In the future collecting and analyzing endogenous data through medical devices could be done by the patient himself at home. In this scenario, a redesign of medical devices must embody a specific form of authority and democratic power, as found in participative or collaborative design processes.
The research project investigates the possible realization and effects of such future devices on medical practice and care as well as on the practice of design. It is aimed to gain insights especially for the future role of designers and their social responsibility in the context of designing highly technical artifacts for our distributed heterogeneous societal practices.
Healthcare; Design; Democratization; Participation; Medical; Device
Through the use of real-time systems, medical processes will be optimized, because data will be provided right in time when it is needed and it could be continuously updated. This would affect both, the results, as well as their representation and mediation in the full impact of treatment.
The project REALTIME RESULTS examines how the use of real-time technologies in the field of healthcare would have an impact on patients and physicians, as well as on their medical practices and procedures. Further, the results of this work show ways opportunities and risks when using this technology when providing medical results.
For the future design of medical devices, which make use of real-time technologies, three priorities are presented in detail. These are applied in practical applications, for example in the field of diagnostic imaging, to show possible intersections, connections and effects of this technology for people, medical products and the system of healthcare.
Right until the late 18th century, animal and plant products were used as medicine, as well as human body parts and fluids. People believed, for example, that beans had a curative effect in kidney diseases, and because of their form, walnuts were used for treatments of the brain. In those days implications of natural products were mostly drawn from their form, taste or smell.
Today some companies make again use of these old mechanisms of cognition, and transfer the concept of tautological design to their products. The pharmaceutical company Merck, for example, recently developed a heartshaped tablet named „Concor“, which activates through the perception of form the implicit mental concept behind, that a heart-shaped pill is good for the heart. The shape and colour implicits in this case very obvious, the expected effect of the tablet. Because of this fact it is interesting to ask if objects, particularly for medical contexts, can be designed in such a way, that they have an impact on the healing process of the patient.