Identifying user needs and the participative design process

Franka Meiland, Rose Marie Dröes, Stefan Sävenstedt, Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Anna Lena Andersson

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As the number of persons with dementia increases and also the demands on care and support at home, additional solutions to support persons with dementia are needed. The COGKNOW project aims to develop an integrated, user-driven cognitive prosthetic device to help persons with dementia. The project focuses on support in the areas of memory, social contact, daily living activities and feelings of safety. The design process is user-participatory and consists of iterative cycles at three test sites across Europe. In the first cycle persons with dementia and their carers (n = 17) actively participated in the developmental process. Based on their priorities of needs and solutions, on their disabilities and after discussion between the team, a top four list of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions was made and now serves as the basis for development: in the area of remembering – day and time orientation support, find mobile service and reminding service, in the area of social contact – telephone support by picture dialling, in the area of daily activities – media control support through a music playback and radio function, and finally, in the area of safety – a warning service to indicate when the front door is open and an emergency contact service to enhance feelings of safety. The results of this first project phase show that, in general, the people with mild dementia as well as their carers were able to express and prioritize their (unmet) needs, and the kind of technological assistance they preferred in the selected areas. In next phases it will be tested if the user-participatory design and multidisciplinary approach employed in the COGKNOW project result in a user-friendly, useful device that positively impacts the autonomy and quality of life of persons with dementia and their carers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Information and Knowledge Processing
PublisherSpringer London
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Publication series

NameAdvanced Information and Knowledge Processing

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