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Assessing the use of co-design to produce bespoke assistive technology solutions within a current healthcare service: a service evaluation

Jonathan Howard, Lorna H. Tasker, Zoe Fisher Orcid Logo, Jeremy Tree Orcid Logo

Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume: 19, Issue: 1, Pages: 42 - 51

Swansea University Authors: Jonathan Howard, Zoe Fisher Orcid Logo, Jeremy Tree Orcid Logo

Abstract

Purpose: Co-design involves engaging with the end-user in the design process and may help reduce the barriers to assistive technology use. Previous research has used co-design in the provision of assistive technology, but no research has looked at applying it within a healthcare setting. This servic...

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Published in: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
ISSN: 1748-3107 1748-3115
Published: Informa UK Limited 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa60332
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Abstract: Purpose: Co-design involves engaging with the end-user in the design process and may help reduce the barriers to assistive technology use. Previous research has used co-design in the provision of assistive technology, but no research has looked at applying it within a healthcare setting. This service evaluation examines the use of co-design in providing customized assistive devices within a current UK healthcare based Rehabilitation Engineering department. Methods: This evaluation reports on three case studies. Individuals identified a range of challenges in daily living. The participants worked with the clinician in trialling prototypes and providing feedback to develop custom devices. A mixed-method approach of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to evaluate the devices provided and the co-design approach. The resources required to provide the device were also calculated. Results: Five different devices were developed, which were able to overcome the challenges identified. Results indicated participants were satisfied with both the devices and service provided. Participants expressed other benefits including increased independence, increased positive emotions and reduced mental load. Participants indicated they liked being involved in the design process and their feedback helped ensure the devices were customized to their needs. Conclusions: The use of co-design was able to produce customized assistive device that met the needs of the individuals within a current healthcare service. Further work is required to assess the feasibility of utilising a co-design approach for the provision of other custom assistive technology in the future and explore if this can overcome the barriers to assistive technology use.
Keywords: Assistive technology, custom assistive devices, Co-design, participatory design, user involvement
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Issue: 1
Start Page: 42
End Page: 51