• Lesson Plan: Brett Allcorn

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    Background My senior thesis project is directed at making wireless internet easier to setup and use for the elderly. The benefits of internet use by the elderly are tremendous, and wireless networks are becoming widely important in health care. Imagine in the near future that home care monitoring devices monitor patients for a fraction of the cost of a live-in aid. These devices will all be wireless and will transmit data about the patient to the hospital. Wireless internet can also provide phone, music, and television services to older people.

    Research Objectives

    1. Explore all way in which the elderly benefit from internet use
    2. Explore healthcare issues the elderly most commonly face
    3. Identify ways in which wireless internet could benefit the well being and lifestyle of the elderly using the findings from above and any additional findings
    4. Define successful ways, using specific examples of products, in which the elderly successfully use technology already, and find common design techniques that work well for the elderly.

    Design Objectives

    1. Using the research above, brainstorm ideas that solve identified problems. At the same time, try to integrate successful precedents from the past
    2. Identify the top three solutions

    Resources -Market Research – Wireless in healthcare 2008 -Kxi Long Term Care Report -Market Research – Mature Market 2008

    Vocabulary -Wireless Router – Converts regular internet into wireless internet -WLAN – Wide Local Area Network is the short term for the type of wireless being used -Wireless Network Card – Allows other computers to connect to the wireless network -Network Key/Password – Protects your network from intruders -Ethernet cable – The type of cable used to connect the router to the cable modem

  • You're making headway, Brett. I would add the following question to your list of Research Objectives: What are common impediments confronted by elderly regarding wireless (specifically) and new technologies (in general)? I appreciate the positive tone of your point #4, however you may find that, depending on the location of the elderly, unexpected conditions may complicate availability of such technologies, let alone direct interaction. You may need some statistics on user patterns in private vs. shared (institutional) residences. How many elderly actually have access to internet? Are they more likely to live separately or in a community? This might help you become more specific about your users and examining their contexts. Keep going.


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