- University of Sheffield, United Kingdom Department of Sociological Studies (USFD)
- University of Sheffield, United Kingdom: School of Health and Related Research (USFD - ScHARR)
- Lunds Universitet, Sweden (ULUND)
- Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet Heidelberg, Germany (UHEI)
- Newcastle University, United Kingdom (UNEW)
- National Institute of Health and Science on Aging, Italy (INRCA)
- Age Platform Europe, Brussels (AGE)
- Eurocarers, Luxembourg (EuCa)
- Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom (SHU)
- Latvian Council of Science, Latvia (LCS)
(Co-Lead for Improving Obesity Related Outcomes in Old Age)
Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 30,000 students and 4,000 staff, offering approximately 610 different courses. The University has 30 research centres that have had outstanding success in government research exercises, income generation and industrial co-operation by coupling fundamental research in areas of international standing to the exploration of commercial opportunities.
User-Centred Healthcare Design (UCHD) is the name of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, designers and healthcare professionals which also draws research staff from various departments within Sheffield Hallam University who, using a co-design approach, work alongside service users and providers to understand their experiences and stories and, together, find ways to improve things.
There are four important aspects to the work we do:
- A user-centred focus: our research looks at services through the eyes of the user, to get a detailed understanding of their experiences. This is the first step in identifying possibilities for improvement and innovation.
- Innovative thinking: research, patients’ stories and understanding the context in which care is provided helps to build up a picture of the range of needs. We work alongside service providers and users to build up this picture, which itself will often suggest new ways of looking at the way services are provided. Together we look for opportunities for positive change across the ‘big picture’. We don’t focus on narrowly defined ‘problems’.
- Material realisation: we design with stakeholders and as our understanding of the current situation develops, we use ‘participatory analysis’ to create and share descriptions. These can include dialogue and discussion, pencil sketches, role play and a wide range of other techniques. We can also create prototypes to bring the ideas that have been developed to life, and then refine these prototypes to work towards an agreed solution.
- Interdisciplinary dialogue: we bring together patients and healthcare professionals with people who can bring fresh perspectives from other fields. These include psychologists, social researchers, technologists, engineers, interaction designers, product designers and graphic designers.
Much of the research undertaken by UCHD takes place in a physical space called The Lab4Living. This space is a state-of-the-art experimental area where it’s possible to conduct both qualitative and quantitative studies of human behaviour and to understand individuals’ interactions with the built environment. The advantage of this is that it allows us to create and re-create a range of different scenarios and to observe in detail how people respond to these environments. This can range from full room scales such as living rooms, bathrooms, office spaces, supermarket isles etc. down to individual items of packaging and small products. Developing a greater understanding of how people interact with these spaces leads to ‘better’ design of products, packaging and process solutions.
Some staff who work in the UCHD team are based in the Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER), which is an internationally renowned centre of excellence for research and consultancy, with over 140 years of cumulative experience. It focuses on developing fundamental understanding of the complex sporting and exercise environment and the creation of new innovative technologies. CSER also delivers large and complex collaborative projects with agencies such as the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. One of our major focuses is to harness the motivational power of new sensing and gaming technologies with developments in social media to engage new populations in preventative and rehabilitative exercise.
- Key personnel involved in the project
Andy Dearden Design research coordinator (RTD and OTH)
Ben Heller Technical lead
Heath Reed Design lead
Additional team members will include a Designer, Developer and Participant Relationship Manager.
- Main tasks attributed to them in the project
The SHU team will contribute to WP4, in particular for delivery of Task 4.2 (User-centred healthcare design activities), and supporting delivery of Task 4.3 (Iterative development, evaluation and implementation). The SHU team brings unique experience in applying design thinking and participatory methods to healthcare, and in applying leading edge technologies to develop innovative health and care services for people of all ages.
Prof Dearden will be responsible for co-ordinating the delivery of Task 4.2, and managing collaborations with USFD on Task 4.3. Reed will lead the design team that develops the innovation, drawing on the contextual studies, the established expertise of the USFD team, and the emerging findings from Task 4.1. Heller will support technology development drawing on his experience of using digital sensor technologies to create rewarding and stimulating opportunities for physical activity.
SHU will also contribute to Tasks 2 and 7 in WP6.
- Short profile and previous relevant experience
Andy Dearden is Professor of Interactive Systems Design at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Andy’s work explores how effective design practices, specialist design skills and good design ideas can be shared to allow people who are not specialist designers to devise workable, appropriate and innovative information, communication and organisational systems. Andy leads the User Centred Healthcare Design (UCHD) team at Sheffield Hallam University which is developing participatory methods for health service design as part of the South Yorkshire Collaboration for Applied Health Care Research (CLAHRC-SY). Dearden and his team have a strong track record in supporting innovation in the design of health and care services.
Dr Ben Heller is a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) at Sheffield Hallam University. His research applies medical engineering and innovative technology to measurement and stimulation of movement in sports, public health and rehabilitation contexts. Ben’s recent research interests have involved using sensor technologies to ‘gamify’ activity and exercise for both young and older people.
Heath Reed, part of the User Centred Healthcare Design team, is a practicing Industrial Designer and Design Researcher with over a decade of commercial consultancy experience backed by a long career in art and three dimensional design..The recipient of a number of design awards, national and international, Heath has a proven track record as an innovator, is named on or as contributor to numerous patents and design exhibitions. Heath holds a fellowship to the Royal Society of Arts and is co-investigator and WP lead on several projects sponsored by the National Institute of Healthcare Research and by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.