Exploring Needs and Designing an Interactive Service to Empower Home Dialysis Patients in their Everyday Life

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ergonomi och aerosolteknologi

Abstract: The average life expectancy for people around the world is higher than ever before. Older people are at higher risk of suffering from chronic diseases, including chronic kidney disease. Patients with dysfunctional kidneys need dialysis. The main function of the kidneys is to clean the blood from waste products and excess water. In 2018, Sweden had 4101 dialysis patients of which 1026 had home dialysis. A dialysis patient has many things to keep track of regarding treatment, diet, and medication. The aim of this project is to investigate if an interactive product could empower home dialysis patients to make them more involved in their treatment and increase their quality of life. To investigate this, twelve home dialysis patients and seven healthcare providers were interviewed. The data was analyzed using a thematic approach and based on the needs identified, concepts were generated. Personas and customer journey maps were used to evaluate them. Through an iterative design process using sketches, lo-fi and hi-fi prototypes, the final concept, The Dialysis Master, was created. The Dialysis Master is a health application which aims to help dialysis patients become, and motivate them to remain, a master of their own health. The hi-fi tests showed promising results regarding the concept and design, though it needs further testing by primary users. In conclusion, there are many needs among home dialysis patients and there are many ways of empowering them. The Dialysis Master is empowering them in their everyday life by making them more involved in their treatment, give them a sense of control, and increase their quality of life.

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