Home > Participatory design methods in telemedicine research.

Clemensen, Jane and Rothmann, Mette J and Smith, Anthony C and Caffery, Liam J and Danbjorg, Dorthe B (2017) Participatory design methods in telemedicine research. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 23, (9), pp. 780-785. doi: 10.1177/1357633X16686747.

External website: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1357633X1...

Healthcare systems require a paradigm shift in the way healthcare services are delivered to counteract demographic changes in patient populations, expanding technological developments and the increasing complexity of healthcare. Participatory design (PD) is a methodology that promotes the participation of users in the design process of potential telehealth applications. A PD project can be divided into four phases including: the identification and analysis of participant needs; the generation of ideas and development of prototypes; testing and further development of prototypes; and evaluation. PD is an iterative process where each phase is planned by reflecting on the results from the previous phase with respect to the participants' contribution. Key activities of a PD project include: fieldwork; literature reviewing; and development and testing. All activities must be applied with a participatory mindset that will ensure genuine participation throughout the project.

Challenges associated with the use of PD include: the time required to properly engage with participants; language and culture barriers amongst participants; the selection of participants to ensure good representation of the user group; and empowerment. PD is an important process, which is complemented by other evaluation strategies that assess organisational requirements, clinical safety, and clinical and cost effectiveness. PD is a methodology which encourages genuine involvement, where participants have an opportunity to identify practical problems and to design and test technology. The process engages participants in storytelling, future planning and design. PD is a multifaceted assessment tool that helps explore more accurately clinical requirements and patient perspectives in telehealth.

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