‘Weather’ Wearable System: A Design Exploration to Facilitate the Collaboration and Communication with Chronic Pain Patients

  • Xin TongEmail author
  • Diane Gromala
  • Amber Choo
  • Mahsoo Salimi
  • Jeewon Lee
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9177)


Unpredictable spikes in pain intensity can easily interrupt the lives of chronic pain patients. The uncertainty of when these painful experiences will occur inhibits positive communications and collaborations with friends, families or co-workers in daily life. In this paper, the authors explore an affective design space for developing a wearable technology piece using real-time biofeedback monitoring capabilities. The intent of the device is to mitigate chronic pain patients’ pain uncertainty in order to facilitate daily collaborations between the worker who lives with chronic pain and co-workers through social signaling. This exploratory design process, including the wearable system organization and presentation rationale, was developed in participatory design collaboration with target users: a chronic pain patient and people she works with in an academic workplace context. After three iterations, two prototypes were developed; each addresses the control of privacy and information sharing issues. In future work, appropriate evaluation methods will be explored and the iterative design prototype also will be improved based on user feedback. The long-term goal is to improve the wearable’s applicability in a variety of social contexts, and applicability for other chronic conditions.


Wearable computing system Chronic pain Collaboration and communication Uncertainty mitigation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Tong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diane Gromala
    • 1
  • Amber Choo
    • 1
  • Mahsoo Salimi
    • 1
  • Jeewon Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversitySurreyCanada

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