Ibrahim Alwawi
First Name: Ibrahim
Surname: Alwawi
Position: Research Student
Telephone: 01224 262574

Research Title: Cognitive Modelling and Control of Human Error Processes in Human-Computer Interaction with Safety Critical IT Systems in Telehealth: Investigation of image characteristics in telehealth using mobile phones.

Start Date: October 2008

The research aims to investigate how human users perceive the colour red when transmitted via video links or via mobile phone. The colour red plays a major role in clinical diagnosis yet the physics of the colour make accurate electronic transmission and representation hard. Given increased reliance on telehealth in the NHS, this research aims to provide guidelines on the quality of colour that is minimum for diagnosis e.g. of infection. The research is experimental in nature, i.e. healthcare and non healthcare workers are presented with clinical images e.g. of skins infections and are asked to perform various perceptual and cognitive tasks. These include classification, ranking and description. This data is being used in the research to determine the cognitive parameters of colour perception and cognition 

The project involves collaboration between the Cognitive Engineering Research Group at the Robert Gordon University and with NHS24 and the A&E Department and Scottish centre for telehealth in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary ARI.

The project aims to investigate human errors in carrying out diagnosis of dermatological conditions using remote imaging as a special case of complex safety-critical human computer interaction where cognitive overload can result in errors of judgment. This project involves analysis and comparing images to examine how these errors may occur. A particular focus will be on the role of colour images, i.e. the effect of image quality and characteristics as a function of human colour perception in telehealth, in particular, when diagnosing skin infection such as cellulitis. This involves mainly doctors and any other related healthcare experts. The project also involves non-health workers for comparison and analysis. The research will be also looking into the use of mobile phones in taking and sending medical images. The previous experiments were more specifically based on diagnosing cellulitis. This can also be applied to other pathologies. The project will be looking into the use of mobile phones, and eye tracking in the next experiments. The figure below shows how the existing Telehealth Booth at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) works. This set-up is intended for internal experiments with telehealth. Two challenges face the centre for telehealth in ARI. These challenges are: firstly, the absence of measurement tools for the colour qualities to avoid subjective judgements and any mismatching or disordering that might occur in diagnosing process. And secondly, the absence of standardisation in the technical setting and applications and equipment such as in camera, monitors, transmission, displaying, illumination (or lighting) of the medical images. This requires lots of experimental activities which will be addressed by this project.


  • Patrik Holt
  • Eyad Elyan