Digital Health Care Design: Coursework for Innovative Solutions for Aging Populations

I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School on the topic of Innovating Solutions for Aging Populations.

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started June 6th and runs until July 17th. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/health-care-innovation

Week 5:  Digital Health Care Design

In this final module you will be introduced to digital design methods and how to explore the solution and the problem during the innovation process. You will learn how to frame the design problem through field studies and collaboration, and how to apply prototypes in your work.

This week’s lectures focused on digital design and how it plays a role in the innovation process. How to identify a (design) problem, how to explore the problem through studying and collaborating with others (including stakeholders), and analyze and reframe design problems into a useful product or service.

If we look at the My Day case example from Steno Diabetes Center, the overall purpose is to develop an e-health solution that supports people with diabetes in maintaining a diet that is healthy for their condition by mobilizing Steno’s specialist knowledge within the field. At first, the problem may appear as very clear. People with diabetes need help with managing their diet. But once you start looking into it, the roots of the problem are more complex. Why is it that many people with diabetes struggle with their diet? Is it because they don’t know what is healthy for them? Is it because they get tempted? Or forget about healthy diets when they eat? Or there is something completely different at stake. 

Participatory design (involving stakeholders in the design process), ethnographic studies (how will the innovation be perceived, used, and beneficial to populations), and re-framing the design problem are useful tools for innovating health care technology design.

There are also different design techniques which can be used to develop and test the eHealth prototype. First, a paper mock-up is used to outline and describe the eHealth innovation. Second, a fully functional software prototype is developed where the interface (how the user interacts with the technology) is made to look and feel like the final product. These allow for sketching out the initial design and consulting with others, usually leading to some changes in the design and improving the initial idea. The functional prototype allows for demonstrations and testing – where users can interact with the product/service and provide feedback on various aspects (usability, look and feel, functionality, etc.). These two types of prototyping are tools used to create the design and to test the design.

Quiz

Q1. Different types of prototypes can be distinguished by their resolution (the level of detail by which they represent the final design) and their technical fidelity (how closely the prototype technically resembles the final product). In relation to this framework, what is a mock-up prototype and what is the purpose?

 A1. A simple (low resolution and low fidelity) prototype made out of e.g. paper and cardboard to visualize a concept and facilitate discussion between users and designers

Q2. Different types of prototypes are typically used at different stages in a digital project to serve different purposes. When and why is a high resolution and high fidelity prototype typically used?

A2. Towards the end of the project to evaluate the outcome of the design process, e.g. through a field study or a usability test

Q3. What is a wireframe prototype?

A3. A visual model, for instance developed using an IT tool, mainly used to communicate, but also to run initial tests of a design

Q4. Why is problematization important in a digital design process?

A4. To ensure that the project solves a relevant problem and to ensure sustained interest among the stakeholders of the project

Q5. When does problematization ideally take place in digital design?

A5. Mainly in the early phases but in principle throughout the project, to ensure that new insights into the problem produced by the project will be taken into account

Q6. Which method is particularly useful in a problematization process?

A6. Ethnographic studies of the actual problem settings to observe how the problems unfold in practice, and workshops, where the problems are discussed thoroughly with stakeholders of the project

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The Business Case: Coursework for Innovative Solutions for Aging Populations

I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School on the topic of Innovating Solutions for Aging Populations.

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started June 6th and runs until July 17th. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/health-care-innovation

Week 4:  The Business Case

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Rehabilitation: Coursework for Innovative Solutions for Aging Populations

I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School on the topic of Innovating Solutions for Aging Populations.

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started June 6th and runs until July 17th. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/health-care-innovation

Week 3:  Rehabilitation Continue reading

Diabetes: Coursework for Innovative Solutions for Aging Populations

I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School on the topic of Innovating Solutions for Aging Populations.

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started June 6th and runs until July 17th. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/health-care-innovation

Week 1 included short introduction videos covering the growth in life expectancy, reductions in childhood mortality rates, and the shift from healthcare focusing on infectious diseases to focusing on chronic and noncommunicable diseases.

Week 2:  Diabetes

In this module you will be presented with the physiology, complications, prevention and treatment of diabetes. Also, you will be introduced to self-management tools designed to help people with diabetes choose healthy meal plans.

Lecture 1:  Diabetes/metabolism

This week’s video lectures focused on a brief introduction to diabetes (what it is, how many people have it, what can cause it, and tools to manage and treat diabetes), and a strong focus on using diet as a self-management tool. They report that a healthy lifestyle (including exercise and healthy eating with at least 30% of meals consisting of vegetables) has a higher success rate than using medications alone. They also reported that cancer medications and diabetes medications are the two most sold drugs worldwide (big pharma makes BIG money!!)

highest selling drugs worldwide

Quiz

Q1. Which physiological mechanism is impaired when insulin sensitivity is reduced in type 2 diabetes? 

A1. The insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, primarily by muscle cells

Q2. Based on the lecture, which of these persons have the highest risk of developing insulin resistance?

A2. Both John’s parents have type 2 diabetes, John is obese and doesn’t exercise much

Q3. How should type 2 diabetes be prevented?

A3. By early identification and by changing lifestyle

 

Lecture 2:  Diet self-management

The lectures also talked about tools (two apps for smart phones) called My Plate and My Day. These seem to still be under development, but focus on helping people to track their daily habits, especially around eating and nutrition and living an active lifestyle.

Quiz

Q1. What is hard for Eva in relation to her treatment?

A1. Accepting her diabetes

Q2. What does self-management mean in relation to diabetes?

A2. Taking responsibility for managing the treatment

Q3. What is the purpose of the “plate models”?

A3. The T-shaped plate model to loose weight. The Y-shaped plate to maintain weight

Q4. Which macronutrients provide humans with energy?

A4. Carbohydrates, fat, protein and alcohol

Q5. What affect does fat have on blood glucose levels?

A5. High fat foods can delay a rise in blood glucose level

Q6. What macronutrient have highest impact on blood glucose?

A6. Carbohydrate

Course Review! Innovating Solutions for Aging Populations

Currently, I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School on the topic of Innovating Solutions for Aging Populations.

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started June 6th and runs until July 17th. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/health-care-innovation

This course will introduce you to health care innovation within the theme of ‘healthy living and active aging’, covering both the medical and the commercial aspects of innovations. Following two cases on diabetes and rehabilitation, this interdisciplinary course will present the key theories, tools, and concepts within health care innovation, and teach you to analyse and develop solutions to some of the great health care challenges of our time. This master-level online course is created by leading experts from Denmark and the Netherlands and is directed at students and practitioners from different fields, including public health and business economics. This course is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT Health).

EIT Health develops talents, drives innovative business ideas forward and boosts the global competitiveness of European industry through three key programmes that will offer a vibrant ecosystem for future entrepreneurs, academics and businesses.

Sometimes, I get a bit too excited about taking online courses. I like to watch the videos on the weekends or in the evenings during my yoga time. I think I have completed over 25 courses in the past 18 months, which actually adds up to quite a bit of time commitment. But, I really do love learning and the variety of topics offered on Coursera and edX really makes it interesting. Anyway, as I was wrapping up the Re-thinking Ageing course last week (read my posts about the course here), of course I decided to sign up for 4 more courses 😛

I am particularly interested in this course on Innovating Solutions because of the content (being a specialist in gerontechnology – technologies for and to benefit aging adults – and having an entrepreneurial spirit) and because it is hosted by the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School – both some 15 minutes by bike away from my home. I am hoping not only to brush up on what is happening in the field and future opportunities and trends, but also to make some connections in Copenhagen where I could hopefully take my work in this field further.

I will be making weekly posts about the course content, and hope that it gets you thinking, inspired, and even excited enough to share your thoughts in the comments!

Week 2:  Diabetes

Week 3:  Rehabilitation

Week 4:  The Business Case

Week 5:  Digital Health Care Design

Lifelong participation: Coursework for Re-thinking aging

Currently, I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Melbourne on the topic of Re-thinking aging:  are we prepared to live longer?

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started the last week in April and runs for 5 weeks. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ageing/home/welcome

We were encouraged to keep a journal or blog about our journey through the course, particularly to note where our opinions and ideas have changed from the beginning of the course to the end. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share the course information and my opinions with you – a little something different than my usual posts 🙂 As such, this will be a work in progress over the next 5 weeks.

Week 2:  Lifelong participation

Week 2 of this course is focused on lifelong participation. It dives into the physical and psychological changes that are more common in later life and how the gains in technology advancements enable people to be active, independent and socially connected to support lifelong participation.

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Gloal population aging trends: Coursework for Re-thinking aging

Currently, I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Melbourne on the topic of Re-thinking aging:  are we prepared to live longer?

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started the last week in April and runs for 5 weeks. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ageing/home/welcome

We were encouraged to keep a journal or blog about our journey through the course, particularly to note where our opinions and ideas have changed from the beginning of the course to the end. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share the course information and my opinions with you – a little something different than my usual posts 🙂 As such, this will be a work in progress over the next 5 weeks.

Week 1:  Worldwide Population Aging Trends

Week 1 is focused on global population aging. During this week, we heard about how aging trends are measured, what the terms mean, some of the implications of population aging, and completed our first assignment were we chose one country to examine their leading causes of disability, death and life expectancy.

future trends in life expectancy

 

Q:  What do you think about when you think about aging?

A: When I think about aging, I first think of older adults, typically I think of healthier and/or more active and independent older adults. Next, I think about the life course perspective, that we age throughout our entire lives and that it is a process, not one particular age category or stage of life. I tend to think more about the psychological aspects of aging such as the emotions, experiences, and personal growth that occurs as we live our lives and age.

Q:  What are some of the implications of global population aging (good and bad)? Consider work, family and society in general.

A: Some good implications of global population aging is that there is a greater potential for the knowledge and wisdom that often accompanies aging – if/when older adults have a stronger voice in their communities, there is much to be gained. Another benefit I can envision is that way of life will become easier, as we optimize many aspects of daily life so that functioning, movement, physical tasks and socialization becomes easier to carry out (an example is wider sidewalks and reduction in mobility hazards to accommodate an increasing number of people with mobility issues will actually benefit others in their community).

A negative side of global population aging is that there are fewer skilled workers to provide the important hands-on functions needed, such as in health and social care for all (not just for the older adults). Fewer younger people can also have implications for less innovation, forward-thinking development and risk-taking as older adults tend to engage in these types of activities less, especially professionally.

Assignment:  one country’s profile.

I chose Denmark. The goal of this assignment was to look deeper into the statistics on the leading causes of disability, death and the rates of life expectancy in a particular country.

Per instructions, I used data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)and their data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors study (GBD) for Denmark,  http://www.healthdata.org/results/country-profiles, to compare Denmark and Global life expectancy.

1. How did you decide what country to select and did the country’s profile surprise you? Why or why not?

I decided on Denmark as I am living here as a foreigner and wanted to know an updated status on the aging projections for the country. I was pretty surprised to find that the main cause of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) in 1990 was road injuries and that it had fallen over 60% since then (yea!). Danes are generally safe drivers and follow rules, so it was even surprising to me that road injuries was a leading cause.

2. What are the top three causes of premature death in your country in 2010? How are these different, or not, from the top three causes of premature death in 1990?

In 1990, the leading causes of YLL due to death are:
  1. Ischemic heart disease
  2. Cerebrovascular disease, and
  3. Lung cancer.
In 2013, the leading causes of YLL due to death are:
  1. Ischemic heart disease
  2. Lung cancer, and
  3. Cerebrovascular disease. (data was readily available for 2013, so I chose to use that information rather than combing back through for 2010 data).
It appears that only 2 and 3 have switched places, but the rates have fluctuted quite a bit as well. By 2013, heart disease decreased by 62%, lung cancer by 15%, and cerebrovascular disease by 36%. I would guess these decreases were in part due to national (and rather successful) campaigns to reduce smoking and increase exercise and activity. When I first moved to Denmark in 2005, 50% of the population smoked daily, down to around 20% now.
3. What are the five leading causes of Years Lived with Disability (YLDs) in your country? What is the leading cause of years with disability for those 80 years or older? It might be hard to tell on the graph so you can pick more than one.
  1.  Low back and neck pain
  2. Depressive disorders
  3. Skin diseases
  4. Sense organ diseases
  5. Falls
The leading cause of YLDs for those over 70 years old in 2013 is Non-communicable Diseases, the same as the global results. (Information for Denmark was readily available for 2013, not 2010).
4. Consider the leading causes of premature death and the leading causes of years with disability – what risk factors come to mind? Are these risk factors similar to the top three risk factors the Global Burden of Disease study highlighted? Note any differences or surprises you may have when you look at these risk factors.

The leading causes of death are heart and lung diseases/cancers and the leading causes of disability are back/neck pain, depression and skin diseases (Danes used to love to tan a lot, and recent initiatives to reduce this have been implemented). Initially, they may not look related, but thinking a bit more about them, they can be.

When people have chronic pain and/or depression, they tend to be more sedentary and socially isolated, which can increase risks for heart and lung problems over time. Skin diseases do not seem to be as related to the other causes of disability or death.

5. In looking at life expectancy – how does your country compare with the other countries listed? How does it compare between 1990 and 2010? These comparisons can help determine where your selected country is succeeding and where it could be falling behind. For the purposes of this assignment – focus on the column for ‘Life expectancy at birth’ as that is the most cited category for country comparisons.

Life expectancy in Denmark is higher than the global average. In 1990, it was 72.3 for Males and 77.8 for Females.

In 2013, this has increased to 77.8 for Males and 82.0 for Females.

For both genders combined, Denmark increased from about 75 in 1990 to around 80 in 2013.

That wraps up Week 1 of the course. Now, I would really enjoy your opinions and insights in the comments, please share what you think!

Course on living with dementia

To keep up to date and in the loop on the latest in dementia care, I signed up for a course on Coursera, a massive open online course, or MOOC. It consisted of online videos to watch and weekly assignments. We all communicate to each other through the discussion boards on the course web page. The course is offered for free, but I decided to take the signature track in order to receive a certificate when I am done. It was Living with dementia:  Impact on individuals, caregivers, communities, and societies.

This course is offered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and is lead by Dr. Laura Gitlin, PhD and Dr. Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN, FAAN.

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