The Design Lab has recently embarked on an exciting collaboration with Amgen to explore the mechanisms driving patients to adopt certain medication therapies. Dr. Eliah Arnoff-Spencer, senior research scientist Colleen Emmenegger, and researcher Lars Mueller of the Design Lab, received a grant to work on a project aimed at understanding the factors that play a role in key medical decisions through applying human-centered design to healthcare.
Through specifically focusing on the elements of automation and trust within different medical capacities, the team seeks to uncover why patients choose to adopt and either continue or subsequently stop certain therapies. Automated sensors for diabetes and certain medical treatments are among the areas that the team will target within the healthcare space. Emmenegger, the director of the automation program at The Design Lab, noted that trust is a common theme that transcends both the fields of autonomous vehicles and medicine and will serve as a focal point throughout the project.
The first step in fostering a shared understanding around patient decisions is to delve deeply into the literature surrounding the adoption and continuation of medical therapies. Following an analysis of the important insights extracted from existing research, the team plans to conduct interviews with a network of stakeholders within the medical space such as physicians, caregivers, supporters and members of product therapy marketing groups. Developing an understanding of how trust impacts the community and patients will inform the next phases of the project which will consist of observational studies and site visits of patient homes, doctor’s offices and pharmacies. “It’s never just a single person interacting with a single product – multiple people are always involved and there’s a very distributed nature to these interactions,” says Emmenegger.
The project marks the start of a long-term partnership with Amgen. Through interacting with individuals who are involved in making key medical decisions and are knowledgeable about the medical therapy adoption life cycle, Emmenegger is looking forward to learning about the impacts of the study within the larger community. “This project will teach us not only about trust but also about how to humanize healthcare.”