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Lab4Living presents at 2nd Child Heath Tech Conference

6 Jun 2022

Members of the Lab4Living team presented approaches to developing interventions for paediatric populations at the 2nd Child Heath Tech Conference last week. PhD researcher Ursula Ankeny also presented a poster on her research helping children with arthritis to be more active and independent.

Lab4Living was invited to present a seminar at the Child Health Tech Conference which took place virtually on 11-12thMay 2022. Researcher Ursula Ankeny led the presentation, joined by other design researchers Joe Langley, Rebecca Partridge and Chris Redford for the Q&A session which followed


Within the presentation, we discussed our approach to developing interventions for paediatric populations, specifically considering how we use co-design to help dismantle power dynamics and enable more equal collaboration. We explored how our co-design framework shifts in response to different populations needs and contexts such as when working with children with ADHD in comparison to children with arthritis and the shift in creative methods that may be required. 

We discussed our co-design framework, which we view as a set of key guiding principles, with certain aspects being more or less important dependent on the context. These guiding principles consist of:

  • Combining knowledge and imagination, 
  • Power relationships, 
  • Building relationships, 
  • Valuing different perspectives and forms of knowledge, 
  • Less talking more doing, 
  • With making approaches being central to all

Enabling flexibility within these principles strengthens the co-design approach as co-design by its very nature cannot be a formula, part of its power, is being flexible and creative with how it’s applied. When done well, this enables for the creation of meaningful, engaging and powerful healthcare interventions, which are sensitive to the needs and contexts of the stakeholders involved. Our remote co-design approaches are also explored in Co-design during COVID.

Q&A session

The following Q&A session saw Lab4Living researchers responding to questions around dismantling power dynamics, the power of visual communication, and how creative methods can be used to overcome barriers in technological development.Design Researcher and PhD candidate Ursula Ankeny also had a poster acceptance for her project around developing and trialling a set of three devices to help children with arthritis to be more active and independent. Her poster titles“Bridging the virtual divide: co-designing technological innovations with the Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) population” focused on her PhD research [add link to  ],  discussing the challenges of co-developing interventions virtually, sharing approaches and techniques to enable a more effective co-design process when developing technological interventions with children and young people during a pandemic.