Meeting End User Needs in Collaborative Medical Device Technology Development Research Projects: A Qualitative Case Study

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2017;237:49-54.


The aim of this case study has been to investigate to what extent user centered design (UCD) methodologies have been applied, how the process and outcomes were perceived by project team members, and what were potential barriers towards meeting end user needs. The case studied was the European Union Framework 7 integrated project d-LIVER (2011-2015), which aimed at developing an integrated care system for chronic liver disease patient management. d-LIVER is an example of a public funded, international, multidisciplinary, collaborative research project where development starts from a low technology readiness level, but where research is motivated by societal needs for better health care solutions. Awareness of central end user needs are therefore crucial. 14 project participants were interviewed. To meet societal and end user needs represent a prominent motivation factor for participants. The project organization with only clinical partners interacting with end users was accepted as a fact of life and not as a project pain point. A summary of observations and recommendations for good practice is given.

Keywords: User-centered design; eHealth; integrated care; medical device.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment and Supplies*
  • Humans
  • Industrial Development*
  • Qualitative Research