Ergonomics and design for sustainability in healthcare: ambient assisted living and the social-environmental impact of patients lifestyle

Work. 2012;41 Suppl 1:3883-7. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0056-3883.


This work presents considerations on Ergonomics and Design for Sustainability in the healthcare field based on research experiences of the Technology and Design for Healthcare (TeDH) research group of INDACO (Industrial design, communication, arts and fashion) department of Politecnico di Milano. In order to develop a multidisciplinary approach to design able to answer to specific user needs such as elderly in an environmental sustainable way (1) this paper shows the results we achieved concerning ergonomics and environmental impact in product development (2), the extension of this approach to interior and home design and the advantage of the application of Information Communication Technologies (ICT). ICT can help people with special needs to make their everyday life easier and more safe, at the same time, ICT can make social-environmental impact of everyday behavior evident and can be applied to manage sustainability. The specific theme is thus to integrate ergonomics and sustainability competences in the development of Ambient Assisted Living through a Product- Service System approach. The concept of product service system has the potential to improve product performances and services, establish new relations and networks with different actors in order to satisfy user needs and apply a systems approach considering environmental, social and economic factors in the users' environment.

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Life Style
  • Remote Sensing Technology*
  • Social Environment