Design research, eHealth, and the convergence revolution

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The Quadruple Aim is a framework which prioritizes four 'aims', or dimensions of performance, for innovating in the healthcare domain, respectively: 1) enhancing the individual experience of care; 2) improving the work life of health care clinicians and staff; 3) improving the health of populations; and 4) reducing the per capita cost of care. In this contribution, recent literature providing examples of design research in the eHealth domain is reviewed to answer the research question: 'in which measure has design research contributed to each of the 'four aims' of eHealth innovation in the past five years?'. The results of the review are presented and employed to draw three main observations: 1) design researchers in eHealth seem to be largely focused on improving experiences of care, either patients' or health professionals'; 2) design researchers' contribution on reducing per capita costs of care appears to be less pronounced, which is outlined as a point for improvement; and 3) in a considerable amount of reviewed contributions, design researchers appear to be contributing to multiple 'aims' at once. In this subgroup of reviewed contributions, several disciplinary areas and types of stakeholders interact and integrate through design research activities. The latter observation leads to a reflection on the strategic role of design research in the contexts of the convergence revolution and of the non-communicable disease crisis. Implications of this reflection for design researchers are recognized in the opportunity and timeliness to develop eHealth-specific ways to orchestrate design integration. A direction for further research in this sense is identified in the use of sensory and self-monitored data as a boundary object for eHealth innovation. The prospective value of this direction is finally exemplified through the case of blood pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIASDR 2019: International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2019
Subtitle of host publication DESIGN REVOLUTIONS
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventIASDR 2019: International Association of Societiesof Design Research Conference 2019: DESIGN REVOLUTIONS - manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20195 Sep 2019


ConferenceIASDR 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • design research
  • Ehealth
  • Quadruple Aim
  • Convergence revolution


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