Inclusive co-designing with patients: reaching the difficult-to-reach

Within a European project, we want to co-design a virtual companion with patients living with COPD and continuously collaborate with them in design and evaluation activities. This way, we want to ensure that we meet their needs and that the design accounts for their values and skills. When engaging end-users for technology development, we are facing the risk to involve mainly highly educated people and patients who are already relatively empowered and already engage in self-management activities. During COVID times, many recruitment efforts and research activities had to be carried out online, attracting mostly people who are digitally skilled and already aware of and interested in health promoting actions. We are missing out on people of low SES, low literacy (general / digital / health literacy), who might however benefit the most if the technology is designed and evaluated together with them.

The goal of the project is to conduct user research, identify the right network to reach the target group, develop a communication and marketing strategy and design material together with the target group to reach out and attract more people to join our project.

So, how can we engage with a difficult-to-reach target group for inclusive technology design & evaluation activities?

Cluster: Care at home

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):