Design for Health and Wellbeing: Innovative Medical Garment Design

BALKIŞ M., KOCA E., Ferreira A. M.

7th Meeting of Research in Music, Arts and Design (EIMAD), Castelo Branco, Portugal, 14 - 15 May 2020, vol.9, pp.343-353 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 9
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-030-55700-3_24
  • City: Castelo Branco
  • Country: Portugal
  • Page Numbers: pp.343-353
  • Keywords: Innovative garment design, User-Centered design, User-oriented design, Health and wellbeing, FIBROMYALGIA
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


This paper is the initial part of Ph.D study is to contribute to innovative designs for fibromyalgia patients improving, as result, their health and wellbeing. A flat design process which is customized is presented. The solution is supported in previous research data including interviews with patients and professionals for a better understanding of fibromyalgia issues and patients. It has also allowed determining a better design approach to the problem (Balkis et al. 2019). Fibromyalgia is a widespread rheumatologic syndrome recognized by muscle pain. It is more common in stressed or perfectionist people. Demographically, however, the syndrome is commonly observed in age groups between 30-60 years, and in women (Nazlikul 2014). In this framework, the authors intend to help fibromyalgia patients through a non-pharmacological method but as a garment solution, presented here as a case study in a modeling stage. According to interviews with a doctor and patients, applying heat to "tender points" is relaxing and diminishes the effects of fibromyalgia syndrome. Most patients visit thermal baths for remedy. Also, they state that using heat packs are not a sustainable solution and prohibitive in daily routine. Thus, an innovative garment design was modeled and material selection was planned for a fibromyalgia patient's tender points. The model is highly customized to meet the patient's needs. In the future research phases, electronic nanocomposite materials will be applied to garments in accordance with the patient's needs to obtain the desired heat release and clothing comfort properties. This new design approach is complementary to traditional and more invasive pharmacological solutions.