Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. OBJECTIVE: We sought to examine co-design in 3 contrasting case studies of technology-supported change in health care and explain its role in influencing project success. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Longitudinal case studies of a seizure detection and reporting technology for epilepsy (Southern England, 2018-2019), a telehealth service for heart failure (7 UK sites, 2016-2018), and a remote video consultation service (Scotland-wide, 2019-2020). We carried out interviews with 158 participants and collected more than 200 pages of field notes from observations. Within- and cross-case analysis was informed by sociotechnical theory. RESULTS: In the epilepsy case, co-design prioritized patient-facing features and focused closely around a specific clinic, which led to challenges with sustainability and mainstreaming. In the heart failure case, patient-focused co-design produced an accessible and usable patient portal but resulted in variation in uptake between clinical sites. Successful scale-up of video consultations was explained by a co-design process involving not only the technical interface, but also careful reshaping of work practices. DISCUSSION: A shift is needed from co-designing with technology users to co-designing with patients as service users, and with healthcare staff as professionals. Good co-design needs to involve users, including those who engage with the technology-supported service bothdirectly and indirectly. It requires sensitivity to emergence and unpredictability in complex systems. Healthcare staff need to be supported to accommodate iterative change in the service. Adequate resourcing and infrastructures for systems-focused co-design are essential. CONCLUSIONS: If co-design focuses narrowly on the technology, opportunities will be missed to coevolve technologies alongside clinical practices and organizational routines.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA

Publication Date





284 - 293