Editor's Summary

Given the risk and cost of proposed but unproven technologies, a method to project likely outcomes offers great value. Visioning studies deliver that opportunity by enabling potential users and other stakeholders the chance to explore new technologies. Goals include validating benefits, exposing unanticipated consequences, discovering hurdles to deployment and revealing considerations for funding. A visioning study was used to investigate 3D telepresence technology in emergency health care, enabling paramedics to work on a simulated trauma victim along with a remote physician. In another phase of the study, three groups of stakeholders viewed a brief video on the proposed technology and were interviewed to understand their thoughts on advantages, obstacles and potential fit. Through the visioning study, researchers were able to explore implementation of the technology and experience its potential benefits and challenges in a realistic test mode. Knowledge gained through visioning can lead to better-informed decisions and more effective use of limited resources.