Jan 24, 2018

The design briefing process matters: a case study on telehealthcare device providers in the UK

Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology
Fan Yang, Gianni Renda

Abstract

The telehealthcare sector has been expanding steadily in the UK. However, confusing, complex and unwieldy designs of telehealthcare devices are at best, less effective than they could be, at worst, they are potentially dangerous to the users. This study investigated the factors within the new product development process that hindered satisfactory product design outcomes, through working collaboratively with a leading provider based in the UK. This study identified that there are too many costly late-stage design changes; a critical and persistent problem area ripe for improvement. The findings from analyzing 30 recent devices, interviewing key stakeholders and observing on-going projects further revealed that one major cause of the issue was poor practice in defining and communicating the product design criteria and requirements. Addressing the characteristics of the telehealthcare industry, such as multiple design commissioners and frequent deployment of design subcontracts, this paper argues that undertaking a robust process of creating the product design brief is the key to improving the outcomes of telehealthcare device design, particularly for the small and medium-sized enterprises dominating the sector. Implications for r...Continue Reading

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