Medical device design for adolescents

Lang, Alexandra R. (2012) Medical device design for adolescents. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Adolescents have been identified as users of medical devices who are currently overlooked in the design and development of these products.

This research presents a set of studies that investigate the non-clinical user requirements of adolescent medical device users.

Interviews with a range of healthcare professionals provided guidance into chronic conditions and devices which are relevant to adolescent populations.

Workshops involving healthy adolescents in schools were carried out to elicit adolescent perspectives of current medical device design. The results of this study showed that the range of medical devices presented did not satisfy adolescent user requirements and provided insight into factors which are important to this specific user group. The workshop also identified the acapella® physiotherapy device, used for chest and airway clearance in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, as a suitable case study for further evaluation with real adolescent users.

Case study interviews were carried out with adolescents with cystic fibrosis: the users of the acapella®. The interviews identified a range of unmet requirements and expanded on the results from the workshops. In addition to the more general design factors, users of the acapella® highlighted the effect of device use on clinical effectiveness.

The data from the workshops and case study interviews was used in a co-design project with an adolescent user of the device. A design specification was interpreted from the data to produce a visual representation of the adolescent requirements.

The research has produced two outputs. The first is the development of a prototype tool for eliciting adolescent design priorities for medical devices - The Adolescent Medical Device Assessment Tool (AMDAT)

The second deliverable is a set of guidelines which detail the specific requirements and goals of adolescent users of medical devices - Adolescent Medical Device Requirements. This guidance aims to facilitate the consideration of adolescent user requirements in the design and development of new medical devices.

The research investigation has contributed new understanding to the fields of human factors and adolescent healthcare. The findings from these studies demonstrate how adolescent populations can be successfully engaged in research tasks. This research investigation has shown that adolescents have specific needs of medical devices and that meeting these needs through user-centred methods may lead to better adherence of use and improved health outcomes.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Martin, J.
Sharples, S.C.
Crowe, J.A.
Keywords: Human factors, Medical devices, Adolescents, User requirements, Participatory design
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R855 Medical technology. Biomedical engineering. Electronics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Item ID: 12501
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 14:49
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 16:44

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