Building a prototype using Human-Centered Design to engage older adults in healthcare decision-making

Ajit Kumar, Sanjeev Maskara, I. Jen Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The prevalence of chronic diseases and disabilities are higher in older adults, which is one of the key factors of rising health care costs. Health care stakeholders wish older adults to take more control of their health to delay the onset of age-related disabilities and chronic diseases. Engaging older adults in their health care decision making would cut down health care costs and prepare a health care system to be more sustainable. OBJECTIVE: We used the Human-Centered Design approach to propose a prototype that more effectively engages older adults in their health care decision-making. METHODS: Four participants from four different countries-Taiwan, USA, Austria, and Germany; and two facilitators from the USA participated in this study. The participants interviewed a total of four subjects in their respective countries. This study used the Human-Centered Design approach, which embraced three main phases-observation, identification, and ideation. Each phase involved brainstorming, voting, and consensus among participants. RESULTS: This study derived 14 insights, 20 categories, 4 themes, a conceptual framework, some potential solutions, and a prototype. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that older adults could be engaged in their health care decision-making by offering them health care products and services that were user-friendly and technology enabled. A 'gradual change management plan' could assist older adults to adopt technologies more effectively. The health care products and services should be centered on the needs of older adults. Moreover, the possibilities of older adults maintaining control over their own health may rely on proper timing, a personal approach, right products, and services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-661
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Aging
  • health care cost
  • product design
  • services
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Rehabilitation


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