Diasporans as informants in medical device design
Paris, Nancy Joan
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Large gaps in contextual information exist for designers developing medical devices for low resource settings which can lead to failures in both medical device design and adoption. Over half of the world’s population live under ten dollars a day and therefore can be considered as living in a low resource setting with less infrastructure, fewer trained-personnel, and less access to spare parts than developed countries. This study explores how contextual information when needed by designers in low resource setting can be provided by diasporans involved in healthcare development activities for their countries of origin. Using reflexive ethnographic and social network theories, and qualitative and quantitative enquiry, I explored the information seeking behaviour of diasporans involved in healthcare development activities for their countries of origin. A framework of information seeking behaviour and sources for accessing information that is timely, credible, and immersed in low resource settings, emerged from the research. Through this framework, designers can engage effectively with diasporans involved in healthcare development activities for their countries of origin. The framework enables designers to reflect on the information they are receiving from diasporans before utilizing it to better understand the contextual information required for successful medical device design for low resource settings.
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