After watching a colleague struggle with the care of his mother when she was affected by fecal incontinence, the Consure Medical team began investigating this problem as a potential need to address. They completed an extensive needs finding process and confirmed that there was a pressing need for a more effective and dignified approach to treating this common, but embarrassing condition.
Although the team had a broad concept of the need it would address, the members quickly discovered that more research was necessary to thoroughly understand how to make that need actionable. Fecal incontinence affects patients with acute and chronic conditions, in multiple hospital settings as well as in long-term care facilities and at home. It also involves numerous stakeholders, including patients, family members, doctors, and other care professionals, each with different needs and concerns. This mini-case study looks at how the Consure team determined what audience to address and how it translated the needs, preferences, capabilities, and constraints of this population into specific design requirements to help guide product development.
This story is part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series developed at Stanford University to shed light on the challenges that global health innovators face as they seek to develop and implement new products and services that address needs in resource-constrained settings.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Nish Chasmawala of Consure Medical for his participation. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant 1 RC4 TW008781-01.