Script of Healthcare Technology: Do Designs of Robotic Beds Exclude or Include Users?

Søsser Grith Kragh Brodersen, Meiken Hansen, Hanne Lindegaard

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    Abstract

    Many new product designs are currently being implemented in the healthcare sector, and this presents designers with challenges involved in socially innovative design. In this paper, we argue that designing assistive technologies requires focus on multiple users and use practices. We see the design of assistive technologies as design of socio-material assemblies , which include an analysis of the products already used in relation to multiple users, their practices and wishes. In the article we focus on the challenges in the implementation of two types of robotic beds used for disability care in a municipality in Denmark. We follow both the caregivers and disabled people’s daily practices. By using Actor Network Theory we explore the socio-material settings and the design challenges. The theoretical concept of ‘script’ is used to investigate how the artifacts (beds) and the multiple users go through a mutual adaptation process in their daily practice, and how this adaptation varies in different cases.The human/non-human actor perspective focuses on the relation between the designed artifact and the user in specific situations. The analysis leads to a central question: How does the scripting of the beds affect the beds usage and the different users?
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalDesign Issues
    Volume31
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)16-28
    ISSN0747-9360
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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