Challenges in Creating a Mobile Digital Tutor for Clinical Communications Training

  • Wayne ZacharyEmail author
  • Steven Bishop
  • Wally Smith
  • Janis Cannon-Bowers
  • Addison Blanda
  • Prathmesh Pethkar
  • Theresa Wilkin
  • Taylor Carpenter
  • Annika Horgan
  • Thomas Santarelli
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 785)


Doctor-patient communication is a crucial element in effective medical care, and the striking health disparities evident in patients with Type II Diabetes may in part be caused by physicians’ difficulties in establishing effective communication with patients who differ from them racially, culturally, and economically. REPEAT (Realizing Enhanced Patient Encounters through Aiding and Training) is a digital tutor developed to help solve this problem. REPEAT teaches and coaches learners to improve their general and disparities-focused clinical communication skills using simulated encounters with computer-generated Synthetic Standardized Patients (SSPs) and augments experiential learning in virtual encounters by applying customized, context-sensitive, learner-focused scaffolding. REPEAT authoring tools enable rapid development of learning content, allowing economical transferability to other domains. Key human factors challenges and their design solution in REPEAT are discussed.


Digital tutor Clinical communications Mobile Game-based training Intelligent tutoring Health disparities 



The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health, under award number R44MD009559. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne Zachary
    • 4
    Email author
  • Steven Bishop
    • 2
  • Wally Smith
    • 5
  • Janis Cannon-Bowers
    • 1
  • Addison Blanda
    • 1
  • Prathmesh Pethkar
    • 1
  • Theresa Wilkin
    • 1
  • Taylor Carpenter
    • 3
  • Annika Horgan
    • 3
  • Thomas Santarelli
    • 3
  1. 1.Starship Health Technologies, LLCPlymouth MeetingUSA
  2. 2.School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.CHI Systems, Inc.Plymouth MeetingUSA
  4. 4.Starship Health Technologies, LLCFort WashingtonUSA
  5. 5.School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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