A Human Centered Approach to Evaluate the consumer acceptance of Temperature Sensing Socks

Title:A Human Centered Approach to Evaluate the consumer acceptance of Temperature Sensing Socks

Funding body: MRS

Duration: 4 Months

Position: Research fellow

School/Department: CADBE

As smart textiles are used in electronic health application, the success of the technology depends on the clinical application and patient’s acceptance to wear the sensors. The ATRG (Advanced Technology Research Group, NTU) developed temperature sensing yarns (TSY) that are woven in a seamless knitted socks. The sensor embedded socks provide diabetic patients and their clinicians with early warning system with foot ulcers. The technology used in the socks should not cause any physical irritation or damage to wearer’s skin, moreover the socks need to be comfortable to put on and take off, to ensure user comfort and not discouraged to use them. The aim of the project is to understand and evaluate the user’s acceptance, comfort level and physical properties of the temperature sensing diabetic socks rather than relying on diagnostic purpose.

The likelihood of success for temperature sensor socks equally depends on clinical technology and patient’s acceptance to wear the socks. By using a human centered approach to engage the views of the developers and the end users the physical characteristics of the socks like tactile, appearance, fabric abrasion and laundering are tested using wear trial. A participatory action research with active involvement of the developers and the participants at each stage of the investigation help the project to be reflexive, flexible and iterative.

The temperature sensing socks are tested in two ways: socks with sensors and socks without sensors. Two methods were taken for data collection: first method was a wear trial for 14 days, resulting in data collection that captures the functional, physical and symbolic properties of the socks. The second method was a focus group; a platform to discuss wear trial results with developers of temperature sensing socks, researchers and participants that contributes to the R&D capabilities as well as sales opportunities for temperature sensing socks. This research describes the approach taken, the results and experience derived from the project.

 

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