Collaboration in care, Design of a mobile health platform to support care management of cystic fibrosis

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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The notion of healthcare is today not restricted to the boundaries of care institutions. IT-based health services, or the so called eHealth sector, are developing rapidly, enabling for patients to be actively involved in their care in new ways. Information technology, connecting the private and the professional spheres, brings new opportunities for coproduction of care. These opportunities can be especially valuable for patients with chronic disease, who have an ongoing relationship with their care providers. The hypothesis in this thesis is that the practice of design can contribute to these emerging e-health service systems, in creation of services aiming to be desirable and meaningful, both in the professional and in the private spheres. This thesis explores the possibilities for a mobile application to support patients and families, living cystic fibrosis, in their daily life with illness and in collaboration with their professional care providers. Through a literature review I aim to give an overview of the context for design, and an understanding for practices, theories and trends relating to chronic disease management in relation to development of information technology and digital health services. Insights from literature have informed and inspired the practical work, focusing on the context of Swedish CF care. In my design process I have primarily taken the approach of empathic design which focuses on understanding and empathizing with peoples experiences to seek insights, practices and problems, in order to find opportunities for design. Tools and methods from the field of service design have been applied to understand the holistic view of how a mobile health application can be integrated into the context of healthcare, to seek opportunities for how such application can support in points of interaction between patient and healthcare professionals. My findings support previous research in design of technology for healthcare, to design for enskilment and learning related to daily life. A concept for the application has been designed with the findings from my research as a base, which emphasize documentation and sharing of observations of daily living as a base for collaboration. The concept is prototyped and tested with future users, utilizing approaches from experience design. The conclusion in this thesis does not suggest fully designed solutions, but to design platforms for collaboration, enabling for patients and families to work together with healthcare professionals to remove barriers for healing.
Mattelmäki, Tuuli
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mobile health, empathic design, service design, healthcare
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