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Found in Translation: Innovative Methods of Co-design in the Development of Digital Systems for Promoting Healthy Aging

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Digital Health Technology for Better Aging

Part of the book series: Research for Development ((REDE))


This chapter describes the Design Research contribution to the NESTORE Horizon 2020 project, which adopted a participatory design research method, called ‘exhibition in a box’, developed by the authors which is predicated on ‘thinking through things’. Over 100 older people across four countries participated in the study, which sought to develop a virtual digital coach to support active ageing. We discuss themes that arose relating to the barriers and enablers to engagement with technology as identified by participants within the study. It critically reflects on the strengths and challenges of the co-design methodology. The methodological approach followed in NESTORE provides for users to be involved in the design of the solution throughout the project duration and permeates the work of all the work-packages. The reason for non-acceptance of health technologies is complex and the context where the technologies will operate and how they relate to the end users’ lives are key factors to uptake and utilization. Researchers have suggested that the poor design of many devices and subsequent non-uptake may be directly attributed to the failure of technologists to engage end users and elicit understanding of their requirements. To date few studies have articulated how this might be achieved.

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Correspondence to Paul Chamberlain .

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Chamberlain, P., Craig, C., Dulake, N. (2021). Found in Translation: Innovative Methods of Co-design in the Development of Digital Systems for Promoting Healthy Aging. In: Andreoni, G., Mambretti, C. (eds) Digital Health Technology for Better Aging. Research for Development. Springer, Cham.

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