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Posts in category 'Healthcare'

19 October 2014

Hospitable Hospice, Redesigning Care for Tomorrow

hospitablehospice

Design for good death
Hospitable Hospice, Redesigning Care for Tomorrow
An IDEA 2014 Award winner research project
Free download: issuu, pdf

Existing healthcare systems can make the end-of-life experience more frustrating and undignified. The Lien Foundation and ACM Foundation (Singapore) in collaboration with fuelfor design consultants have published an experience design handbook, pdf). Its aim is to raise the universal standard of hospices, the service providers of end-of-life care.

Hospices suffer a poor image. They deserve to be better understood by society, to become a welcomed part of lifelong care services. An ageing population affects not only Singapore but is a worldwide phenomenon, so designing better palliative (non-curative) care services is of great relevance globally.

The team is proposing seven universal experience design concepts. They envisage a new service that is community-integrated, personalised in care and that helps all stakeholders navigate the end-of-life journey with greater confidence. The ideas range across diverse levels of opportunity; ideas like a Goodbye Garden can add dignity to the way that the deceased leaves the hospice. While others like the toolset for baking Thank you Cookies encourages patients to express their feelings in memorable ways. Besides many thought-provoking ideas, the handbook offers a set of 24 Experience Design Principles for designers involved in future hospice projects.

The researchers believe that the Hospitable Hospice handbook can create more conversations about death and dying – in the same way we can speak about marriage and birth – free from stigma, fear and taboo.

15 October 2014

With Electronic Medical Records, doctors read when they should talk

ebola-tmagArticle

And this can have tragic consequences. Like Ebola death tragic. Abigail Zuger, M.D., shares her own experience:

“We do not really know whether dysfunctional software contributed to last month’s debacle in a Dallas emergency room, when some medical mind failed to connect the dots between an African man and a viral syndrome and sent a patient with deadly Ebola back into the community. Even scarier than that mistake, though, is the certainty that similar ones lie in wait for all of us who cope with medical information stored in digital piles grown so gigantic, unwieldy and unreadable that sometimes we wind up working with no information at all.

We are in the middle of a simmering crisis in medical data management. Like computer servers everywhere, hospital servers store great masses of trivia mixed with valuable information and gross misinformation, all cut and pasted and endlessly reiterated. Even the best software is no match for the accumulation. When we need facts, we swoop over the surface like sea gulls over landfill, peck out what we can, and flap on. There is no time to dig and, even worse, no time to do what we were trained to do — slow down, go to the source, and start from the beginning.”

Her conclusion: “Like good police work, good medicine depends on deliberate, inefficient, plodding, expensive repetition. No system of data management will ever replace it.”

2 October 2014

Five tips for experience designers working on healthcare innovation

five-tips-improve-healthcare-banner

Earlier this year Tracy Brown, a London-based UX designer, had the opportunity to work within an innovation lab called The Digital Innovation group (DIG), created as a collaboration between DigitasLBi and Astrazeneca to allow small, multi-disciplined teams the freedom to rapidly prototype and test new ideas for solving a variety of healthcare issues.

She got to focus on two big problems: how to help doctors around the world cope with their continual medical education (CME) needs and also how to solve the unique problems doctors and patients faced in the Chinese healthcare system.

Here are five things she learned that will help us rise to the challenge of designing effective solutions in the healthcare sector:
1. Start by understanding the difference between a problem and a symptom
2. Sometimes there isn’t an app for that
3. Don’t resign yourself to what you have permission to solve
4. Sometimes not being a medical professional is useful
5. Challenges will come in every size and shape

16 August 2014

How to conduct design research for home healthcare devices

healthcare_device

As healthcare shifts from the hospital to the home, design research must also morph to keep up, writes Shana Leonard.

Who is the typical user of your medical product and what is the use environment? These used to be easy questions for medical device companies to answer. But the increasing shift in healthcare from the hospital to the home has many designers scratching their heads in response.

As the industry adapts to serve these new stakeholders, the focus on user-centered design, observational research, human factors engineering, and generally designing with the user in mind is becoming increasingly critical in order to ensure compliance, minimize risk, and promote market adoption. Designers must be creative and nimble in the face of these complex new challenges.

16 August 2014

Leveraging ethnography to improve food safety

supermarket

Carolyn Rose explains how ethnography can be used to improve food safety:

If done correctly, ethnography leads to a holistic and unbiased understanding of current practices and the motivations that drive them. Looking specifically to learn the existing challenges, workarounds, deviations and drivers within an interaction, task or activity, we are able to identify opportunities for process-based improvements. Such opportunities can ultimately take many forms, including new work flows, tools and/or techniques. For example, identifying specific areas of noncompliance might lead to new safety training protocols, while identifying comparatively labor-intensive or time-consuming tasks might lead to the implementation of alternative technologies/automation aimed to mitigate bottlenecks.

As such, ethnography can be a critical first step in evolving food safety practices. With a sound understanding of current practices and the real needs and challenges therein, we can make informed and targeted process improvements aimed to optimize efficiency, quality, ease of use, consistency and safety.

31 July 2014

The importance of user-focused research in medical device design

kneejoint

“The human factors activities that deliver safety and effectiveness [in medical devices] do not necessarily deliver a good user experience or, ultimately, a good product,” argues Martin Bontoft in MDDI.

In fact, he writes, “some industry experts have observed unintended consequences of regulating human factors and design: Regulated activities can crowd out unregulated efforts to improve device design, and consequent increases in safety and effectiveness may be at the expense of user experience. In other words: The device is safe, but would anyone actually want to use it?

“The best approach is to conduct user-focused research in conjunction with device-focused user research. Design research includes a range of techniques that provide insights about people—not just users—and that do not require, or even presume, a device. This approach yields evidence that is likely to be relevant to device developers, but it is also relevant to a wider range of stakeholders. It will tell you, for example, not only whether people are likely to want your product, but why or why not, input that is essential to good product development.

Techniques inspired and informed by ethnography, such as contextual inquiry and design ethnography, are key to successful user-focused research. Both of these ethnographic field research methodologies seek to understand and explain—and thereby predict—user behavior, even though that behavior may seem inexplicable and even irrational. However, contextual inquiry best describes the research activities focused on people in a specific context of use, such as an operating theater or with a legacy device, such as an injector. Design ethnography, on the other hand, is slightly more open-ended, less focused on an existing context, and more likely to look obliquely at peoples’ existence, perhaps because the device or context of use is so new.”

19 July 2014

[Book]: Nursing Research Using Ethnography

9780826134653

Nursing Research Using Ethnography: Qualitative Designs and Methods in Nursing
Mary De Chesnay, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN (Editor)
Pub. Date: 08/28/2014
372 pp., Softcover
Springer
[Amazon]

Ethnography is a qualitative research design that focuses on the study of people to explore cultural phenomena. This concise, “how to” guide to conducting qualitative ethnography research spearheads a new series, Qualitative Designs and Methods, for novice researchers and specialists alike focusing on state-of-the-art methodologies from a nursing perspective. Scholars of qualitative ethnography research review the philosophical basis for choosing ethnography as a research tool and describe in depth its key features and development level. They provide directives on how to solve practical problems related to ethnography research, nursing examples, and discussion of the current state of the art. This includes a comprehensive plan for conducting studies and a discussion of appropriate measures, ethical considerations, and potential problems.

Examples of published ethnography nursing research worldwide, along with author commentary, support the new researcher in making decisions and facing challenges. Each chapter includes objectives, competencies, review questions, critical thinking exercises, and web links for more in-depth research. A practical point of view pervades the book, which is geared to help novice researchers and specialists expand their competencies, engage graduate teachers and students and in-service educators and students, and aid nursing research in larger health institutions.

Key Features:

  • Includes examples of state-of-the-art ethnography nursing research with content analysis
  • Presents a comprehensive plan for conducting studies and appropriate measures, ethical considerations, and potential challenges
  • Describes theoretical underpinnings, key features, and development level
  • Written by ethnography scholars from around the world
9 May 2014

Mayo Clinic study highlights potential of mobile technology to transfer patient rehabilitation

PhoneStethoPostImg

In a recent study out of the Mayo Clinic (reported on by iMedicalApps), patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation post-MI were offered the opportunity to use an app that provides the ability to track their progress and delivers daily supportive messaging as well as education material. In addition to greater improvements in body weight, blood pressure, and quality of life when compared to a non-user population, they also found a significant reduction in rehospitalization.

25 April 2014

What if doctors could prescribe behavior change?

how_it_works-impact_asthma_copd

Doctors have known for decades that, in order to prevent disease or its complications, they were going to have to get into people’s living rooms and convince them to change everyday behaviors that would very likely kill them.

The world urgently needs better ways to bring behavior change therapies to the masses, and advancements in digital tech are finally enabling us to orchestrate the necessary ingredients to make that happen in a clinically meaningful way: “digital therapeutics.”

“A handful of medically-minded visionaries have put real clinical rigor into every aspect of their design. For instance, David Van Sickle, a former CDC “epidemiologist intelligence officer,” and now the CEO and Co-Founder of Propeller Health, built a GPS-enabled sensor for asthma inhalers that links to an elegantly designed app — every puff is mapped and time-stamped, allowing patients and doctors to spot patterns in ‘random’ attacks and identify previously unknown triggers.

Another example is Jenna Tregarthen, a PhD candidate in clinical psychology and eating disorder specialist. She rallied a team of engineers, entrepreneurs, and fellow psychologists to develop Recovery Record, a digital therapy that helps patients gain control over their eating disorder by enabling them to self-monitor for destructive thoughts or actions, follow meal plans, achieve behavior goals, and message a therapist instantly when they need support.”

6 March 2014

How collaborating with patients improves hospital care

hospital-care-improvement-009

The Guardian reports on how a new UK project where patients and NHS staff work together to improve services shows that even small changes can have a big impact on the quality of care.

The project, with an impossibly long name, has been designed by academics from Oxford university’s health experience research group and studies patients’ experience of illness. Working with professor Glenn Robert at King’s College London, who had developed a new approach to help the NHS make better use of patient feedback, the Oxford academics compiled short videos about patients’ experiences of intensive care and lung cancer services.

They formed the basis for small group discussions between medical staff, managers, patients and relatives who identified priorities for change, many of which were then implemented.

Download background materials

6 December 2013

New UK Lab to transform healthcare using design

helix

A new centre will bring the principles of design into the heart of a leading hospital to create a global research hub for “frugal innovation and high-impact, low-cost design”, writes The Times Higher Education.

Royal College of Art (press release) and the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London (press release), have together launched the Helix Centre for Design and Innovation in Healthcare, Europe’s first dedicated centre for healthcare design and innovation..

“Innovation in healthcare can come at a high price. In the developed world it is often characterised by costly and high tech initiatives, where ideas can take a decade to deliver from concept into a clinician’s hands. HELIX will use design to solve everyday problems in healthcare, focusing on low cost solutions which can be adopted more quickly by health systems. Everything the centre does will be firmly rooted in patient care – based out of St Mary’s Hospital its sole focus will be on design that directly improves the care that patients receive

medical equipmentThe Centre will bring together clinicians, academics, technologists and venture capitalist expertise with NHS staff to develop innovations with global application. Recognising that some of the promising technologies in healthcare are developing outside the UK, HELIX will work collaboratively with international academic and commercial partners such as Stanford University, Singapore University of Technology and Design the IDEO and TATA in India to develop ideas and create commercial opportunities for our best designs.

The Centre will use its research strengths and diverse networks to explore how design in health care can enhance patient care including meeting the needs of an ageing population, improve clinical outcomes and prevent or mitigate against disease.”

8 November 2013

Medical advice just a touch away with smartphone apps

cardiacdesign

Devices once only in the hands of doctors, such as heart or blood pressure monitors, are now in the pockets of consumers, putting them in charge of their health and making medical care more accessible. Consumers are also increasingly armed with “wellness” apps — simpler devices to monitor diets, exercise and weight to help them stay out of the doctor’s office — that make up most of the 97,000 health related mobile-apps available.

Out of a score of 100, more than 90 percent of apps received a functionality score of 40 or less. In other words, consumers don’t find most apps all that useful.

18 October 2013

An obstacle to patient-centered care: poor supply systems

 

It is widely acknowledged that patients and their families should be deeply involved in the design of and decisions about the health care that the former receive — and that it is integral to achieving high quality and patient satisfaction. But delivering such “patient-centered care” has proven challenging. After hundreds of hours of observations in hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada, Anita L. Tucker has come to the conclusion [written up in an article for the Harvard Business Review] that health care professionals will continue to struggle to deliver it unless hospitals redesign their internal supply processes, structures, and measurement systems so that staff have the specific materials and equipment needed for patients’ individual care plans, when they are needed. The good news is that approaches in other industries offer possible models for hospitals and other care providers.

15 August 2013

By Us, For Us: The power of co-design and co-delivery

ByUsForUs

At the core of a People Powered Health approach is collective ownership of health and wellbeing. Professionals need to start from the position of not necessarily knowing the right answer, which is a significant challenge. Creating a health system driven by the people within it, not by the institutions that provide care, requires engagement in all stages – in designing, delivering or using, and in evaluating the service. This recognises that those who provide and experience services should have an equal say and role in how services are designed and delivered.

This requires going beyond ‘engagement’, ‘involvement’ and ‘person-centred’ towards real co-design and co-delivery at every level of the health service. There are many definitions, and many facets, of co-design and co-delivery. What all of them have in common is an ethos and recognition that those who provide and experience services should have an equal say and role in how such services are designed and delivered.

By us, For us: the power of co-design and co-delivery is one in a series of learning products which explain why People Powered Health works, what it looks like and the key features needed to replicate success elsewhere.

It draws on the experience of the six teams who took part in People Powered Health, which was led by Nesta and Innovation Unit from summer 2011 to winter 2012.

The series includes:

31 July 2013

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

crowd

Rob Egerton and Jeanette Kaye of HRW write on why research needs to go beyond the individual’s perspective to get closer to the reality of behaviour.

“Two important theories – which many of you may have heard of – shed new light on how we can better access the reality of how people behave and challenge some of our orthodox approaches. These theories give us direction on how we can get better estimates of future intentions but also suggest that we should move away from just exploring why the individual respondent did what they did, but rather explore more widely how the dynamics of others around them influence what they do.

The 2004 publication by James Surowiecki raises the interesting notion that group decision-making or estimation is much more accurate than individual decision-making. [...] Whenever exploring future behaviour, we shouldn’t just focus on how the individual respondent intends to behave in the future but rather how they think others will behave. Collating these responses from a wide crowd is likely to therefore be more accurate. [...]”

The second theory, which challenges our traditional focus on exploring how the individual makes decisions, is that of group behaviour. In his book ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’, author Mark Earls makes the claim that in determining how decisions are made, the influence of other people is often far more significant than the individual’s process of weighing up what they should do.

19 July 2013

Human-centered design for new models of wellness and innovation

BIF-Elements-of-Wellness

A year ago, in July 2012, Business Innovation Factory (BIF) began a partnership with Children’s Medical Center in Dallas to find “new models of care”, and better serve five counties of children and their families in North Texas.

In this community, families struggle to make a living, and suffer from many chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity. To create transformative, sustainable models of care, Children’s Medical Center needed to move away from “sick care” to a broader focus on “well care”.

By focusing on patient experience through the principles of human-centered design, BIF provided insights shared in their foundational research, “Laying the Foundation”.

You can read more about it here.

6 June 2013

Participatory design in healthcare

participatory-design-healthcare-small

Participatory Design in Healthcare: Patients and doctors can bridge critical information gaps is the title of a UX Magazine article by Andrii Glushko, a UX designer at SoftServe Inc.

“What we now call participatory design went through a number of changes, and can be seen influencing urban design, architecture, community planning, and placemaking, as well as landscape design, product design, sustainability, graphic design, software design, and healthcare. The combination of the last two elements is the subject of this article.

Most of us will agree that developing a model of a future healthcare IT product should involve professionals who are familiar with design thinking, and can apply usability best practices to design a solid product. But shaping a model or a concept of a healthcare product is too important and often too risky to leave to the UX designers alone.

The main issue is a lack of background knowledge and the completely different experiences of a designer and an actual user”

26 May 2013

For consumers, an ‘Open Data’ society is a misnomer

openbook

Despite all the hoopla about an “open data” society, many consumers are being kept in the dark, writes Natasha Singer in The New York Times.

“A few companies are challenging the norm of corporate data hoarding by actually sharing some information with the customers who generate it — and offering tools to put it to use. It’s a small but provocative trend in the United States, where only a handful of industries, like health care and credit, are required by federal law to provide people with access to their records.”

Particularly the initiative of San Diego Gas and Electronic caught my attention:

Last year, San Diego Gas and Electric, a utility, introduced an online energy management program in which customers can view their electricity use in monthly, daily or hourly increments. There is even a practical benefit: customers can earn credits by reducing energy consumption during peak hours.

About one-quarter of the company’s 1.2 million residential customers have tried the program, says Caroline Winn, the company’s vice president for customer services. Newer features, she says, allow customers to download their own use files. Or they can choose to give permission for the utility to share their records directly with a handful of apps that can analyze the data and suggest ways to reduce energy consumption.

Note also the discussion of initiatives taken by Intel, and the comments by Ken Anderson, an intel anthropologist.

26 May 2013

Book: Design For Care – Innovating Healthcare Experience

design-for-care

Design For Care – Innovating Healthcare Experience
Peter Jones
Rosenfeld Media, 2013
376 pages

The world of healthcare is constantly evolving, ever increasing in complexity, costs, and stakeholders, and presenting huge challenges to policy making, decision making and system design. In Design for Care, Peter Jones shows how service and information designers can work with practice professionals and patients/advocates to make a positive difference in healthcare.

More in particular, the book will:

  • Present a current presentation of compelling healthcare design and information issues, integrated by representative case studies, to help designers, managers, students and teachers better understand the field
  • Educate and stimulate this audience to innovate and design better services from a total systems perspective in current healthcare practice
  • Help this audience understand the complexities, emerging opportunities, and uncertainties as indicated from the collective experience of leading edge design and research thinkers

It’s the first book of Rosenfeld Media focused on a specific industry—healthcare, of course. It’s also something of a service design book and a design strategy book to boot. After all, as the design field becomes increasingly recognized as strategically important, we’ll need to contextualize its value for a variety of wicked problems—ones that are often associated with particular industries.

Peter Jones is associate professor at Toronto’s OCAD University, where he is a senior fellow of the Strategic Innovation Lab and teaches in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes program.

25 April 2013

Steampunking interaction design and other Interaction Magazine articles

IAX20.3_Cover

Interactions Magazine is no longer the influential voice in the interaction design community that it used to be a few years ago. Lots of the reason why has to do with the fact that the bulk of the articles are behind a membership paywall, while the content remains as relevant as ever. Here are the publicly available articles published in the latest, May-June 2013, issue:

Creating the World Citizen Parliament
The cover story by Douglas Schuler explores, very seriously and thoughtfully, how interaction designers could create a World Citizen Parliament, a bottom-up, social, and material infrastructure and a vast interconnected network of deliberative assemblies, that helps people better deliberate together to make better decisions.

Steampunking interaction design
In this feature story, Matt Walsh, who works for an advertising agency, writes about the awesome power and potential of tension as a tool for interaction designers.

Harnessing the power of positive tension
Joshua Tanenbaum, Audrey Desjardins and Karen Tanenbaum like to view Steampunk through the lens of what Julian Bleecker and Bruce Sterling have termed design fiction, and believe they have a general relevance to design within the HCI community and for the future of interaction design.

Austin Center for Design
Interview with Jon Kolko on the educational institution in Austin, Texas that teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship.

There is more in personal heritage than data
Daniela Petrelli explores personal memory and heritage in a time of digital obsolescence.

Interactive systems for health
Gillian Hayes, the new Health Matters forum editor, lays out three ways in which designers, researchers, and practitioners are reconsidering information and evidence within the realm of health IT.