Elderly man looks at iPad with eye tracking glasses Copyright: © Mario Irrmischer


Project logo Tech4Age  

Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics in Healthcare


Key Info

Basic Information

01.11.2014 to 30.09.2022
Research Area:
Sociotechnical Systems and Human-Machine Interfaces

Further Information



Alexander Mertens

Head of Ergonomics and Human-Machine Systems Department


+49 241 80 99494




The young academics group Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics in Healthcare conducts research on target-group specific user interfaces for telemedical systems and services that support the integration of elderly and very old persons into the health care provided by these systems.


The independent use of complex medical products by patients in their home environment is steadily increasing. At the same time, the number of people available to work in medical care (nursing, rehabilitation, ...) is decreasing. This results in the challenge that patients, especially the elderly, have to use the medical products of their daily needs independently. The design of the necessary user interfaces is the challenge and goal of this research project.


The overall objective of the project is the scientifically sound and application-oriented development of technology-based design solutions that enable an efficient, effective and satisfactory interaction of elderly and very old persons with telemedical systems and services in follow-up home care. In particular, the focus is on ensuring the sustainable adherence to, and acceptance of, technology through user interfaces appropriate to the target group, and on the building and exchange of interdisciplinary skills with the help of design patterns (i.e. solution templates for recurring design problems). The empirical evaluation of the relevant ergonomic factors and cause-effect relationships in human-technology interaction can ensure the usability and usefulness of the developed medical technology solution concepts in the context of the challenges posed by long-term demographic changes for health care in Germany.


The methodology includes the human-centric development of target group-oriented design solutions according to DIN EN ISO 9241-210.

  • Measurement of psychophysical interrelationships in human-technology interaction

  • Age-differentiated evaluation of requirements, hurdles and inhibitions in empirical laboratory studies

  • Clinical studies on the effect of technology integration on therapy adherence

In addition to ergonomic design, the project also considers the ethical, social and legal implications (“ELSI question”) of digital change and, among other things, discusses them with a broad audience in public events. Further information can be found on the website of the Aachener DenkfabrEthik.

  Elderly man points to sketch in a laboratory Copyright: © Martin Braun  


The results are published nationally and internationally at regular intervals. For previous results, please refer to our list of publications on the project website.


The Tech4Age project (funding code: 16SV7111) is funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). The project management organization is VDI/VDE Innovation und Technik GmbH.