My lectures are designed for active and curious adults who want to better understand and possibly apply digital health technologies to help them age in place. Their feedback, either from questions offered during the lecture, following the talk, or incorporated in program evaluations, is vital to the ongoing enrichment of the material.
Immediately following a lecture, I seek out a quiet spot and prepare program notes. This process continues for the next few days until I have captured all of the relevant feedback that I can recall. I then review the notes, highlighting key points and insights. Refernce is made to these notes before I give another lecture on the same topic.
Here are ten things I look for as I examine my post meeting notes:
1. Identify the slides which clearly connected with the audience and those which did not. I'll continue to use the former, and remove or edit the latter. For example, a big hit with the audience is attributing a Myers-Briggs rating to Alexa. The latest gadgets from the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) don't seem to have much traction, however.
2. Did the device demos works as intended? The demos which are the most effective involved voice activated devices, virtual reality viewers, and robot pets like the Hasbro Joy for All cat and dog. I have encountered less success with augmented reality and wearables (e.g., Apple Smart Watch) demos.
3. The differences between Digital Health Technologies are often muted and I try to take note of technology spillovers. For example, many care robots use voice activation, and telemedicine may well be broadcast using Amazon or Google visual display devices.
4. I try to take note of repeated audience concerns with regard to using Digital Health Technologies. In my experience, the top three concerns are privacy/security, fall prevention, and overcoming loneliness.
5. Often members in the audience are looking for guidance using the devices. I try to offer suggestions when appropriate. For example, I suggest that the introduction of voice activated devices in a post-acute setting begin with an orientation, a "help desk" to assist with such concerns as enabling/disabling Alexa skills, and the formation of a Voice club or an Alexa club.
6. I encourage audience members to tell their stories about their experience with the technologies. One person recently noted that she gave Amazon Echo Dots to her 7 grandchildren, and they really enjoyed them. A more common response is that attendees use their grandchildren to help them understand and manage the devices.
7. Attendees have a way of asking questions that you don't anticipate: How do you trigger fall alerts when you are unconscious? What happens when there is a power outage? How can robots give compassionate care to frail elderly?
8.Have I given equal weight to the promoters and the critics of these devices? Being overly positive or overly negative upsets the balanced view needed by prospective consumers of the devices.
9. Did we look ahead three years or more, and project how the devices might be used by the audience members? After all, we are in the very early stages of device adoption.
10, Did I allow enough time at the close of the talk to provide for direct audience feedback and discussion?