DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: An, Qingfan; Gebart-Hedman, Karin; Wadell, Karin
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Umeå University, Sweden; Region Västerbotten, Sweden
Section: International, multi-sectorial or multispecies collaborations
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.40
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


The burden on the healthcare system is growing as medical treatment advances, the aged population increases, and people’s health awareness improves. eHealth is one of the prospective strategies to cope with this situation which has great potential to open up new avenues to the health system. Despite tremendous progress, the development of eHealth tools is fraught with difficulties. There is a paradox in that there are a variety of eHealth tools accessible on the market, but their market penetration is now substantially lower than investors anticipated due to their low acceptance. It may result in a waste of effort and resources. The sustainable development of eHealth tools can be categorized as one of the wicked problems in the twenty-first century as it is morally repugnant for the planner to address and has spread across the board. Due to limited evidence on optimum leverage points, the waste is likely to endure. The use of top-down approaches and the tendency for research to concentrate on technology rather than service delivery from users’ perspective are part of the main challenges for current eHealth tool development projects. Healthcare providers are trained to provide evidence-based care for patients and have expert knowledge of evidence-based practice in a specific area. Their knowledge is, to some extent, exclusive, which may be one of the reasons why many eHealth tool development projects continue to use top-down approaches. Therefore, it is crucial to empower healthcare providers with design skills and mindset. On the other hand, the roles and responsibilities of designers in the twenty-first century have been controversial, as many farsighted designers assert that we are at a turning point of transforming design from an expert-driven process focused on objects and services within a taken-for-granted social and economic order towards design practices that advocates design-led societal transition toward more sustainable futures. To foster the transformation, design education should cater to all abilities. Health CASCADE is one of the European Union-funded multidisciplinary expert networks with the goal of delivering the rigorous scientific methodology to secure co-creation as an effective tool to fight public health problems. Imparting the knowledge of co-creation in public health to healthcare providers has the potential to tackle the above challenges by empowering them with design skills and mindset in an appropriate way. Knowledge of co-creation may help to alleviate the gap between design and healthcare, meanwhile providing an added value of participation to increase trust. This paper illustrates a curriculum development process partnered with healthcare providers aiming for delivering knowledge of co-creation in public health to healthcare providers who are responsible for designing eHealth programmes on the national primary health care support platform, 1177 Vårdguiden - Stöd och Behandling in Sweden, and the reflection on the course. The curriculum co-creation practice and the course reflection contribute to the notion of empowering healthcare providers with healthcare design abilities.

Keywords: eHealth, empowerment, healthcare provider, co-creation


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