Improve Adherence to Health Tech. Solutions

The Adherence Canvas is a tool to guide and measure the consideration of adherence to improve it during the design and development of medical technology.

More than 50% of patients don't adhere to medical technology especially when self-administrated. The Adherence Canvas aids in the improvement of adherence consideration during the design process.

About the Adherence Canvas

The Adherence Canvas is a tool to guide and measure adherence factors during the design of health technology. The Canvas is based on an adherence framework that focuses on patient-administered medical technology. Improving adherence factors improves patient adherence to the medical regimen.

The Adherence Canvas is part of Rafiq Elmansy’s PhD research at the School of Design, Northumbria University. The PhD researched the Role of Design Thinking in Improving Adherence in Self-Administered Treatment Technology in 2021. The research is supervised by Dr Stuart English (1st supervisor) and Prof Gilbert Cockton (2nd supervisor).


The current publications provide details of the empirical data underpinning the research:

How Does it Work?

Why You Need It?

Adherence is one of the critical factors in the medical practice for patients, clinicians and the healthcare system. The impact of poor adherence becomes exacerbated when the treatment is patient-administered and in chronic diseases.

  • Poor adherence blurs the medical intervention’s effectiveness resulting in patient condition deterioration and losses for the healthcare system.

  • Poor adherence causes a reduction in intervention’s efficacy in the evaluation and clinical trials.

  • Good adherence positively affects patient’s medical condition and empowers patients to self-administer their treatments.

  • Good adherence drives market success and patient trust in the intervention.



Don’t know how to drive patients to adhere to your product usage? The general Adherence Canvas can guide you through general factors of adherence.



Ensure that adherence is considered in your product planning phase. Measure how each factor is considered in the medical product or service.



Do not let your product fail evaluation procedures (or clinical trials) because patients didn’t use the product. Evaluate how adherence is considered before testing the product.

What Experts Say..

The success of self-administered treatment depends not only on the effectiveness of the scientific intervention but also on the patient's willingness to follow a certain pattern of behaviour. Managing this behaviour is a challenge because of the diversity of factors that influence people's lives. The adherence canvas is the result of a three-year research programme at Northumbria University, it provides a framework for the consideration of adherence factors in the design of patient-administered health treatments.
Stuart English
Associate Professor
The adherence Canvas is a fantastic tool we used to identify some key and often overlooked areas within product development. Although not strictly developed for a project such as ours, once used it allowed us to implement features which went on to see lots of positive feedback from advisors and stakeholders.
Charlie Knox
Industrial Designer
Using the Adherence Canvas provided necessary insights our team needed to progress with our project further. It highlighted important areas of certain aspects in our design practice and business models that proved to be beneficial to our project's final approach.
Alayna Davis
Interactive Designer
Non-adherence to medical treatment is considered by many to be not only a major cost to heath care providers worldwide, but also responsible for many preventable hospitalisations. Ultimately non adhering to effective medication results in poorer health outcomes for patients. When designing new medical devices or medical packaging, we need to consider the patient and help them to adhere as best as possible. The Adherence Canvas is a tool that should help designers to consider adherence early in the process and we expect it to have a positive outcome on the products and services designed using the framework
Dr Alex Cole
Head Of Strategic Marketing, CPI

Our Research Collaborators

Orcha logo
Centre of Process Innovation CPI
Polyphotonix Logo

Patient Empowerment Ambassadors

Stuart English

Dr Stuart English, FRSA
 Associate Professor (PhD research supervisor)
School of Design, Northumbria University

Stephen Tookie

Stephen Tooke
Co-founder, Tookie Limited
(A Life More Normal)

Alex Cole

Dr Alex Cole
Head Of Strategic Marketing, CPI

Charlotte Gordon

Charlotte Gordon
Senior lecturer ,  Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University


Dr Giana Carli Lorenzini
Researcher, Dept of Design Sciences,
Lund University Sweden

David Kuraguntla

David Kuraguntla 
Co-founder and CEO of Alio

Rafiq Elmansy

Dr Rafiq Elmansy, PhD, FHEA, FRSA
MA Design programme leader, Lecturer of  design,
School of Design, University of Leeds

Adherence Canvas

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