Alison Smith-Renner, Senior UI/UX Engineer for DECISIVE ANALYTICS Corporation; along with her colleagues Bran Knowles, Forough Poursabzi-Sangdeh, Di Lu, and Halimat Alabi; recently had their article “Uncertainty in Current and Future Health Wearables” published in Communications of the ACM, the leading print and online publication for the computer and information technology fields. Communications is recognized as the most trusted and knowledgeable source of industry information for today’s computing professional.
In Mrs. Smith-Renner’s article, she and her team explore the implications of, and difficulties in designing for, uncertainties regarding health wearables. Approximately 10% of American adults use wearable technology devices like activity trackers to track their well-being. Because activity trackers are mainly used for motivating changes in behavior for fitness goals and activities, it is “easy to forget they are also used to inform more critical decision making and serious investigations of self, including tracking ongoing health conditions and disease progression; tracking mood, with potential implications for mental-health treatment; and self-diagnosing problems involving health or other concerns.”
Consumers who are seriously tracking their well-being and health using these activity trackers require a certain level of precision and data accuracy as well as details regarding the correlations between variables. Recent and future technological advances have enabled technological breakthroughs in disease prevention, prediction, and management. These areas have significantly different uncertainty tolerances than that of the average wearable consumer.
Mrs. Smith-Renner and her team raise areas of concern and call for further research to address uncertainty in health-wearable technology and the trade-offs they imply; specifically, how to provide access to confirmatory evidence of reliability, how to preserve provenance of uncertainties, and finally, how to tailor communication of those uncertainties.
To read the full article, please visit https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2018/12/232877-uncertainty-in-current-and-future-health-wearables/fulltext#.
Alison Smith-Renner has been with DECISIVE ANALYTICS Corporation’s Analytic Technologies Sector for nearly 10 years. She has a unique background in data visualization and user interface design and development. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from the College of William and Mary and completed her Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.
Mrs. Smith-Renner is currently completing her Ph.D. in Computer Science with a focus in Machine Learning and Human Computer Interaction techniques for big data. Next month, she will be hosting the Workshop on Explainable Smart Systems (ExSS) with her collogues Brian Lin, Advait Sarkar, and Simone Stumpf in conjunction with the ACM Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI) conference in Los Angeles.