TU Eindhoven

Caring for Caregivers

Do we care enough for the caregivers? Healthcare workers are worth their weight in gold, so the COVID-19 pandemic has shown. And yet, their position is tremendously challenged. At least in The Netherlands, the healthcare system is understaffed, while a great share of the workers is considered underpaid. Workload is high, with severe risk of burnout and other mental health issues.

Project goal

In this one-year design project, we aim to prototype and live test an innovative system that truly supports healthcare workers in monitoring their mental wellbeing during their daily work, over longer periods of time, with the aim of detecting – preliminary – signs of burnout earlier and more systematically. We propose an intuitive and interactive system that will promote self-reporting with higher levels of engagement of the people being monitored, thanks to a tangible and sensory interface that has been designed through a user experience approach.

Through this project, we aim to answer the following research questions:

  • Can we foster long-term engagement for self-report and increase awareness on mental wellbeing of healthcare workers through tangible interfaces and sensory feedback?
  • Can we use one-dimensional real-time data collected through tangible interfaces to effectively and timely detect burnout, as an alternative to questionnaires?

The ultimate goal

Successful monitoring and feedback will contribute to more tailor-made, timelier, and therefore more effective prevention strategies – both on the level of the individual workers involved (as self-regulations), and on the level of (hospital) management and health policy makers. The ultimate goal is to facilitate a transition in the healthcare system from late detection and cure to active monitoring and prevention of burnout, thanks to more humane and caring forms of technology enabled by design.

Project budget €160.600, with €110.000 PPS surcharge being used.