Abstract
A HUMAN-CENTRIC DESIGN FOR HOME USE VESTIBULATOR: A LOW COST PORTABLE THERAPEUTIC DEVICE FOR SENSORY INTEGRATION OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

Mohammed Aslam Khan* and Dr Anis Choudhery

ABSTRACT

Background: An emerging development in the healthcare industry is the tremendous rise in the number of medical devices individuals use at home. Although home healthcare is a rapidly growing industry and home use medical devices are an evolving market, the current COVID-19 pandemic situation parted ways of families of autistic children with their therapists as social distancing became an important method for managing the spread of Coronavirus. This development formed great implications for the scope and design of home-use medical devices for sensory integration through the Vestibulator. The Vestibulator is an innovative therapeutic device for human vestibular stimulation to answer the global problem of developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and learning disabilities (LD). Purpose: This paper aimed to review the design process of Home use Vestibulator and presented a methodology that allowed the designer to identify potential sensory integration therapy that may be applied to children with ASD when lay users operate portable Vestibulator at home. Methodology: Through a structured methodology based on the human-centered design theory, a conceptual design in which sensory integration therapy with the use of low-cost portable Vestibulator in a home environment by a group of lay users was developed. To evaluate the design of home use Vestibulator, qualitative and questionnaire-based opinion was sought from the expert and ASD children’s parents and caregivers. Findings: The new conceptual model showed evidence for efficacy, patient comfort, and ease of use of home use Vestibulator for children with ASD. The evaluation of expert and lay users found that the resulting design is appealing and perceived as useful for sensory integration therapy through Vestibulator at home. The study confirmed the feasibility of home use Vestibulator and informed continued product development and clinical trials afterward. Unique contribution theory, practice and policy: The paper provides knowledge about the implementation of human-centered design theory in the design of home medical device – Vestibulator. The new model proposed Home use Vestibulator clearly illustrated how system manufacturers must take into account several human factors during the design process in order to have commercial success with the home use Vestibulator.

Keywords: Vestibulator; Sensory Integration; Human centered design; Autism Spectrum Disorders; COVID-19.


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