Explanation before Adoption: Revealing Methods Used to Support Informed Consent for Complex Platforms

Explanation before Adoption: Revealing Methods Used to Support Informed Consent for Complex Platforms
Rachel Eardley, Emma L. Tonkin, Ewan Soubutts, Amid Ayobi, Gregory J. L. Tourte, Rachael Gooberman-Hill, Ian J Craddock, Aisling Ann O’Kane
Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction [Bristol, UK], April 2023
Explaining health technology platforms to non-technical members of the public is an important part of the process of informed consent. Complex technology platforms that deal with safety-critical areas are particularly challenging, often operating within private domains (eg health services within the home) and used by individuals with various understandings of hardware, software, and algorithmic design. Through two studies, the first an interview and the second an observational study, we questioned how experts (eg those who designed, built, and installed a technology platform) supported provision of informed consent by participants. We identify a wide range of tools, techniques, and adaptations used by experts to explain the complex SPHERE sensor-based home health platform, provide implications for the design of tools to aid explanations, suggest opportunities for interactive explanations, present the range of information needed, and indicate future research possibilities in communicating technology platforms.

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