By far the largest portion of the results are taken up by Health Informatics, which are not always elaborated upon or refined further in the abstracts. These range from designing virtual services for Older People (Mcloughlin, Ian, et al. (2008)), to the use of artificial intelligence to improve health communication (Neuhauser, L., et al. (2013)), as examples.
Second is the application of the Telehealth/care/med code. Telehealth, Telecare and Telemedicine have different focuses in their application. Telehealth and Telemedicine are counted as the same thing in the United Kingdom (RCN, 2015)*, and are concerned with the remote monitoring of physiological data for use by health professionals. Telecare technologies involve the use of alarms, sensors and other equipment to monitor domestic environments and provide local feedback of a person’s condition, with the ability to reach others with pertinent information about the person’s health condition. The application of this code under Digital Artefacts denotes research that had as it’s primary focus the development of the intangible aspects of these systems. A sister code under the Physical Products outputs denotes articles chiefly concerned with the tangible aspects of these technologies.
Figure 11 – Instances of the Digital Artefact code per search
As with the code for Telehealth/care/med, the Games code has a sister code under Physical Products, with the same criteria defining it’s application.
The abstracts that are coded as Not Specified include Macdonald A, Loudon D, (2011) & Storni, C (2013), with both of these abstracts having a focus more on the project methodology, setting and population than the specifics of the output.
There is a strong drive in health and social care to leverage the power offered by the digital revolution, and whilst health informatics is a long standing companion to heath care provision, the use of design, and specifically user-centred design, offers the possibility of how informatics interacts with the multiple stakeholders in healthcare to deliver services that support clinical practice rather than dictate it. Telehealth is often seen as a panacea for delivering cost effective healthcare, but an argument might be that this ideal will only be released if it is well designed, with the necessary attention to the lived experience of those who might use it.
*Royal College of Nursing. (2015). [online]. Telehealth and telecare . Last accessed 1 July 2015 at: http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/practice/e-health/telehealth_and_telecare