Telemedicine Prototypes

Correctional Managed Care (CMC), a part of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), provides healthcare services for over 100 locations in Texas and New York. Consisting of a sophisticated health care delivery system (dubbed Cyb-r-Care), these prototypes for the first time combine ergonomic design and operational sophistication. Telemedicine allows health care providers to have an office visit with a remotely located patient via high speed computer access. The two prototypes were designed providing two differing levels of sophistication for different medical specialties.

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Prototype A

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Prototype B

In the last twelve months, CMC has developed Cyb-R-Care to be the healthcare delivery system of the future. Cyb-R-Care integrates six modules: Electronic Medical Records, Telemedicine, Third Party Administration/Management Information Systems, Utilization Management, Case Management and Private Physician Network.

The initial scope of work included two physician studios, a control room, reception area, and staff offices. Each studio was designed to evoke different perceptions of a Doctors Office. Both studios are furnished with a custom workstation and credenza, which utilize the newest controls and technology. However, one studio is seen as a traditional office featuring wood paneling, and traditional looking furnishings, while the other studio contains high-tech materials and futuristic equipment. A control center is located between the studios and acts as the "hub" of the network and routing system. The ceiling height is manipulated in the reception and circulation areas to increase the impact of the studios.

Aside from typical office programming, the ergonomics of each studio was a major factor in the design solutions. Creating a comfortable working environment for the physicians while meeting all of the  issues such as reach, sight line, audio levels and climate control were addressed. Locationing the various monitors to create a hierarchy of visual information and avoid confusion was critical to the success of the project, there are seven monitors in one studio, four monitors in the other. Other considerations included light level controls (override switches, normally dimmed by the digital system), in/out connection controls, scheduling screens, fax and other imaging equipment all controlled from one seated location.

Custom desks and built-in furniture were fabricated by Rene Flores' company Unique Custom Furniture.  The project has been featured in the Nov/Dec 2000 issue of Archi-Tech Magazine.


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