The worldwide growing demand for assistive devices, due to the global trend of population aging and high rates of chronic diseases, creates design opportunities for study, optimization and clinical validation of these products, in search of quality products that promote quality of life and greater autonomy. The high abandonment rates of assistive devices, the low-quality and inefficient performance in many cases, in addition to the scarcity of options and the high prices, indicate possible failures in the initial design phases of these products. This paper presents the elaboration of an adaptive methodology focused on the “Design for Assistive Technology,” considering user-centered design and 3D technologies. The AT-d8sign methodology presents an iterative and dynamic flux, divided into three main phases: (1) design cross-domain; (2) conception spiral; (3) evaluation and refinement. The study is based on three fundamental elements: an analysis of three designs developed in the area by the research group; a case study from one of these designs; a systematic review on the current scenario of the design methodology in this area. The preliminary results from the application of the methodology included: shorter design development time from informational design to clinical testing; effective insertion of the users and health professionals in the decision-making process throughout the conceptual design phase; better communication between the interdisciplinary research group due to the use of design techniques; gradual improvement of the conceptual and technical solutions supported by 3D printing, resulting in the refinement of fundamental attributes of assistive products: comfort, safety and functionality.
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This work was supported by Grant #2016-4/442109 of National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and by the funding through doctorate scholarship #165793/2015-5.
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The searching protocol of the systematic review is summarily presented below:
Based on a preliminary bibliographic review on the theme and on the guidance of more experienced researchers in both the field of Assistive Technology and design methodology, the following multidisciplinary databases were defined as primary sources for the systematic review: ScienceDirect, Scopus, PubMed and Web of Science. From a selection of fundamental keywords, the search strings were then defined.
Three filters were applied, sequentially, to the articles obtained in the searches in the databases: (1) reading the title, abstract and keywords of the articles found; (2) reading the introduction and conclusion of the articles, in addition to rereading the items indicated in the first filter; (3) complete reading of the articles, focusing on the objectives and inclusion criteria.
References from other primary sources other than databases (for example, from the indication of experienced researchers in their fields) or from cross-references obtained in the articles were also subjected to the same process.
Those articles selected after the application of the three filters were then analyzed in more detail and used for the preparation of the synthesis and the final reports of the systematic review.
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Santos, A.V.F., Silveira, Z.C. AT-d8sign: methodology to support development of assistive devices focused on user-centered design and 3D technologies. J Braz. Soc. Mech. Sci. Eng. 42, 260 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40430-020-02347-w