Socio-Technical Infrastructuring to Assist Innovation in Healthcare Technologies

DS 81: Proceedings of NordDesign 2014, Espoo, Finland 27-29th August 2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: MacDonald, Alastair S.
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: The Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom
Section: Users in design and development
Page(s): 376-385
ISBN: 978-1-904670-58-2


This paper discusses the role and value of design-led ’infrastructuring’ and the development of socio-technical materials to disrupt dominant stakeholder discourses and hierarchies in the development of healthcare technologies. Case studies of two multidisciplinary projects describe the development of demonstration prototypes for: i) a visualisation tool to enhance therapist-patient interaction for physical rehabilitation following stroke and ii) a system for monitoring of nutrition and management of food provision in older hospital patients. Both cases used design-led qualitative research methods and a participative co-development approach integrated into mixed method research methodologies. This provided an enhanced level of infrastructuring amongst the varied team disciplines and stakeholders, acknowledging the importance of mobilising lay knowledge and experience. In both cases ‘open innovation’ processes, involving prototypes embodying the accumulated evidence and know-how from the stakeholders enabled a more personalised model for service delivery to emerge.

Keywords: Healthcare technology, co-development, infrastructuring, socio-technical materials


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