The fourth day of the eHealth summer school in Dublin included lectures related to inclusive design, internet interventions, trial protocol design and healthcare implementations. As has been the case the earlier days, I found all lectures interesting and I also enjoyed the interactive parts that were included in them. As before, I will bring up a few key points below.
This was the first day where we got the chance to work on our projects during one of the lectures. During the lecture on inclusive design, we should try to come up with ways to extend our current ideas so that they could be of use for people with multipel illnesses/disabilities – thus we should design for a so called persona spectrum. This part was very interesting for me since I have designed haptic interfaces for collaboration between sighted and visually impaired pupils in elementary school. With this background I have been forced to think about inclusive design and the importance of designing both haptic and audio feedback in a way that provides both collaborating peers with a truly shared workspace.
Once again Geraldine Fitzpatrick held a very inspiring lecture. The focus this time was more on eHealth design and the importance of gaining insights from involving different stakeholders in the design process. When the picture for this blog post was taken she brought up the idea of using e.g. health coaches in interaction with patients/users. Many other techniques, like home visits/observations and interviews were also mentioned. It is vital that we as researchers and/or designers get to know how technology is really used and this is insights that e.g. care professionals could never provide (the use context is often the patient’s home). One key point was that it is important to invite users continously during the design process and thereby building a kind of relationship with them.
Heleen Riper’s lectures on interventions and protocols were also interesting – I had no idea that there are approximately 8000 apps for depression interventions available today! Many different examples of interventions were given, including VR environments for targeting different phobias. The importance of basing interventions on scientific evidence was also brought up and during this part of the lecture Heleen approached members of the audience who had to give their views on methods (e.g. meta studies and trials) for gathering such evidence. This was a very good way of keeping the audience active and focused. The same technique was used during the lecture on trial protocols. The last lecture of the day, on healthcare implementation, also included a lot of interactive parts. In that case the speakers wanted to show that we have limited capabilities and that it’s human to misinterpret things and make errors. Several small experiments on perception and multitasking were performed.
The main project part (as I said above, there was a short workshop on inclusive design during a lecture) was about trial protocol planning. Thus, we should come up with ways to measure if the intervention we designed have the intended effects. We should both come up with a distal outcome (and means of measurkng it) and proximal outcomes for each intervention component. The end result was a study design capable of evaluating the intervention.