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What changes in digital technology do you think would help during end of life?

Death is an inevitable part of the human experience. Unfortunately, when it comes to technology, topics dealing with death/end of life seem to be under-researched or avoided all together.

I am starting thesis work for a Masters in Human Computer Interaction (Usability/User Experience) and I am interested in the topic of end of life where it intersects with technology. Given that this area is very under researched and thus research opportunities are plentiful, I am looking to connect with people who deal with end of life on a regular basis to help me understand:

How could technology be change help improve the quality of life or ease any psychological stress in people who are at the end of life?

What hurdles does technology create during this period or during grieving?

How could technology help the loved ones during the last hours/days/minutes of the life of a relative/friend?

Thank you! :)

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    Sep 8 2013: personally, i think that pain relief would be important for people suffering and the other would be freedom from machines and systems.
  • Sep 11 2013: Digital tools and technology help people to be conneted more tightly. This makes our lives convenient and comfortable. But this brings about some problems. People always hold their phone or computer, not paying attetion to someone who is in front of them right now. I think people are getting more used to the digital things not the humane things. This makes me sad sometimes. Why they do not realized that the most important thing is always in front of our own eyes?. ?
  • Sep 10 2013: 1. Stop pain without drugs - believe we are close to do this by stimulation of the brain
    2. Allow people to move and do things - supported by robots controlled by voice or direct brain control
    3. Stop dementia - attach computers directly to the brain to support memory recall and logic
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    Sep 9 2013: if the digital can't handle the idea of the death why we waste our time to think *we must be holding more by technology in moment of weakness in our lives *the compassion of losing a live come from anothers Lives only for can be cherished like it deserve really.
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      Sep 9 2013: Sorry for my cutting in and hope you don't mind.
      I agree with you. However, if the patients still choose to live longer, we should respect their choice.
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        Sep 9 2013: you cut nothing i was talking about mourning exactly ,the technology can compassionate with patients alive to keep their lives the long can do it with the knowledje of medecine that we have but the death still our sad absolutely in this life ,thank you.
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    Sep 9 2013: In that case , I think I really need some electronic equipment to help. I hope it's like tranformers, an intelligent smart folding handicap, helping sick people move and detect their body's physical needs by some wireless sensors. Help some unconscious or suffered patients automtically with their urinating and defecating. It's also with an screen or a camera connected to relevant people's smart glasses or watches to show all things going on . And the relevant people from remote places can get information or alarm simultaneously as well as contact nurse or doctors if they aren't by the side of the patient in some emergency.
  • Sep 9 2013: Hi all,
    Thanks for the great responses. : ) I know this is a bit of a grim topic but it's one that will have to be addressed in computing sooner or later.

    I guess that what I am looking for has to how computing could evolve in the near term to help medical and nursing staff to navigate the final stages of terminally ill patients , the family and friends to understand what is to come and how to cope, mental health professionals and religious leaders to provide better support for the bereaved.
  • Sep 9 2013: I think being able yo eventually download your memories and thoughts in some achievable and usable format might be a neat goal. The knowledge that this information was not lost might be comforting.
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    Sep 8 2013: I hope advanced digital technology can possibly help people realize their unconsummated dreams and bring people alleviation on mental at the end of their lives. For example , they can let people travel to where they can't go by a camera connected with that country or place . They can talk to whomever they want to talk even if they are faraway. I also hope the digital technology could help to build atmosphere or illusion by visual or aural effects that can abate people's terminal pains at that moment.