ATOMS Project Technical Report:
Next Generation Data Collection
Bonnie L. Kennedy, Ph.D., OTR
Table of Contents
Due to new and emerging products, the technology content of this fieldscan will soon be outdated. By its nature this technical report, as a survey of current mobile technology, has a very short half-life. PDA churn is the rate at which models are released, upgraded, and replaced. This varies between six months and one year depending on market forces. In contrast, the enduring features of this report are the iterative considerations needed to design a mobile data collection system for the native environments and daily activities of assistive technology (AT) users.
This report reviews hardware, software, and peripherals with potential for gathering some of the desired outcome data related to the use and abandonment of AT. It describes a design process for configuring a mobile data collection system of self-report and objective data. Additionally, this report introduces the latest applications of technology in order to assist in collecting new types of descriptive and outcome data.
The findings of the report include design processes for:
- Establishing a mobile data collection configuration and protocol;
- Matching the type of data to be collected with hardware & software;
- Matching the data collector with the hardware and peripherals.
In addition the following conclusions are drawn:
- In order to use the same tool for several consecutive projects, without the need to upgrade due to changes in operating systems or discontinuation, software and hardware selected for an outcome tool should be based on relatively stable systems.
- Diverse hardware and software configurations provide the opportunity to apply the same psychometrically validated question sets to users with various sensory or motor impairments. There is no universal mobile technology data collection hardware, software, or question set layout that will accommodate all users at this time.
- Advances in mobile digital technology provide the opportunity to gather diverse types of data to address descriptive and outcome questions. Digital photographic technology is now built into many PDAs and mobile phones. For many years, digital voice recording has been a part of most enterprise-level handheld computers. Recent increases in hardware memory capacity have made these tools practical for collecting qualitative narrative as well as quantitative data.