App(etite) for life with hearing loss
eHealth is a fairly new research area within hearing loss (HL) and this project intends to enlighten the significance of information and communication exchange in living well with HL. The project involves three target groups: elderly persons with hearing impairment, their significant others (family or friends), and audiologists in the research of innovative and empowering eHealth solutions. The three target groups’ perceived problems and their visions for eHealth assisted rehabilitation and living well with HL are the basis for this project. The target groups input and feedback are incorporated in the project through focus group activities with dialogue, debate with the researchers, and by engaging them in the design process.
Focus groups activities
Through three rounds of focus group activities, all lasting 2 hours, we will have involved 36 elderly persons with hearing impairment, 10 significant others and 8 audiologists in creating user designed and innovated eHealth solutions for service delivery to elderly persons with hearing impairment:
- November 2016 Focus groups with hearing aid users, relatives and audiologists
- Specifying user requirements and visions for a future hearing loss client journey
- March 2017 Focus groups with hearing aid users
- Producing design solutions from the visions and prioritizing them
- April 2017 Focus groups with hearing aid users
- Evaluate the designs for specific eHealth solutions
The context of use in the focus group activities in November was within the four-phased hearing loss client journey that all people with hearing loss go through during their hearing loss rehabilitation (Figure 1). Since our attention is on how to design eHealth solutions for hearing health care, we only included the fitting phase (the face-to-face consultation in clinic) in some of the focus group activities
In the second focus group meetings in March, we used large wireframes within the themes “My Information”, “My Hearing”, and “My Development”. The wireframes were illustrating app solutions from the visions from the users in the future hearing loss client journey, as illustrated in the picture below
In the third focus group meetings in April, the participants worked with mock-up “apps” on iPads, as seen in the picture below
From the focus group meetings in March 2017 we learned that adults with hearing loss would like eHealth solutions to enable ongoing personalized
- Reflections on expectations for living with a hearing loss
- Learning opportunities and structure for self-learning and self-management
- Data collection and analyses of my hearing – to share with significant others, mentors, and audiologists
In April, the participants gave further insight and evaluations within the eHealth solutions for “My expectations”, “My personal hearing coach”, and "My development".
By involving the user through the entire design process, we expect to develop and design eHealth tools that fulfill the real needs of the people that the tools were designed for. Furthermore, we will end up with a large pool of design concepts and a human-centered design know-how that will be key for developing other eHealth solutions in the future.
European Committee for Standarization. (2010). Ergonomics of human-system interaction - Part 210: Human- centred design for interactive systems (ISO 9241-210:2010).
Bélanger E., Bartlett G., Dawes M., Rodríguez C., Hasson-Gidoni I. (2012). Examining the evidence of the impact of health information technology in primary care: An argument for participatory research with health professionals and patients. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 81(10), 654-661.
Kanstrup, A. M., & Bertelsen, P. (2011). User Innovation Management: a handbook. Aalborg Universitetsforlag.
Kanstrup A. M., Bertelsen P., Nøhr C. (2015). Patient innovation: An analysis of patients’ designs of digital technology support for everyday living with diabetes. Health Information Management Journal, 44(1), 12-20.
Kanstrup, A.M., Rotger-Griful, S., Laplante-Lévesque, A., Cleveland Nielsen, A. (In press). Designing Connections for Hearing Rehabilitation: Exploring future client journeys with elderly hearing aid users, relatives and health care providers. Conference proceedings. Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2017) Conference, 10-14 June, 2017, Edinburgh, UK