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A Design Researcher exploring Care and Technologies in Later Life

Enhancing Informal Networks of Care
Design Informatics,  University of Edinburgh
2023 - Present

At Design Infomatics and Advanced Care Research Centre, I am exploring how emerging technologies underpinned by data may support healthier, informal networks. As part of the ACRC work package on Understanding The Person In Context, I am co-ordinating co-design and design-led prototyping to support informal networks of care in the UK.

Work Package: Understanding The Person In Context, Advanced Care Research Centre ︎

Care-full MonitoringInvestigating more transparent and explainable in-home monitoring

☞ Alternative Pathways of Support: Co-designing new ways to access support for older informal caregivers     

DCODE “Synthetica” Zine (2023): Care Futures: AI-generated stories of ageing-in-place ︎

Long-COVID Patient journey 
Eat Health Move, RMIT University

Mapping the experiences of people with long-COVID, an interdisciplinary team conducteda 3-month study of patients experiences of long-COVID. Analysing daily issues and coping over this period, we visually map the health literacy, self-efficacy, enjoyment of life and eating, and physical activity habits with those suffering with long-COVID.

Program: Eat Health Move, a Multi-College Collaborative Research Project ︎

Worksafe by Design
School of Design, RMIT University
2021 - 2022

An initiative of the Safeness by Design program, In collaboration with WorkSafe Victoria, we employ research and design innovation to provoke conversations to direct the creation of safer urban environments.

Studio Report (2022): Future of Work Report ︎

Studio Report (2021): Enabling an Ageing Workforce Report ︎

Article (2022): Re-Imagining Industrial Design Education for the Contemporary Period ︎

Article (2022): Designing to Enable an Ageing Workforc︎

Co-designing Participatory ICT Strategies With Older Adults
Shaping Connections, RMIT University
2020 - 2022

Perceived risks remain are one of the main reasons many older adults do not engage with ICT and the digital economy. In better equipping older Australians to engage with the digital economy,  this study explored the perceived ICT risks that affect older Australians and co-designed strategies with them – connecting practices with perceptions.

Article (Under Review) Older people’s strategies to overcome ICT barriers in peer learning

Article (2023): Strength-based co-design that EMPOWERs – Lessons from codesigning with older adults ︎

Article (2022): Co-Creating ICT Risk Strategies with Older Australians ︎

Report (2022):  Co-designing Participatory Strategies With Older Adults ︎

Report (2021): Reducing Perceived Risk & Promoting Digital Inclusion ︎

Grant (2020): Australian Communications Consumer Action Network Grants Projects ︎

(Under Review) Journey Mapping Long COVID: Agency and Social Support for Long-Hauling

Figueiredo, B., Sheahan, J., Zheng, Z., Luo, R., Bird, S., Itsiopoulos, C., Wan, D.W.L., Jessup, R., Xenos, S.

Social Science & Medicine
This study aims to understand the experiences of individuals with long COVID, or "long-haulers," and provide a framework for potential healthcare interventions by mapping individual patient journeys. Drawing on a combination of interviews, questionnaires, and video diaries over a three-month period, it used journey mapping to document the patients' experiences, including symptoms, coping strategies, and changes in lifestyle. Two emerging dimensions, patient agency, and social support were identified as influential factors in long COVID journey patterns. The resulting framework highlights the importance of person-centred interventions that consider patients' unique experiences and their environment.

(Under Review) Older people’s strategies to overcome ICT barriers in peer learning

Figueiredo, B., Aleti, T., Martin, D., Reid, M., Sheahan, J., Hjorth, L.

Behaviour & Information Technology
Information and communication technology (ICT) competency is crucial for older peoples’ well-being. However, mastering ICT can be challenging for older people facing cognitive, emotional, and attitudinal barriers. A potential approach for ICT learning among this cohort is peer learning. This study uses multiple qualitative research methods, including observation and interviews, to uncover how older learners and their peer tutors overcome ICT barriers in a peer learning context. The findings reveal that older learners use nine strategies, coupled with their peer tutors’ nine corresponding strategies, to overcome these barriers. The paper offers practical implications for encouraging ICT learning among older people.

2023 - An Overview of Long COVID Support Services in Australia and International Clinical guidelines, with a Proposed Care Model in a Global Context ︎

Luo, S., Zheng, Z., Bird, S.R., Plebanski, M., Figueiredo, B., ... Sheahan. J., Itsiopoulos, C.

Public Health Review
Identifying gaps among Australian Long COVID support services and guidelines towards recommending for future health programs. A review of electronic databases and seven government health websites found the majority of Australian services provided multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs with service models generally consistent with international and national guidelines. Study findings highlight an urgent need for innovative care models that address individual patient needs at an affordable cost. We propose a model that focuses on patient-led self-care with further enhancement via multi-disciplinary care tools.

2023 - Commentary: Strength-based co-design that EMPOWERs – Lessons from codesigning with older adults ︎

Figueiredo, B., Aleti, T., Martin, D., Reid, M., Sheahan, J., Hjorth, L.

Journal of Services Marketing
Despite the recent process frameworks for co-designing and customer vulnerability, there is a need for a framework that addresses the key empowerment challenges of co-designing with people experiencing vulnerability. The EMPOWER framework is a strength-based co-design methodological approach that offers a set of easy-to-remember empowering guidelines. The framework includes seven guidelines to overcome common challenges in co-design research. The acronym EMPOWER refers to guidelines for extending, multiplying, publicising, outsourcing, widening, enabling and reflecting on co-design research.

2023 - Care Futures Zine ︎

Lee, Y., Liu, Y., Gil Salas, P., Surana, A., Sheahan, J.

DCODE Prototeam “Synthetica”
We are facing a future that is more exciting and unpredictable than ever before. A world wherepowerful technologies, once only found in sciencefiction, are now becoming a reality. What doyou think about this reality? Are you excited,confused, or anxious? In this zine, you will find eight short stories,each depicting a scenario of aging and care and the role technology plays in them. Four of thesestories are written by our team of designers, theother four are generated using ChatGPT, with the same prompts. These stories are provocations ofinteractions with technology that provides care. We read these stories to older adults who have lived experience with care technologies and had meaningful conversation and reflection together. 

I acknowledge the peoples on whose lands I conduct my work, and respectfully acknowledge  Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.

©2023 Jacob Sheahan