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Title: An inclusive approach towards designing medical devices for use in the home environment
Authors: Cifter, Abdusselam Selami
Advisors: Dong, H
Keywords: Home use medical devices;Home healthcare devices;Design process;Lay users;Designers' requirements
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Brunel University School of Engineering and Design PhD Theses
Abstract: An emerging trend of the healthcare industry is the huge increase in the number of medical devices being used by lay people at home. Home use medical devices range from simple inhalers to very complicated devices such as defibrillators. This research aimed to assist designers in developing home use medical devices by providing information and suggestions regarding lay users and how to address their needs and expectations. For this purpose a qualitative and inductive approach was adopted and several studies were carried out, including: (1) a comprehensive literature review to understand the background of the phenomena; (2) observational studies with 40 lay users (i.e. 10 younger lay users, 10 older lay users, 10 users with mobility and sensory disabilities, and 10 users with cognitive disabilities) in order to identify their characteristics when interacting with products; (3) an online questionnaire survey with 53 designers to understand designers‟ requirements when designing home use medical devices, as well as their expectations for a proposed design support tool; (4) the development of the design support tool; and (5) an evaluation study with 12 professional designers in order to assess the effectiveness of the tool (in a format of a design guidance). This research adopted an inclusive approach which investigated both lay users‟ characteristics and designers‟ perspectives. It has, for the first time, outlined lay user characteristics based on empirical studies with different groups of people. It is also one of few studies focussing on designing home use medical devices; the requirements of professional designers have provided an in-depth insight into the challenges of designing medical devices for use in the home environment. The design guidance, as commended by the designers in the evaluation, was the first comprehensive information source in the UK for the emerging home use medical device field where little support is currently available.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Design
Dept of Design Theses

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