Smartwatches in elderly care

A design intervention approach
Marianne Bansell, 2018 Thesis

This thesis project is exploring future smartwatch use within elderly care. The user-centered designing phase uses a design intervention approach, where design and research happen simultaneously.

The research question is: “How can a smartwatch be used within the elderly care, based on the existing TES mobile phone app, and how can these interactions be designed as smartwatch features?“. The results are four iteratively explored design opportunities, presented as design propositions with concept sketches, and two prototypes.

The main participants in the field studies and workshops are end-users, caregivers within the elderly home care and an elderly care center. The outcome shows they are positive towards an imagined future containing smartwatches as a work tool. They see advantages with the wearable and glanceable technology, like freed hands, less to carry and simpler interactions in comparison to a smart phone.

The study also shows positive effects of using interaction design for a company’s design process, and exploration of new technology.

Codesign session
Codesign session with healthcare professionals

Caregivers acting out watch placements
Caregivers acting out watch placements

Alarm prototype workflow
Alarm prototype workflow