Health and social care products and devices will yield better outcomes if they are informed by user and stakeholder engagement and insight.

How can we help?

Devices or products for use in health care and social care will be greatly enhanced if they are developed in collaboration with those who are likely to use or buy them, including patients and care providers.

Evolving Communities Consultancy delivers user and stakeholder engagement to help organisations develop evidence-based product solutions that meet people’s care needs.  This may also provide benefits in terms of gaining public funding for product development and access to markets, including the NHS.

There is a growing demand for new and innovative health and social care products, devices, and solutions, particularly for those that use new digital technologies to transform the way care is delivered.  For example, connected wearable devices, remote monitoring, virtual and augmented reality, AI for diagnostics and personalised pharmaceuticals.  In the UK, the government’s NHS long-term transformation plan calls for greater use of digital technologies, innovation, and flexibility in delivery of health care.

Our approach

We work with organisations and product developers to fully understand the concept of the device, the need it addresses and the anticipated benefits.  We will explore who will use it and how it will be used, including cost, availability and supply, and the look, feel and operation of the device.  We will clarify possible issues and improvements that need to be addressed, and the insight and outcomes required from the user engagement programme.

We will use our professional skills and expertise to design, promote and deliver a bespoke, robust, and effective engagement programme.  Results will be collated and analysed, and a report will be presented.  We recognise that commercial sensitivity is particularly important when it comes to product development, so we will discuss how best to manage information provision around the project.

National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

Device development for early detection of diabetic foot ulcers.

Our methods

We can use a combination of virtual, remote and face to face engagement techniques, depending on the product, stakeholder groups and objectives.

Engagement around development of healthcare devices typically involves delivering a series of focus groups with potential users of the device, their families and/or carers.  It may also be useful to engage with relevant healthcare staff and other stakeholders.  Attendees can be shown mock-up devices or drawings, plans and videos of products and asked a series of questions.  If drawings or videos are available, online surveys and/or focus groups can also be conducted.  If a client wants input at the ideas stage through to product development, we can set up a liaison or advisory group and arrange a series of meetings or surveys over a set period of time, either face to face or virtually.

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