Multimodal In-Vehicle Hypoglycemia Warning for Drivers With Type 1 Diabetes: Design and Evaluation in Simulated and Real-World Driving

Bérubé C, Maritsch M, Lehmann VF, Kraus M, Feuerriegel S, Züger T, Wortmann F, Stettler C, Fleisch E, Baki Kocaballi A, Kowatsch T (2024)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


Book Volume: 11

Article Number: e46967

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.2196/46967


Background: Hypoglycemia threatens cognitive function and driving safety. Previous research investigated in-vehicle voice assistants as hypoglycemia warnings. However, they could startle drivers. To address this, we combine voice warnings with ambient LEDs. Objective: The study assesses the effect of in-vehicle multimodal warning on emotional reaction and technology acceptance among drivers with type 1 diabetes. Methods: Two studies were conducted, one in simulated driving and the other in real-world driving. A quasi-experimental design included 2 independent variables (blood glucose phase and warning modality) and 1 main dependent variable (emotional reaction). Blood glucose was manipulated via intravenous catheters, and warning modality was manipulated by combining a tablet voice warning app and LEDs. Emotional reaction was measured physiologically via skin conductance response and subjectively with the Affective Slider and tested with a mixed-effect linear model. Secondary outcomes included self-reported technology acceptance. Participants were recruited from Bern University Hospital, Switzerland. Results: The simulated and real-world driving studies involved 9 and 10 participants with type 1 diabetes, respectively. Both studies showed significant results in self-reported emotional reactions (P<.001). In simulated driving, neither warning modality nor blood glucose phase significantly affected self-reported arousal, but in real-world driving, both did (F2,68=4.3; P<.05 and F2,76=4.1; P=.03). Warning modality affected self-reported valence in simulated driving (F2,68=3.9; P<.05), while blood glucose phase affected it in real-world driving (F2,76=9.3; P<.001). Skin conductance response did not yield significant results neither in the simulated driving study (modality: F2,68=2.46; P=.09, blood glucose phase: F2,68=0.3; P=.74), nor in the real-world driving study (modality: F2,76=0.8; P=.47, blood glucose phase: F2,76=0.7; P=.5). In both simulated and real-world driving studies, the voice+LED warning modality was the most effective (simulated: mean 3.38, SD 1.06 and real-world: mean 3.5, SD 0.71) and urgent (simulated: mean 3.12, SD 0.64 and real-world: mean 3.6, SD 0.52). Annoyance varied across settings. The standard warning modality was the least effective (simulated: mean 2.25, SD 1.16 and real-world: mean 3.3, SD 1.06) and urgent (simulated: mean 1.88, SD 1.55 and real-world: mean 2.6, SD 1.26) and the most annoying (simulated: mean 2.25, SD 1.16 and real-world: mean 1.7, SD 0.95). In terms of preference, the voice warning modality outperformed the standard warning modality. In simulated driving, the voice+LED warning modality (mean rank 1.5, SD rank 0.82) was preferred over the voice (mean rank 2.2, SD rank 0.6) and standard (mean rank 2.4, SD rank 0.81) warning modalities, while in real-world driving, the voice+LED and voice warning modalities were equally preferred (mean rank 1.8, SD rank 0.79) to the standard warning modality (mean rank 2.4, SD rank 0.84). Conclusions: Despite the mixed results, this paper highlights the potential of implementing voice assistant–based health warnings in cars and advocates for multimodal alerts to enhance hypoglycemia management while driving.

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Bérubé, C., Maritsch, M., Lehmann, V.F., Kraus, M., Feuerriegel, S., Züger, T.,... Kowatsch, T. (2024). Multimodal In-Vehicle Hypoglycemia Warning for Drivers With Type 1 Diabetes: Design and Evaluation in Simulated and Real-World Driving. JMIR Human Factors, 11(1).


Bérubé, Caterina, et al. "Multimodal In-Vehicle Hypoglycemia Warning for Drivers With Type 1 Diabetes: Design and Evaluation in Simulated and Real-World Driving." JMIR Human Factors 11.1 (2024).

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