Application of Waterfall Design Process in Designing of a Holistic System for Children with Hearing Impairment in Resource-Constrained Settings
The traditional waterfall-based design process has been used for designing innovative med-tech products. The stakeholders in developing this design were children with hearing impairment, parent(s)/caregivers of these children, school teachers educating these children, audiologists, otolaryngology specialist, community-based primary care ear workers or speech therapists, peers of hearing-impaired children, and government officials. A market survey was undertaken to understand current solutions available and corresponding drawbacks. Key insights were drawn based on the interactions and the market survey. Following this, stakeholder-need mapping was undertaken, to prepare a comprehensive list of stakeholders needs and a design input document. During this process, it was observed that designing an application for speech and language training also requires a user-centric approach. Use of design controls at several key stages was adopted. Critical needs were selected using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Subsequently, the conceptual design was undertaken to address these needs. The most appropriate of these concepts was selected for prototyping and implementation. The innovative solution was an affordable hearing aid with an additional smartphone-based application to assist and monitor speech and language therapy for children with hearing impairment.
KeywordsHearing impairment Children Speech and language therapy
We acknowledge the support of staff at St. John’s Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore, the Association for Persons with Disabilities, Bangalore and Mr. Unais Sait (CPDM) toward this project.
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