Letters to medical devices: a case study on the medical device user requirements of adolescents with type 1 diabetes

© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes are required to use a variety of persuasive medical technologies to manage their health. However, adolescents’ experiences with and preferences regarding these technologies, and the implications these have on self-management are not broadly recognised. In this case study of a novel method nine adolescents and young adults wrote love letters or break-up letters to one of their medical devices. Four categories of user requirements were constructed from a grounded theory analysis of the letters and follow-up interviews: acquiring and changing medical devices, requiring convenience and practicality for everyday contexts, collecting and using data, and corresponding with preferences and values. Young people are often excluded from research and development regarding medical devices, yet this method was successful in identifying emotional information and requirements to inform the design of medical devices.