaction, and study human perception of sound through artificial intelligence algorithms. Sound Lab also promotes the understanding of the social implications of sound.

Training Program

Georgia Tech possesses a deep pedagogical capacity regarding issues of sound studies covering a wide array of disciplines.  There is unmatched potential across the 20+ researchers in our eleven academic and supporting units.

Associated GT Research Units

Schools of: 
•    Chemistry
•    Materials Science & Engineering
•    Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
•    Electrical & Computer Engineering
•    Interactive Computing
•    Psychology
•    Environmental Sciences
•    Civil Engineering
•    Public Policy 
•    Institute for People and Technology
•    Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies

Contact Information

For further information, contact: 
Gil Weinberg 
Email: gilw@gatech.edu

Georgia Tech HomeLab: For Participants

Participant Overview

HomeLab is conducting research to understand long-term trends in health and well-being among adults age 50 and above. HomeLab is also looking at how older adults adopt and use health and wellness products. By taking part in HomeLab, you can help researchers answer important questions about aging. You may also have the chance to try out cutting-edge products and provide feedback that influences product design to better meet your needs. All research will take place in your home. You will be compensated for your time and effort.

Product Evaluations

HomeLab participants may be asked to test and use products in their homes over a period of a few weeks to a few months. Designers need feedback to create products that are usable and that meet the needs of older adults. By participating in HomeLab, you will have the chance to influence the design of future products.

Surveys

From time to time, HomeLab participants are asked to complete surveys about various research topics. The topics range from your experiences with different types of product packaging to general questions about your life. New surveys take place up to once a month, but you do not have to complete every survey you receive.

HomeLab recruiting reached over 550 participants at the end of 2013! If you are age 50 or above and would like to learn more about being a HomeLab participant, please visit the "Contact Us" page to get in touch.

Georgia Tech HomeLab: For Clients

Client Overview

HomeLab can provide you with an independent evaluation to clearly differentiate your product in a crowded or emerging market.  We offer a variety of services to our clients, ranging from initial concept design to user testing and document preparation. Many of these services can be tailored to meet specific needs.

HomeLab can assist in:

  • Assessing product safety, efficacy, effectiveness, usability, and accessibility
  • Providing documented evidence for marketing or regulatory compliance needs
  • Informing concept development and improving product design
  • Conducting ethnographic research

The HomeLab team can also assist with all of the support activities necessary for research, including obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval; managing participant recruitment, scheduling, and compensation; managing and analyzing research data; and preparing study documentation.

If you would like to test a product in HomeLab or would like more information about our capabilities, please reach out to us with the information on the "Contact Us" page.

Georgia Tech HomeLab: Publications

Publications List

Older Adults’ Use of and Attitudes toward Activity Monitoring Technologies

Self-management of health is becoming increasingly important in today’s healthcare climate. Activity monitoring technologies have the potential to support health self-management by tracking, storing, compiling, and providing feedback about an individual’s engagement in movement activities. Older adults represent a fast growing segment of the population who may benefit from such technologies.

 

Older Adults' Perceptions and Use of Technology: A Novel Approach

This study investigated older adults’ perceptions of technology in their everyday lives by using the stages of change model, a behavioral change model, as a guiding framework. Participants answered daily workbook questions about their experiences with technology and also recorded daily interactions and difficulties with technology for a 28-day period.

 

Examining Social Media Use Among Older Adults

Social media is a powerful tool that can connect family and friends across long distances and link people with similar interests. Social media has been widely adopted by younger adults, but older adults have been less likely to use such applications. A survey of 142 older adults living in the metropolitan Atlanta area was conducted to understand the characteristics of older adults who do and do not use Facebook, a popular and widespread social media application.

 

Presentations List

Realizing Aging In Place: Bringing Medical Devices into the Home

HomeLab researchers presented a workshop on the needs and challenges of translating medical devices into the home using a systems engineering approach. Bringing medical devices into older adults’ homes can provide benefits such as supporting aging in place and reducing hospital visits and healthcare expenses.

 

Design Challenges in Home Health Technologies for Older Adults

This presentation provided designers of technologies targeted toward older adults with insights into the demographics and health needs of that population, and suggested methods of how to evaluate their products in a home environment. For new technologies to be successful supporting adults to age in place, two practical and actionable methods were proposed.

 

A Holistic Approach to Product Assurance Evaluation

In a joint presentation with the Beauty Becomes You Foundation, HomeLab researchers presented information on the Senior Select Seal, a proposed commendation program for products that are easy for older adults to use.

 

Other Media

Balancing Abilities and Product Demands in Home Health

With increasing medical costs, an aging population, and the desire of older adults to age in place, the demand for in-home healthcare technologies is growing by leaps and bounds.

Georgia Tech HomeLab: Projects

Current Projects

Smart Home Study

We are looking for people to participate in a research stufy investigating home automation and home energy management. The study would involve out researchers and a professional electrician setting up the technology in your home, four months of using the technology and you would in your daily life, a brief weekly online survey, and two virtual interviews.

Click here for more information regarding our Smart Home Study

 

Home Technology Study - Cognitive Empowerment Program (CEP)

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a distinct decline in thinking, affecting up to 20% of Americans over age 64. This age group is expected to double to 88.5 million by the year 2050. Georgia Tech is partnering with Emory University to build the Cognitive Empowerment Program (http://ipat.gatech.edu/cep) to study and empower individuals with MCI and their care partners. The CEP Home Technology team is exploring the capability of home sensing technologies to drive interventions that assist individuals with MCI in achieving everyday tasks at home, while reducing burden on their care partners.

Click here for more information regarding our Cognitive Empowerment Program (CEP)

 

FirstNet - First Responder Network Project

In the wake of an emergency, first responders need relevant, up-to-date information about the nature of the emergency and response efforts. The First Responders team works with FirstNet (https://firstnet.gov ) to provide these resources in a uniform manner throughout the country. FirstNet recognizes that first-responders need information about nearby individuals in need of assistance and is expanding their system to accomplish this. FirstNet wants to include the needs of individuals with disabilities and first responders in this effort.

Click here for more information regarding our FirstNet - First Responder Network Project

 

Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx)

The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative invests in innovative technologies as a way to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. Finalist technologies will be matched with technical, business, and manufacturing experts to increase odds of success. Usability evaluations of the novel technologies will be conducted by CACP’s HomeLab, in partnership with The Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME-POCT). These evaluations can begin at the design phase of the process and will conclude with user testing for the final product. 

Click here for more information regarding our RADx initiative projects

 

Past Projects

Activity Monitor

To better understand how to support health technology acceptance and adoption, more information is needed about older adults’ attitudes and usage of such technologies. Eight participants used one of four activity monitoring technologies (Striiv, Fitbit One, Nike+ FuelBand, and MyFitnessPal.com) daily for two weeks. Participants’ initial attitudes were positive, but after using the technology for two weeks, five participants indicated they would not continue using the technology. The results suggest that efforts should focus on conveying the usefulness and personal benefits of activity monitoring technologies specific to older adults.

 

Aging with Mobility Impairment: Understanding Challenges in the Home

Research on aging-in-place has largely focused on how age-related limitations impact a person’s ability to live independently at home. Little attention has been paid to how aging influences the daily home activities of individuals with disability. Through an in-home interview, this study explored the home experience of aging with mobility impairment. Participants included older adults who have a mobility impairment that began prior to age 50. Specific emphasis was placed on how participants have adapted to challenges in the home (e.g., home modifications, assistive devices) and how age-related changes impact daily living activities. This research was conducted as a part of RERC TechSAge at Georgia Tech. Funded by the Department of Education (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, H133E130037)



Behavioral Acceptance of Activity Monitors

HomeLab researchers collaborated with researchers in the Human Factors and Aging Laboratory (Georgia Tech, School of Psychology) to investigate older adults’ usage of and attitudes about two different activity tracking technologies, the Fitbit One and MyFitnessPal.com. A total of 17 HomeLab participants took part in this study. Participants used one of the two technologies for four weeks and logged their experiences in a diary. Interviews and questionnaires were conducted before and after the study to assess attitudes and experiences.

 

Data to Healthy Decisions (D2HD)

Nocturia, or frequent nighttime urination, can be an important indicator for other health conditions. The purpose of this study is to collect a real-world data set to support the development of analytics that yield useful information to assist practitioners in monitoring the health of individuals in their homes. A kit of minimally-intrusive sensor technologies will be deployed into participants’ homes to measure general activity levels, bathroom visits, bed presence and sleep patterns, and vital signs (heart and respiratory rate) while in bed.


Developing a Scoring Matrix to Evaluate Consumer Packaging Ease of Use

The goal of this project is to develop a scoring matrix for evaluating and quantifying the ease of use of consumer product packaging for older adults. Products will be evaluated as a function of frequency of use and the difficulty of various functional tasks required for use. The scoring matrix will enable the assessment of product packaging and determine the potential opportunity for improvement through redesign. The resulting scores can be used to prioritize redesign efforts.



Hydration Pilot Study

The goal of this pilot study was to 1) evaluate which methods of assessing hydration in older adults are best suited for the home environment and 2) provide consumer feedback on a sensor straw prototype that monitors fluid consumption in real-time. For five days, participants were asked to complete several daily tasks, such as keeping a food and beverage journal, wearing an activity tracker, providing a morning urine sample, and drinking all beverages using a sensor straw. Additionally, researchers conducted daily, in-home appointments to run various health and urinalysis tests. Each assessment was analyzed in terms of cost, time commitment, accuracy, ease of use, and comfort. Findings will be used to suggest the most appropriate methods for assessing hydration of older adults in the home. Additionally, participant feedback will be used to further the design of the hydration sensor straw.



In-Home Medication Dispenser

The goal of this research study was to investigate older adults’ use of and attitudes about an in-home medication dispenser for adhering to a fictional medication regimen. The research study was conducted in participants’ homes; eight HomeLab participants were enrolled. They interacted with the system daily for 2 weeks, completed questionnaires, and made daily diary entries. Overall, participants liked the system’s dependability in reminding them to take their fictional medications. Seven of the eight participants positively endorsed the system and indicated they would recommend it to a friend.



Packaging Survey

An online survey was conducted to understand the difficulties older adults have interacting with various types of consumer packaging and the methods they used to overcome or circumvent such issues. The interactions of interest included picking up and holding containers, removing caps and lids, opening bags and packets, and dispensing the contents of containers. Difficulties in reading labeling and packaging instructions were also investigated. The data from this survey will inform design efforts to improve packaging ease of use for older adults.



Prescription Refill Survey

The goal of this exploratory study is to assess older adults’ prescription medication refill behaviors. The intent is to capture the experience of refilling prescription medication in terms of how older adults remember to order refills, how they order and receive refills, and how they rate their experience. Emphasis will be placed on older adults’ awareness and use of various technologies and services to refill their prescription medications.



Remote Health Monitoring

HomeLab researchers collaborated with the newly-formed GTRI Health Strategic Initiative in the spring of 2013 to pilot test a new remote health monitoring system. The technology was deployed into the homes of five participants for 30 days. They interacted with the system each day to collect weight, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure data. The purpose of this research study was to collect data associated with congestive heart failure (CHF) over time to build an algorithm that can predict future health trends for individuals with CHF.



Smart Mirror

This study investigated whether an off-the-shelf digital camera could be used to detect changes in facial features. Eight participants took photos of themselves in the morning and evening for 28 days. The results indicated that the selected digital cameras were effective in capturing sufficient data; however, inconsistent lighting affected the results of the algorithm in accurately detecting the location of facial features. Future efforts will focus on refining the algorithm to account for skin tone differences, facial orientation, and inconsistent lighting. The long-term goal is to use this information to detect potential health issues based on changes in facial appearance.



Social Media Survey

A survey was conducted to understand social media use among older adults. The majority of the questions focused on the use of Facebook, a popular social media application. The preliminary results suggest that many older adults do use Facebook and that they primarily use it to stay connected with family. As adults enter into older adulthood, maintaining social connectedness may become more difficult due to mobility limitations, chronic diseases, and other age-related issues, thus decreasing physical connectedness with friends, family, and community. For these reasons, social media may begin to play a more active role in keeping this population socially connected. Therefore, understanding the factors that influence social media use in older adults is becoming more critical.



Technology Diary

This study investigated older adults’ perceptions of technology in their everyday lives. Participants answered daily workbook questions about their experiences with technology and also kept a daily diary for 28-days. Overall, older adults were positive about technology, but they did express some concerns, such as identity theft and loss of human contact. Participants cited efficiency, making life easier, and communication as reasons why they use technology and what they liked about it. Older adults do adopt and use technologies, but the value and personal relevance must be made clear to them.



Transportation & Health Care Survey

This survey was conducted to identify general barriers to community mobility for senior adults in the Metropolitan Atlanta area, and to help identify common barriers and disparities in community mobility related to access to health care services. This study also identified general behavior patterns and trends among older adults in the Atlanta area with regard to types of transportation used and frequency of use.



Voting Accessibility Survey

As the rapidly growing population of older adults in the United States begins to experience the physical and cognitive limitations that come with age, it is important to understand how this population chooses to exercise their right to vote and to participate in civic activities. This survey investigated older adults’ experiences with the voting process during the 2012 U.S. presidential election. The majority of participants (44%) voted at the polling place on Election Day, with 25% citing their motivation as “the desire to participate in a community activity.” The results suggest that polling locations and voting systems should be designed to accommodate the older adult population.



Wearable Adherence Medication System

HomeLab researchers collaborated with the Georgia Tech Bionics Laboratory (Georgia Tech, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering) to investigate older adults’ opinions about wearable health technologies. Twelve HomeLab participants (65+) completed in-home evaluations of six wearable health devices. Three of these devices were non-functioning prototypes of the Wireless Event detection and Adherence Monitoring System (WEAMS), which is a neckwear device that would have the capability to assist with managing medications, detecting falls, and tracking activities. Three commercially available devices (Jawbone UP, BodyMedia FIT and MIO Alpha), intended to be worn around the arm or wrist, were also evaluated. Participants preferred devices that were simplistic in design, discrete, lightweight, easy to take on/off, and comfortable to wear while performing tasks. The data collected from this research study will inform the design of future wearable technologies that can help older adults maintain a healthy lifestyle.



Weight Monitoring

The purpose of this pilot research study was to establish a methodology for measuring weight change over time with HomeLab participants. Technologies were deployed into the homes of eight participants for four weeks to measure daily weight, temperature, and physical activity. The data collected will be used to build a mathematical model that can predict future weight trends for individuals.

Georgia Tech HomeLab: About Us

Notes from the Director

Image of CACP and HomeLab Director, Brad Fain

As Director of Georgia Tech HomeLab I want to personally thank you for your interest in our research. The establishment of HomeLab marks a milestone in Georgia Tech’s research portfolio to support design of consumer products and health care devices for the growing older adult population. By the year 2030, 20% of all U.S. residents will be over the age of 65. Older adults face physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes that present innovators with opportunities to create technological solutions that can support aging in place and independence.

Our mission is to understand the needs and desires of this growing population and to assist innovative companies in meeting their goals by providing a direct connection to laboratory and in-home testing resources. Since 2011, HomeLab has been providing innovators with an independent testing facility capable of evaluating the safety, efficacy, effectiveness, usability, and accessibility of products that promote independent living. Our methods allow us to go beyond what is available through typical in-lab testing by placing products in the homes of actual users. By evaluating products in their appropriate context over an extended period, true performance characteristics emerge.

If you are an innovator and want to better understand how users interact with your product, I hope you will consider HomeLab for your product evaluation needs.

Thank you again for your interest,

Dr. Brad Fain
Director of Georgia Tech HomeLab

 

Our Experience

Since 2000, researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute have been working to apply testing and evaluation principles derived from years of experience developing user interface solutions for military customers to consumer product design.

The Accessibility Evaluation Methodology (AEM) was developed to facilitate the measurement of the accessibility and usability of office products such as copiers, fax machines, and computers in response to the publication of the technical requirements for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The AEM is a human performance-based assessment methodology that allows evaluators to directly compare the accessibility of similar products. This work eventually led to the development of the Accessibility Assistant, an information resource that supports the design and procurement of accessible products and services.

GTRI researchers later developed a similar test methodology for the Arthritis Foundation, the Arthritis Society of Canada, Arthritis Australia, and Arthritis New Zealand and began quantifying ease of use of consumer products. Over 500 consumer products of all types have been tested for ease of use, impacting the design of products worldwide. The Ease of Use Assistant, an information resource that supports the design of easy to use consumer products and services, presents usability knowledge gleaned from several years of product testing.

GTRI’s work with users with arthritis enabled the creation of Arthritis Simulation Gloves, a tool that simulates the reduction in functional capabilities experienced by individuals with arthritis, and enables designers to gain insight into how arthritis affects a user’s interaction with products.

Georgia Tech HomeLab: Home

Welcome

Georgia Tech’s HomeLab initiative provides the capability to conduct in-home research that supports the development of innovative technologies that promote health, wellness, and independence for older adults. HomeLab brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers and a community of older adults interested in participating in research.

Clients

HomeLab clients gain access to a wide variety of laboratory and in-home testing resources, including a network of older adult participants and a team of researchers with expertise to evaluate products designed for older adults living at home. HomeLab provides an independent testing facility capable of evaluating the safety, efficacy, effectiveness, usability, and accessibility of products that promote independent living.

Participants

HomeLab participants take part in research that answers important questions about aging. Participants may also have the chance to use new products and provide feedback that influences the design of those products. Participants are compensated for their time.

HomeLab Twitter

Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative

Linked circles showing laboratory testing, medical examination, and a depiction of a virus

Overview

Overview

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The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative invests in innovative technologies as a way to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. Finalist technologies will be matched with technical, business, and manufacturing experts to increase odds of success.

Usability evaluations of the novel technologies will be conducted by CACP’s HomeLab, in partnership with The Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME-POCT). These evaluations can begin at the design phase of the process and will conclude with user testing for the final product.  User testing will occur wherever the novel test is intended to be used: in the home, in a clinic, in a pharmacy, or in any appropriate community setting. Evaluations will focus on the individual who administers a COVID-19 test.

 

For more information contact Sarah Farmer

Participant FAQ

Participant FAQ

What is the project about?

The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative invests in innovative technologies as a way to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. RADx Tech initiative https://www.nih.gov/research-training/medical-research-initiatives/radx/radx-programs#radx-tech “aims to speed the development, validation, and commercialization of innovative point-of-care and home-based tests, as well as improve clinical laboratory tests, that can directly detect the virus. RADx Tech will expand the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) established several years ago by NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The network will use a flexible, rapid process to infuse funding and enhance technology designs at key stages of development, with expertise from technology innovators, clinical testing, regulatory affairs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.”

  

Who is conducting the work?

Homelab https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab a unit of the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP), at Georgia Tech, is a residence-based network of older adults who have agreed to participate in research studies in their home. Generally, participants are age 55-99; with a variety of medical conditions are represented, from health to those who have conditions such as COPD, diabetes, congestive heart failure, arthritis, and other normative age-related declines. In addition, HomeLab Kids is made up of child participants, with a focus on childhood medical conditions (asthma, juvenile diabetes, special dietary needs, ADHD, Autism spectrum disorder, and chronic diseases). 

 

What is HomeLab’s approach?

Usability evaluations of the novel technologies are conducted by CACP’s HomeLab,https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab in partnership with The Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME-POCT). These evaluations can begin at the design phase of the process and will conclude with user testing for the final product.  User testing will occur wherever the novel test is intended to be used: in the home, in a clinic, in a pharmacy, or in any appropriate community setting. Evaluations will focus on the individual who administers a COVID-19 test.

 

How does HomeLab conduct Usability Evaluations?

As is the standard procedure, HomeLab obtain Georgia Tech Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for the conduct of all research involving human subjects. RADx usability research protocols and recruitment processes are tailored based on the specifics of each novel test and the tasks involved for each test. This ensures that all participants are protected and can be confident that the protocols follow best practice safety and ethical guidelines.

 

For each test, 15-20 participants will be recruited, and a projected 10-20 tests will pass through the program. Overall, between 150 and 400 participants will participate in the program. Participants will be recruited to be representative of the intended user population for each test. 

 

Usability evaluations will be conducted for all of the pertinent contexts: in a home setting; primary care clinics, hospital emergency rooms, and pharmacies, in a clinical lab, or in the community, depending on the intended use location of the tests. 

 

I’m interested in knowing more – who do I contact?

https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab

https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab 

For more information on participation: 

Georgia Tech HomeLab

500 10th Street NW

Atlanta, GA 30332 - 0620

Phone: 404-385-4614

 

Industry FAQ

Industry FAQ

What is the project about?

The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative invests in innovative technologies as a way to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. RADx Tech initiativehttps://www.nih.gov/research-training/medical-research-initiatives/radx/radx-programs#radx-tech   “aims to speed the development, validation, and commercialization of innovative point-of-care and home-based tests, as well as improve clinical laboratory tests, that can directly detect the virus. RADx Tech will expand the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network(POCTRN) established several years ago by NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The network will use a flexible, rapid process to infuse funding and enhance technology designs at key stages of development, with expertise from technology innovators, clinical testing, regulatory affairs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.”

 

How does RADx work?

The NIH invites scientists and inventors with a candidate rapid testing technology to compete in a national “shark tank”-type COVID-19 testing challenge. The program has up to $500 million allocated to fund the various phases of development. The technologies will undergo a highly competitive, rapid three-phase selection process to identify the best candidates for at-home or point-of-care tests for COVID-19. Finalists will be matched with technical, business, and manufacturing experts to increase the odds of success. If certain selected technologies are already relatively far along in development, they can be advanced immediately to the appropriate step in the commercialization process. Details and application information are available on the POCTRN site: https://www.poctrn.org/radx 

 

Who is conducting the work?

HomeLab https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab a unit of the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP), at Georgia Tech, is a residence-based network of older adults who have agreed to participate in research studies in their home. Generally, participants are age 55-99; with a variety of medical conditions are represented, from health to those who have conditions such as COPD, diabetes, congestive heart failure, arthritis, and other normative age-related declines. In addition, HomeLab Kids is made up of child participants, with a focus on childhood medical conditions (asthma, juvenile diabetes, special dietary needs, ADHD, Autism spectrum disorder, and chronic diseases). 

 

What is HomeLab’s approach?

Usability evaluations of the novel technologies are conducted by CACP’s HomeLab, https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab in partnership with The Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME-POCT). These evaluations can begin at the design phase of the process and will conclude with user testing for the final product.  User testing will occur wherever the novel test is intended to be used: in the home, in a clinic, in a pharmacy, or in any appropriate community setting. Evaluations will focus on the individual who administers a COVID-19 test.

 

What is HomeLab’s overall evaluation process?

HomeLab will conduct a three-pronged evaluation:

  • Human Factors Analysis
  • Expert Heuristic Evaluation
  • Usability Evaluation 

 

If the test under evaluation is deemed to have significant usability flaws at the end of the Human Factors Analysis, project directors will be briefed and given the opportunity to terminate the evaluation for that test


 

What is HomeLab’s Human Factors Evaluation process?

HomeLab conducts a Design Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (DFMEA) in which the tasks required to complete the testing process will be identified, as well as potential errors for each task. Following this, the frequency of potential errors will be estimated as well as the associated impact of each potential error. During usability testing, the frequency of each error will be validated and the DFMEA will be updated. HomeLab will also estimate cognitive, sensory, and physical workloads associated with the use of each kit. 

 

What is HomeLab’s Expert Heuristic Evaluation?

Two or more HomeLab researchers independently review each test kit in a lab setting to identify features of the test likely to cause errors, as well as features of the test that may cause other usability issues.  

HomeLab researchers utilize a heuristic evaluation tailored to each test based on FDA usability guidance, sound human factors design principles, and lab experience in the design and evaluation of medical devices. 

 

How does HomeLab conduct Usability Evaluations?

As is the standard procedure, HomeLab obtain Georgia Tech Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for the conduct of all research involving human subjects. RADx usability research protocols and recruitment processes are tailored based on the specifics of each novel test and the tasks involved for each test. 

 

For each test, 15-20 participants will be recruited, and a projected 10-20 tests will pass through the program. Overall, between 150 and 400 participants will participate in the program. Participants will be recruited to be representative of the intended user population for each test. 

 

Usability evaluations will be conducted for all of the pertinent contexts: in a home setting; primary care clinics, hospital emergency rooms, and pharmacies, in a clinical lab, or ; in the community, depending on the intended use location of the tests. 

 

What are the Metrics used in the Usability Evaluations?

HomeLab will report, at a minimum, on the following metrics: 

  • Usability: The extent to which a test can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.
  • Effectiveness: Is the accuracy and completeness with which users achieve specified goals. This includes: percent task completion, frequency and type of errors, frequency of required assistance from evaluator to complete task or test, frequency of user access to documentation or guidance.
  • Efficiency: The resources expended in relation to the accuracy and completeness with which users achieve goals; the time it takes to complete a task, and the mean time taken to complete a test
  • Satisfaction: Elements of satisfaction include: lack of discomfort, and positive attitudes toward the use of a test 
  • Context of use: This includes an assessment of the users, tasks, equipment, and physical environment in which evaluation takes place; the setting and type of space used for usability evaluation, and, relevant circumstances that could affect results.

 

I’m interested in knowing more – who do I contact?

For information on HomeLab, see https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab

For a description of capabilities see https://cacp.gatech.edu/research/accessibility/HomeLab 

For more information: 

Georgia Tech HomeLab

500 10th Street NW

Atlanta, GA 30332 - 0620

Phone: 404-385-4614

homelab@cacp.gatech.edu