Universal Design for IOT Smart Health (UDISH)

Workshop at ICTH 2017 The 7th International Conference on Current and Future Trends of Information and Communication Technologies in Healthcare (ICTH 2017) September 18-20, 2017, Lund, Sweden

Call for Papers

There are many global challenges in healthcare.  In Europe, the US, and other countries, the population is aging and the healthcare system is struggling to keep up.  The recent influx of large numbers of refugees is particularly putting stress on the healthcare system in countries such as Sweden. This presents a new population with great healthcare needs but limited literacy in their new country.  In the less developed parts of the world, the challenge is how to deliver modern healthcare, particularly to remote rural areas where access to the internet is unstable and even electricity is not available on a reliable scale. The United Nation’s Millenium Goals have addressed issues such as the fact that many women continue to die during pregnancy or from childbirth-related complications. Progress tends to bypass women and those who are lowest on the economic ladder or are disadvantaged because of their age, disability or ethnicity. Disparities between rural and urban areas remain pronounced.

Technology has been promoted as a potential solution to all of these problems.  Now that nearly any device can be connected to the Internet, the Internet of Things offers even greater potential.  Many technological solutions proposed involve the utilization of individual smart phones and various wearable devices.  Whereas these do offer great possibilities, we would like to urge researchers to consider other ways of using technology to address global healthcare challenges.  The “fitbit” approach of using self-tracking devices should not be our only approach to integrating the Internet of Things and Smart Health. 

The issue of universal design, or if you prefer inclusive design, should be considered when developing new healthcare systems. Universal accessibility requires considering the contexts of all potential users, regardless of gender, ability, location, or socio-economic status. Whereas the typical view of universal design implies there is one solution that can be suitable for everyone, Harper (2017) suggests that we should strive instead for universal usability.  Rather than making generalizations that risk excluding particular users, we can adopt new design paradigms that utilize innovative methods of providing the same services via different pathways.  What does this mean for IOT related health services? How can we ensure that smart health applications we develop are truly usable by the broader population? 

With this Call for Papers we would like to encourage researchers from the technology, healthcare, nursing, social services, and related areas to submit their work related to the universal design of smart health systems, particularly those that are built on an Internet of Things Platform.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • How universal design principles can be incorporated into existing design approaches.
  • Design-for-one versus design-for-all.
  • Description of products that are universally accessible.
  • Practical tests of IOT-based smart health systems.
  • Implementation of IOT systems in areas without reliable Internet access.
  • How we can make the data produced by IOT devices understandable and meaningful for different people?
  • How IOT services can be customized to fit different needs.
  • How games and gamification can make IOT meaningful for different people.

Harper, S. Is there design-for-all? Universal Access in the Information Society (2007) 6:111. Doi:10.1007/s10209-007-0071-2.

Program Committee

Jonas Christensen, Malmö University, SE

Crispin Coombs, Loughborough University, UK

Ciara Heavin, University College Cork, Ireland

Christine Kumlien, Malmö University, SE

Carl Johan Orre, Malmö University, SE

David Wainwright, Northumbria University, UK

Yvonne Dittrich, IT Univeristy Copenhagen, DK