Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pediatric Hospice is First in the Country with Emoji-Based Pain Map

(We hope you enjoyed our April Fool's jokes this year. Look for more of our past April Fool's posts here. - Ed.)

April 1, 2014 by Abe R Feaulx, Special Reporter


Pediatric Hospice of the Silicon Valley watches emerging trends in technology very closely. Seeing patients who had already staked a preference for Apple products, they wanted to make sure they could understand and relate to them differently then they would to children who grew up on Android based platforms, and the small minority that have Windows, Blackberry or Palm Pilot smartphone experience.  

Social Worker Jo King emphasized, "We noticed that the iOS children in our program would communicate using almost exclusively using Emoji. And we thought, how can we better understand what they are feeling, fearing, and thinking about.  They don't type words, even though they may be 11 or 12.  They just kept going back to these icons."  The team is eventually hoping to publish research about this strange new way of communicating.  Also understanding that a scale was too constricting, the pediatric team took a Ouija board approach and just placed Emoji all over a page and let the children pick without subjecting them to a constricting scale from 0-10.

When asked for clarification on how this was different than just giving the child an iPad, Ms. King replied, "Yeah, basically we just let them play on an iPad."

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