Tara Mullaney

Tara Mullaneys bild
Service Design
Titel på avhandling: 
Working Title: Design for Health and Wellbeing
Beskrivning av avhandling: 

Project Overview:

Design and health have been linked together since technology and tools first became incorporated into medicine. However, many medical technological advances have been introduced to treat patient health without understanding their effect on patient wellbeing. Through human-centered design research, we have the opportunity to study the impact these medical technologies have on a patient’s wellbeing, and come up with product developments that consider all aspects of patient care, from functional to emotional experiences. My research focuses upon understanding the patient experience within healthcare settings with the aim of increasing patient knowledge, participation, and power within these environments.

My core research project, funded by the EU, is a collaboration between Umeå Institute of Design and the Norrlands University Hospital’s Radiation Therapy Department. In this project, I am conducting a long-term ethnographic study on the cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy at Norrlands University Hospital. This study looks at the emotional impact the care staff, the care environment, and the radiation treatments have upon the patients being treated. Additionally, once a baseline understanding of the emotional states of the patients has been established, we will conduct ‘interventions’ within the Cancer Center environment, to study what impact these changes have upon the patient experience. The aim of the research set up for this project is to create an experimental protocol that allows us to test and analyze our design concepts in an iterative manner, and intertwines our research and design practice so that they become inseparable. This concurrent research and design process will enable us to create design solutions that support the overall emotional and physical wellbeing of the patient, while continuing to providing the medical care necessary for optimizing their health.


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Designfakulteten grundades i december 2007 med finansiering från Vetenskapsrådet och KTH. Dess främsta verksamhet är att driva en nationell forskarskola i design i samarbete med ett 20-tal institutioner runt om i Sverige.

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Föreståndare maria [dot] hellstrom [dot] reimer [at] mah [dot] se (Maria Hellström)
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