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C. Forchuk



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    OS27 - Disrupting Technology into the Next Decade (ID 43)

    • Event: e-Health 2018 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Technical/Interoperability
    • Presentations: 1
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      OS27.04 - Iris Scanners as an Identification Tool for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness (ID 248)

      C. Forchuk, Parkwood Institute; London/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      Purpose/Objectives: The rationale for this research is the disadvantage that is inherent to the frequent loss of ID cards and the subsequent limited access to non-emergency healthcare services. The overall objectives of this study were to assess the functionality of iris scanning technology in a community setting and to evaluate the acceptability of iris scanning for client identification among participants.

      Methodology/Approach: Participants were recruited from a Salvation Army homeless shelter who were either staying there for the month or accessing its services such as the food bank. As participants checked-in to the shelter, they were asked to have a scan of their iris which generated a unique identifying number for each participant. In addition, 50 participants were then asked to perform a second iris scan to verify that the technology could accurately identify them and match their identifying number with their previous scan. Participants answered a short questionnaire focusing on client acceptability and feasibility of the iris scanning identification system. Iris scanning was performed with iris recognition equipment called Seek Avenger, developed by Crossmatch Technologies. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted to generate descriptive statistics and to determine a thematic grouping of responses, respectively.

      Finding/Results: The research team recruited 200 participants over the course of three visits. A total of 191 participants agreed to an iris scan. Qualitative findings revealed three themes for agreeing to a scan; safe and fast identification, incentive for participation ($2 coffee card), and to help a good cause. Of the 167 participants who answered the question on identification preference, 146 (87%) stated they preferred an iris scan over a health card. Reasons for this preference included simplicity, and losing ID cards/not required to carry an ID card. The 21 participants (13%) that preferred an ID card to iris scanning was either for fear of being tracked by government agencies, information falling into criminal hands for misuse, or the lack of system capacity to manage the data. The iris scan was successful in scanning the eye(s) of 182 participants and unsuccessful for six participants, resulting in a success rate of 97%. Furthermore, 50 participants agreed to a second iris scan of which 49 were accurately matched with their previous scan, resulting in an accuracy rate of 98%. The remaining 2% was due to the participant not being able to stay still long enough for the scanner to focus on the eye.

      Conclusion/Implications/Recommendations: Based on the current qualitative and descriptive statistics, iris scanning is a safe and reliable form of identification that can withstand fraudulent activity. If implemented, it can be cost-effective in this population given the frequency of ID card replacement, and the lack of access to non-emergency health care services, the latter of which leads to an increase in emergency department usage and therefore funding. This study recommends the establishment of a quality-assured iris recognition program for identification of individuals experiencing homelessness in order to gain access to services. Concerns and perceptions of surveillance, inabilities of the system, and safety of information must be addressed before implementation.

      140 Character Summary: Iris recognition was found to be an acceptable, reliable and feasible method of identification among individuals experiencing homelessness.

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    OS28 - Bringing Mental Health to the Forefront (ID 46)

    • Event: e-Health 2018 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Clinical Delivery
    • Presentations: 1
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      OS28.05 - A Smart Homes Concept for an Inpatient Psychiatric Population (ID 254)

      C. Forchuk, Parkwood Institute; London/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      Purpose/Objectives: The objective of this exploratory pilot study is to gain insight into the use of smart technologies for individuals with mental illness living in transitional hospital apartments. This pilot study, planned after a successful previous trial by Corring, Campbell and Rudnick (2012), is currently examining the feasibility of implementing a smart homes intervention for participants with mental illness and to determine if further modifications are needed prior to wide-scale community deployment in the homes of discharged participants. The innovative use of technology may be one such strategy in increasing the communication between clients and health care providers. In addition, it was hypothesized that the intervention will assist participants nearing discharge into the community with greater support for successful integration by facilitating independence and improving self-reported health outcomes.

      Methodology/Approach: Up to 20 participants (aged 18-85) who are inpatients at either Parkwood Institute or Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care and meet inclusion criteria will be recruited. Participants will be provided with screen devices such as smartphones, tablets and smart mirrors that can provide video-conferencing capabilities and send questionnaires to their health care providers through the Collaborative Health Record program. These smart technologies will be linked with the Lawson Integrated DataBase which is programmed to transmit prompts and reminders to coincide with the participantsÂ’ care plans. Health adjunct Bluetooth-enabled monitors such as blood pressure monitors, heart rate monitors, weigh scales, glucometers, medication dispensers, and sensor floor mats will also be available. Participants are allowed to select their preferred screen devices and health adjunct monitors based on their health needs. The research team will use a mixed-methods (quantitative & qualitative) design to assess the feasibility of the technology, as well as the perceptions and health of the participants. Upon a one week minimum stay in the apartment, participants will complete a semi-structured interview with research staff. This will be followed up with a 6-month interview post-discharge. Furthermore, focus groups will be conducted with hospital staff to further evaluate the feasibility of the smart technologies.

      Finding/Results: The quantitative results from the participant interviews and the qualitative findings from staff focus groups will be discussed. Quantitative findings will include an analysis of the Perception of Smart Technology tool, the Housing History Survey Form, the Community Integration Questionnaire, the EQ-5D Health Utilities Index, Short Form-36, and the Health, Social, Justice Service Use Questionnaire. Thematic analysis will be used for open-ended questions and focus group discussions.

      Conclusion/Implications/Recommendations: This pilot study is being conducted to assess the feasibility of using smart technology within an inpatient hospital setting for individuals with mental illness. It is envisaged that this pilot study will provide information to enhance the intervention before wider-scale adoption of the technology in the community. The implications of this study could inform health policy and decision makers to adopt more smart technologies into mental health care and/or treatment plans. Long term implications could include being able to effectively serve more individuals with mental illness, and prevent homelessness and criminalization of the population under study.

      140 Character Summary: A pilot study investigating the use of smart technologies in providing support to individuals with mental illness living in transitional hospital apartments.

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