Reading is an important ability, especially for patients during their medical treatment. It is needed, for instance, to complete administrative forms and patient-reported outcome questionnaires in clinical routine. Unfortunately, not every patient is able to read caused by illiteracy, low vision or simply speaking another language. Thus, a minder is required to support the mentioned reading tasks. Providing patients with the possibility to read and understand texts without additional help is an important factor to improve their self-empowerment. Digital voice pens can be programmed to play prerecorded audio files if tipped onto predefined areas of interactive paper. They can be a tool for impaired patients to read texts aloud in multiple languages. In this work, we wanted to evaluate the possibilities of these digital voice pens. A feasibility study was conducted by using the commercially available tiptoi digital voice pen by Ravensburger AG and the tttool application by Joachim Breitner for the programming of the pen. Focusing on the use case of questionnaires, a schematic questionnaire was implemented which enforced the usage of a digital voice pen. To simulate foreign languages or illiteracy, questions and answers of the document were represented by placeholders and the digital voice pen was required to read aloud the question texts. The correctness of the given answers was documented and the usability of the digital voice pen was measured by the System Usability Scale. The evaluation was performed by 15 volunteers (8 male/7 female) between 24 and 35 years old. The usability and acceptance of digital voice pens were rated as “Good” in our constructed setting.
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