The Paramedics Project

2015 Design for User Experience

10-week term project with Umeå ambulance station and Laerdal Medical



The objective was to identify relevant design opportunities based on insights gained from on-site research and participatory observations. The project was a joint collaboration between the APD programme and Umeå ambulance station and Laerdal Medical, a world-leading provider of training, educational and therapy products for lifesaving and emergency medical care.


Work Method

During the first week of the project, the APD students made participatory observations of the paramedics, the equipment they use, their patients and the different types of situations and contexts they encounter during a work shift.
Please have a look at the short movie below summarizing the research week.

In the project's second phase the students presented their findings and were introduced to methods for sharing information and generating ideas from the insights obtained. The outcome of these activities was used to identify and establish a number of design opportunities. After this, each student was asked to choose a design opportunity, carry out additional research and to write an individual design brief, specifying how this design challenge would be addressed by the student the remaining time of the project. When preparing for the final presentation the students also made physical models of their final design concept.



The final result of the project were 12 different concepts of new product solutions for a wide range of identified design opportunities within the fields of: Portable ECG and defibrillator. Flexible ambulance interior. Stretcher-vest hybrid for vehicle extrications. Improved treatment in case of hypothermia. Communication and patient monitoring. A single-use emergency cricothyroidotomy tool. Low-cost paediatric first aid training using gamification. Compact automated CPR. Semi-automated adrenaline administration and scanning of single-use medicine ampoules.


External project tutors from Laerdal Medical (Norway):

Frederik Hansen, Manager - Design & Human Factors.
Robert Provó Kluit, Industrial Designer.
External tutor on digital sketching and visualization:
Daniel Sellberg, Atlas Copco's Industrial Design Competence Center.
Internal tutor and model making instructor:
Johan Gustafsson, Industrial Designer, Struktur Design.

Course responsible and internal tutor:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme.