iMedix Patient-Nurse Communication System

Team iMedix

Members of Team iMedix and their client, Professor Theodore Morse, show the application they developed. Pictured from left to right are Kenneth Zhong, Morse, Kholood Al Tabash, Nick Dougherty, Gregory Zoeller and Eric Hsiao.

Hospital nurses face many challenges while treating patients with disabilities and language barriers. Often times, misunderstanding a patient can result in unintended injuries or complications caused by an incorrect medical procedure – not the patient’s condition.

According to a study done at McGill University, “Up to 50 percent of adverse events that occur in hospitals are preventable. Language barriers and disabilities that affect communication have been shown to decrease quality of care.”

As part of their Senior Design Project, Kholood Al Tabash, Nick Dougherty, Eric Hsiao, Kenneth Zhong, and Gregory Zoeller, the members of Team iMedix, worked to improve the current patient-nurse communication process. Their design won the Entrepreneurial Award at ECE Day ’12.

The team worked with Professor Theodore Morse (ECE), Boston University, to build a dynamic, custom made application that gives each patient a unique communication system through an application programming interface (API) suited for his or her needs.

“We wanted to create a customized application and a truly better way to communicate,” said Dougherty.

The team’s iMedix project takes the form of an iPad web application that allows patients with disabilities or language barriers to use features such as picture-based icons, voice over, third party input, and multiple language capabilities to better communicate needs to nurses.

“This project is designed to be universally accessible and customizable,” the teammates wrote in their project description. “Any patient should be able to use it and patients should have the ability to relay specific requests.”

View video of Team iMedix’s ECE Day Presentation.