Tampere University of Technology, TUT, is the second-largest university in engineering science in Finland. TUT had developed a new user friendly method for diagnosing childhood asthma. We conducted a user experience study in collaboration with TUT and the Tampere university hospital that gave insight on how the key user groups of the diagnosis process experience the method.
The new method allows the diagnosis to be done in the patients’ homes overnight by wearing the measurement device attached to a special shirt. We examined the whole experience of the diagnosis measurement process. The purpose of this study was to gather insight on how the children under 5 years old, even infants, being measured experience the process. Gathering understanding of the roles and requirements of parents, nurses and doctors was also important. We wanted to identify what are the critical points of the measurement process and find out what should be improved.
The study was constructed of interviews and observations on the clinic and in patients’ homes. In addition to studying the experience as a whole as well as individual points of interaction we paid special attention to different kinds of preferences the children and their family had during the measurement process. For example, putting on the measurement device scared some of the youngest children which is why doing that part of the process at home with the help of parents would make the situation easier for the children. This requires careful instructions for the parents.
The results of this study identified which areas of the measurement process should be improved and how the different user groups experienced the process. Our study gathered deep insight on many aspects of the process from measurement preparation to handling the gathered measurement data. The results are significant for the product development and reinforced a human perspective for asthma diagnosis. This project also helped to turn research into business by supporting the development of a commercial product.