Norwegian version

Design for Health

The focus of the research group is to contribute with knowledge and bring health research evidence into co-design for the concrete innovative personalized healthcare services and assistive technologies.

Head of research group

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  • More about the research group

    The aging population and the increasing number of chronical diseases has led to an increasing number of individuals (in example citizens with prevention needs or patients with medical conditions) with various health problems rapidly worldwide. Healthcare providers all over the world are having common problems with enough resources and capability to assure high-quality services for the increasing number of patients. 

    In this context, digital healthcare services personalized on individuals' needs and preferences, has been becoming even more critical way to improve patients' experience and quality of life and still provide health services in a cost-efficient manner. For individuals the capacity problem is often shown as a long period of pre- and post care phases where they need to cope with the recovery alone at home.

    To support this, there is a need for new research based assistive and technological products and services that allow efficient communication between patients and expert teams. The goal is to support patients and their caregivers to become self-driven co-creators of their own recovery.

    For the expert team (e.g. nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, psychologists, pharmacists), the efficient patient support in this new situation, often means ability to influence patient experience through an optimized workflow and well-informed customized and targeted support through digital services, products and assistive technologies. Technological solutions and services therefore need to be research based and designed together with ecosystem of individuals, expert teams, companies and researchers. The target is to make services manageable, comprehensible, meaningful, usable and acceptable to the individuals and the expert team.

    These products, services and assistive technologies are especially needed in the increasing cases of Non Communicable diseases (e.g. stroke, cancer, diabetes type II, mental health diseases, hearing disability, musculoskeletal disorders) prevention and management as well as rehabilitation of trauma patients.

    The research group “Design for Health” strives to take patient and medical expert team perspective of the problem. The focus of the research group is to contribute with knowledge and doing research evidence based co-design for the concrete innovative personalized healthcare services and assistive technologies.

    The group vision is therefore to provide research on personalized healthcare service research that aims to create:

    1. Research knowledge about the user (e.g. individual and expert team) needs & perceptions in the situations in which person has specific risks, special condition or disease that needs to be taken care by bringing service or assistive technological support to the patients
    2. Research knowledge about the existing products, services and assistive technologies and their effectiveness in terms of usability, acceptability and quality of life
    3. Research resulting concrete evidence based digital service and assistive technology prototypes that are based on the user needs, requirements and feedback
    4. Holistic understanding about challenges and solutions around human – technology integration and research evidence based co-creation and sustainable adoption of technology in healthcare, concerning adherence, patient satisfaction, technology acceptance and emerging practices.
    5. Research resulting knowledge of the impact and effectiveness & improvement needs of the products, services and assistive technologies

    To achieve this, the group will strive to implement research about digitalization of personalized products and services combined with assistive technologies that targets to empower patients’ agency and new practices. The group explores opportunities in novel and emerging technologies, for example,  personal device apps, digital health systems, 3D print in loops of prototyping and testing Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence etc. In the area of digital health, gamification, motivation, engagement and participatory design.

    The research is published in health, engineering and innovation disciplines including research methods such as qualitative interview studies, participatory/ co-design, usability testing as well as feasibility, validation and case studies. The theoretical baseline for the conducted research lays in the critical theories, post phenomenological approach to human technology relations, practice theories and adaptive systems theories.