Open design and medical products

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Dexter, Matt

This research details the use of Open Design to enable participation in the conceptualisation, design and\ud development of medical products for those who are excluded by their chronic health condition.\ud The research was directed according to the Action Research methodology outlined by Checkland & Holwell\ud (1998); Action Research being highlighted by Archer (1995) as a method compatible for practice-led design\ud research.\ud Open design directed the design practice, which consisted of a long case study spanning 18 months from\ud February 2012, through to July 2013. This case study, dubbed AIR involved the creation of a bespoke online\ud social network, recruitment of people living with cystic fibrosis, and the facilitation of collaborative design work\ud resulting in prototype medical devices based on the lived experience of the participants.\ud The work involves research into design within health as the context for this research. In order to place design\ud in this wider context, it has been tempting to adopt the mantle Evidence Based Design Evans, 2010) – however\ud in this research the position of design as phronesis, in a similar manner to health practice (Montgomery, 2005)\ud is adopted. This allows for an alignment of the work done in both fields, without the problematic associations\ud with an evidence hierarchy (Gaver & Bowers, 2012; Holmes, Murray, Perron, & Rail, 2006).\ud The contribution to knowledge is an Open Medical Products Methodology, consisting of the artefacts\ud supporting the evidence of the methodology’s ability to foster genuine participation amongst those who are\ud excluded from traditional participatory design. The artefacts constituting this submission are this thesis, the\ud reflective log kept during the research (Appendix A on page 135), the prototypes from the collaborative\ud research (Appendix B on page 212), and the online social network that contained the work (AIR1 ).\ud The Open Medical Products Methodology is expected to be of interest primarily to designers of medical products,\ud design management and policymakers- although Open Design as a product methodology has appeal to other\ud sectors and the future work into standardisation, regulation, distributed manufacture and recruitment detailed\ud at the conclusion of this thesis has application broader than the medical field.
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