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J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5(4), 487-508; doi:10.3390/jpm5040487

A Multi-Stage Human Factors and Comfort Assessment of Instrumented Insoles Designed for Use in a Connected Health Infrastructure

1
Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
2
Physiology, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
3
CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
4
General Practice, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
5
Technical Research Centre for Dependency Care and Autonomous Living, Neàpolis Rambla de l’Exposició, 59-69, 08800 Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain
6
Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
7
CETEMMSA, Av. d’Ernest Lluch 36, 08302 Mataró, Spain
8
Cephis Wireless ULPA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Escola d’Enginyeria, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maged N. Kamel Boulos
Received: 7 July 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 23 November 2015 / Published: 16 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart, Personalized Digital Health and Medicine)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3473 KB, uploaded 16 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Wearable electronics are gaining widespread use as enabling technologies, monitoring human physical activity and behavior as part of connected health infrastructures. Attention to human factors and comfort of these devices can greatly positively influence user experience, with a subsequently higher likelihood of user acceptance and lower levels of device rejection. Here, we employ a human factors and comfort assessment methodology grounded in the principles of human-centered design to influence and enhance the design of an instrumented insole. A use case was developed and interrogated by stakeholders, experts, and end users, capturing the context of use and user characteristics for the instrumented insole. This use case informed all stages of the design process through two full design cycles, leading to the development of an initial version 1 and a later version 2 prototype. Each version of the prototype was subjected to an expert human factors inspection and controlled comfort assessment using human volunteers. Structured feedback from the first cycle of testing was the driver of design changes implemented in the version 2 prototype. This prototype was found to have significantly improved human factors and comfort characteristics over the first version of the prototype. Expert inspection found that many of the original problems in the first prototype had been resolved in the second prototype. Furthermore, a comfort assessment of this prototype with a group of young healthy adults showed it to be indistinguishable from their normal footwear. This study demonstrates the power and effectiveness of human factors and comfort assessment methodologies in influencing and improving the design of wearable devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: instrumented insole; gait analysis; comfort; human factors; human centered design; mHealth; eHealth; connected health; wearable electronics; older adult instrumented insole; gait analysis; comfort; human factors; human centered design; mHealth; eHealth; connected health; wearable electronics; older adult
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Harte, R.; Quinlan, L.R.; Glynn, L.; Rodriguez-Molinero, A.; Scharf, T.; Carenas, C.; Reixach, E.; Garcia, J.; Carrabina, J.; ÓLaighin, G. A Multi-Stage Human Factors and Comfort Assessment of Instrumented Insoles Designed for Use in a Connected Health Infrastructure. J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5, 487-508.

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J. Pers. Med. EISSN 2075-4426 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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