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Project: ICT 4 Self-Care

This research programme has four sub-projects for developing ICT support for self-care: an interactive mobile app for support for self-care after day surgery, physical training for people with heart failure using Wii bowling, a reminder function for self-care for wounds, and a website to support relatives who act as carers.

Project information

Project manager at Linnaeus University
Linda Askenäs
Other project members at Linnaeus University
Jan Aidemark
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, Linköping University, School of Health and Welfare at Jönköping University
Forte (SEK 20 million in total; SEK 1,3 million at Linnaeus University)
Dec 2014-Dec 2020
Informatics (Department of informatics, Faculty of technology)

More about the project

The complex and costly care needs of the large and growing population of older persons with long-term conditions is a critical challenge in health care worldwide. To meet this challenge, health care organizations and research funding agencies, as well as enterprises, have invested numerous resources in the development of person-centered e-health tools using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). In many countries there are high expectations on a governmental level that this development, in which people take more responsibility for their self-care by using ICT support, will simplify and increase access to care and reduce health care costs.

Participatory framework for co-designing ICT support for self-care

ICT is not just about providing a tool for people with long-term conditions and their carers. They should be involved and make demands in the development process (Gibbons et al. 2011). Development of ICT tools is often associated with person-centered care (Ekman et al. 2011), and the most recognised method developed in this area is "the user-centred design approach" (Righi & James, 2007). This method is based on the overall experience of the person who will use the product. Feedback from the user determines the requirements, the objectives and what will be developed and tested iteratively during the process. Such an approach ensures that the technology meets the purpose of the environment where it will be used.


To evaluate a co-design approach that involves people with long-term conditions and their family carers, health care professionals and SMEs in the planning, testing and evaluation of new ICT solutions to support self-care.

Research questions

  • What type of interactive support between older persons with long-term illness, family carers and health care are co-designed to stimulate active self-care in older people?
  • How should health care be re-organised to stimulate and support the co-designed solutions of ICT?
  • How do older people and their carers participate in co-design, and how does it effect design and use 
of ICT? 


A co-design methodology, where research and ICT development is conducted in the same process but with different starting points, will be implemented in all projects in the programme. Co-design (Sanders and Stappers 2008) is about developing products or services in a collective creative process. We will do this in two different empirical studies. Firstly, by following a co-design in one project from start to end, evaluating the process, possibilities and difficulties the project encounter. Secondly, by retrospectively evaluating the co-design in all projects. Additionally, we will evaluate similar co-design project and ICT solutions that have been successfully implemented internationally.


This project will bring evidence on how to involve participants in the co-design approach for developing and testing ICT tools. The ICT solutions that are designed are expected to be used and further developed. Sustainable business models for SMEs will be developed, both on how SMES can be involved and on how to make long-term business value. 

What is new

Taking a broad perspective on co-design, involving older people with long-term condition, family carers, health organisations and SMEs. Testing different approaches and evaluating them with an interdisciplinary, international approach.

The project is part of the research in the Designing for Innovation and Learning research group.