ICU CHAT: Feasibility of the use of a novel interactive technology-based communication device, ICU CHAT, for patients with tracheostomy on the ICU

Lead researchers: Fiona Howroyd, Dr Charlotte Small, Duncan Buckly, Dr Catherine Snelson, Ruth Capewell, Claire Storrie, David McWilliams, Prof Julian Bion, Prof Bob Stone, Dr Cheng Qian, Vish Shingari

Aim: Develop and evaluate a novel interactive technology-based devise to enhance tracheostomy  patients’ ability to communicate while on the ICU

Background: Patients recovering from a critical illness on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) may require a tracheostomy tube which, while helping the patient breathe, temporarily prevents them from speaking and letting their voice be heard. This research aims to change that using technology and allowing these people to communicate while still on the ICU.

Method: Patients who have undergone a tracheostomy as part of their care on the ICU will be invited to participate in the study. Each patient will be asked to complete a series of short tasks using the ICU CHAT device. They will then be asked questions on their opinion of the device. Once the patient has recovered sufficiently to allow them to communicate freely, the research team will invite them and a friend or family member to take part in an interview to explore their experiences of their ability to communicate whilst on the ICU.

Measure findings: The ICU CHAT system will measure how successfully the patient was able to use the new device. The patient and nursing staff questionnaire will determine usability scoring. This will be supported by analysis of the comments made during the subsequent interviews. This information will be used to inform future and trial prototype design.

Lead researchers