The aim of this project is to understand the experiences of permanent tracheostomy patients and identify opportunities to improve these experiences through design. Tracheotomy surgery involves making an incision in the trachea through which a tracheostomy tube can be inserted allowing the to breathe through the tube and bypass any upper airway obstruction.
Although tracheotomy is often a lifesaving procedure it also has a number of negative effects including stigma, difficulty eating, and difficulty speaking. These effects may also cause anxiety and depression.
The experiences of patients living with permanent tracheostomies will be explored through Human-Centred enquiry. Product design concepts will be generated in response to the opportunities uncovered, culminating in the proposal of a refined product intervention.