A Theoretical Framework and Conceptual Design for Engaging Children in Therapy at Home-The Design of a Wearable Breathing Trainer

J Pers Med. 2019 May 20;9(2):27. doi: 10.3390/jpm9020027.


Wearable technologies are being implemented in the health and medical context with increasing frequency. Such technologies offer valuable opportunities to stimulate self-management in these domains. In this context, engagement plays a crucial role. An engaged patient is a patient who is emotionally involved and committed to the therapy or care process. Particularly for children who have to follow some sort of therapy, engagement is important to ensure a successful outcome of the therapy. To design for engagement, a framework based on theories of motivation in child therapy was developed. This framework was applied to the design of a wearable breathing trainer for children with asthma and dysfunctional breathing. As such, the present paper provides knowledge about the implementation of theory on engagement and motivation in design. Expert and first user evaluations found that the resulting prototype is appealing, perceived as useful, and may engage children in breathing training and stimulate self-management.

Keywords: children; design for engagement; digital health; interaction design; sensory pleasure; wearable technology.