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WEHST: Wearable Engine for Human-Mediated Telepresence


WEHST: Wearable Engine for Human-Mediated Telepresence

Arnold, Andre Gilham (2015) WEHST: Wearable Engine for Human-Mediated Telepresence. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This dissertation reports on the industrial design of a wearable computational device created to enable better emergency medical intervention for situations where electronic remote assistance is necessary. The design created for this doctoral project, which assists practices by paramedics with mandates for search-and-rescue (SAR) in hazardous environments, contributes to the field of human-mediated teleparamedicine (HMTPM). Ethnographic and industrial design aspects of this research considered the intricate relationships at play in search-and-rescue operations, which lead to the design of the system created for this project known as WEHST: Wearable Engine for Human-Mediated Telepresence. Three case studies of different teams were carried out, each focusing on making improvements to the practices of teams of paramedics and search-and-rescue technicians who use combinations of ambulance, airplane, and helicopter transport in specific chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) scenarios. The three paramedicine groups included are the Canadian Air Force 442 Rescue Squadron, Nelson Search and Rescue, and the British Columbia Ambulance Service Infant Transport Team. Data was gathered over a seven-year period through a variety of methods including observation, interviews, examination of documents, and industrial design. The data collected included physiological, social, technical, and ecological information about the rescuers. Actor-network theory guided the research design, data analysis, and design synthesis. All of this leads to the creation of the WEHST system. As identified, the WEHST design created in this dissertation project addresses the difficulty case-study participants found in using their radios in hazardous settings. As the research identified, a means of controlling these radios without depending on hands, voice, or speech would greatly improve communication, as would wearing sensors and other computing resources better linking operators, radios, and environments. WEHST responds to this need. WEHST is an instance of industrial design for a wearable “engine” for human-situated telepresence that includes eight interoperable families of wearable electronic modules and accompanying textiles. These make up a platform technology for modular, scalable and adaptable toolsets for field practice, pedagogy, or research. This document details the considerations that went into the creation of the WEHST design.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Arnold, Andre Gilham
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:15 April 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
ID Code:979906
Deposited By: ANDRE ARNOLD
Deposited On:16 Jul 2015 14:59
Last Modified:04 Apr 2019 21:32
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