ethnographic need finding

the context

This work occurred at St. Paul’s Hospital (and surrounding clinics) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The observations/interviews were conducted over seven weeks during July/August 2013.

the goal

Over the course of seven weeks, myself and a second PhD student sought to better understand the healthcare context in Ethiopia to identify unmet needs that could be addressed through technological innovation.

the method

Our team used primarily embedded observations and interviews to understand the hospital’s needs and challenges. We sought to reinforce the observed needs with background literature and interviews with stakeholders outside the hospital (Ministry of Health, medical device manufacturers, Ethiopian regulators, etc.).

the results

We identified over 100 needs over the course of our observations and interviews. We were able to downselect to the top ten needs that the clinicians believed would be most important moving forward. One of these needs, a more accurate way to administer contraceptive implants evolved into our work with the SubQ Assist.