Applications of Paper and Interactive Prototypes in Designing Telecare Services for Older Adults

  • Emilija Stojmenova DuhEmail author
  • Jože Guna
  • Matevž Pogačnik
  • Jaka Sodnik
Systems-Level Quality Improvement
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Emerging Technologies for Connected Health


We present the results of the user studies of the CareMe prototype telecare service for supporting older adults with remote telecare services. The CareMe solution targets older adults who are capable of living independently and outside of a dedicated medical institution or a nursing home, but require occasional medical attention, and formal or informal care. The studies were conducted between November 2013 and March 2014 and followed the participatory design approach. The research questions focused on understanding the difference in the participatory design approach when older adults use paper prototypes vs interactive prototypes, and the difference when older adults use interactive prototypes with poor interface design vs interactive prototypes with rich interface design. In total, 45 older adults living in Slovenia participated in the field trial. They were retired, 32 of whom were nursing home residents and 13 were living independently at home. The study sample’s age distribution was between 64 and 91 years. The analysis of the filed trial results indicated the importance of the factors that influence users’ decision about how and when they use new technology, i.e., the perceived usefulness and the perceived ease-of-use. Main insights gained from the studies show, that it is very difficult to keep older people focused on the topics of discussion and that they have often difficulties to clearly present/express their ideas. Furthermore, abstract concepts, such as paper only prototypes proved to be challenging to cope with, whereas using real applications and services when trying out scenarios using interactive prototypes provided much better experience and feedback.


CareMe Telecare services Older adults Participatory design Paper prototypes Interactive prototypes 



The study was partially funded by the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport within the public call Research Voucher through the “Optimal user experience implementation for telemedicine solutions for the elderly” project. The authors would like to thank the project coordinator, prof. Sašo Tomažič and our project partners from Telekom Slovenia. We would also like to thank both nursing homes and especially participants that took part in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilija Stojmenova Duh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jože Guna
    • 1
  • Matevž Pogačnik
    • 1
  • Jaka Sodnik
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Electrical engineering, ICT DepartmentUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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