Background Co-design denotes involvement of lead users, i.e. potential users of the future service, who collaborate with researchers and/or clinicians and other stakeholders in the development of health care services. This project describes the process and outcome of co-designing a mobile internet service for self-management of physical activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Objectives Our aims were to describe the iterative process of deciding what features to include in a self-management service for physical activity, the challenges of co-design and the results from the evaluation of the test version of the service.
Methods Principles of experience-based co-design were used to study the process and outome of the project. In the needs inventory and idea generation phase six focus group interviews were performed with lead users (n=26). In the requirements specification phase four workshops were conducted including lead users, clinical and research physiotherapists, an eHealth strategist and an officer from the Swedish Rheumatism Association (n=10). In the system evaluation phase, the first test version of the service was evaluated during six weeks (n=28). Qualitative methods were mainly applied except for the evaluation phase where mixed methods were used.
Results Four core aspects important to consider in the development of the service were identified: features, customized options, user interface, and access and implementation (1). The core challenge of co-design was the merging of participants' different perspectives (2). The merging resulted in “tRAppen”, a mHealth service for maintenance of physical activity. tRAppen included two key components: 1) “My self-regulation features” and 2) “My peer support features” (3). The evaluation demonstrated that most participants registered physical activity, sent likes and made exercise plans. tRAppen was generally rated as easy and fun to use. The experiences of using tRAppen seemed to be influenced by physical and mental state and personal preferences.
Conclusions The use of co-design in the development of the physical activity self-management service tRAppen was successful. The first test version was perceived as feasible and to have the potential to support a physically active lifestyle. Co-design in collaborative workshops involved an extensive decision-making process that put high demands on the participants' ability to find solutions, negotiate, come to agreements, and reach final decisions.
Revenäs Å, Opava C, Åsenlöf P. Lead users' ideas on core features to support physical activity in rheumatoid arthritis: a first step in the development of an Internet service using participatory design. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2014;14(21)
Revenäs Å, Martin C, Opava H. C, et al. A Mobile Internet Service for Self-Management of Physical Activity in People with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Challenges in Advancing the Co-Design Process During the Requirements Specification Phase. JMIR Res Protoc 2015; 4(3):e111
Revenäs Å, Opava H. C, Martin C, et al. Development of a Web-Based and Mobile App to Support Self-management of Physical Activity in Individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results From the Second Step of a Co-Design Process. JMIR Res Protoc 2015;4(1):e22
Disclosure of Interest None declared