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Joe Langley

Dr Joe Langley PhD, MEng

Senior Research Fellow in Healthcare Innovation


I am a researcher in Lab4Living, an interdisciplinary research cluster where I am Senior Research Fellow in Healthcare Innovation.

I am a design engineer with a broad experience, industrial and academic, of applying technical and creative design methods in developing interventions with a focus on the healthcare sector. My experience is user centric, using inclusive and participatory design methods along with numerical engineering, experimental methods, prototyping and user testing. My work is by nature interdisciplinary and applied, working with clinicians, industry and users to co-develop interventions, test them, implement them and evaluate them. I am testing out models for open innovation as a means to break down market failure barriers to innovation in some healthcare markets.

  • About

    I have developed close partnerships and networks across different boundaries with a secondment in NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC, an NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship hosted by NIHR CLAHRC YH, an honorary contract with Sheffield Children's Hospital and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, a founding member of the TITCH (Technology and Innovation Transforming Child Health) network that includes Great Ormond St and Alder Hey, a member of the Research and Innovation Board and Sheffield Children Hospital and membership of HealthTech Sheffield (the HealthTech industrial sector committee (one of 7 industrial sectors) for the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)).

    I have engaged with the Product and Graphic Design teaching courses, developing and embedding a group project module in creative design for healthcare that places students in clinical contexts in the local hospitals. I also mentor final year students from both Occupational Therapy and Design Courses.

    I am a named inventor on two patents for a medical orthotic and a bedside male urinal and I am on the organising committee for the Design4Health Conference, Exhibition and 24-hour Design Challenge.

    I am also qualified in the Sheffield Microsystems Coaching Academy hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust and funded by The Health Foundation. As part of the training I am providing Microsystems Service Improvement Coaching work to the Metabolic Bone Centre clinical Microsystems.

    Healthcare Innovation, Participatory Design, Co-creation, Knowledge Mobilisation, Paediatric Healthcare Technologies

  • Teaching

    Science, Technology and Arts

  • Research

    • Art and Design Research Centre
    • Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute

    CI NIHR, i4i programme, 2015 for 3 years (£575000) ‘Support4all: developing a dignity support bra for breast cancer radiotherapy treatment’
    PI NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship, 2014, 3 years (£222800)

    Head UP

    The 'State of the Art' of Design Theory and Practice


    Neck Assessment Tool

    Is green a grey area?

    Tracking Obesity Using Games

    Digital memo wall

    SHINE - Design in Rehab


    Lab 4 Living

    Pancani, S., Rowson, J., Tindale, W., Heron, N., Langley, J., Quinn, A., Read, H., Stanton, A., McCarthy, A., Shaw, P., McDermott, C. Mazzá, C., In Press, 'Assessment of the Sheffield Support Snood, an innovative cervical orthosis designed for people affected by neck weakness', Clinical Biomechanics (2015)

    Reed, H., Langley, J., Stanton, A., Heron, N., Clarke, Z., Judge, S., McCarthy, A., Quinn, A., Squire, G., Wells, O., Tindale, W., Baxter, S., Shaw, P., McDermott, C., 2015 'Head-Up; an interdisciplinary, participatory and co-design process informing the development of a novel neck support for people living with progressive neck muscle weakness with an initial focus on those motor neurone disease', Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology, 39:7, 404-410

    Baxter, S., Reed, H., Clarke, Z., Judge, S., Heron, N., McCarthy, A., Langley, J., Stanton, A., Wells, O., Squire, G., Quinn, A., Shaw, P., McDermott, C. In Press, 'Evaluating a novel cervical otrhosis to support neck weakness in patients with motor neurone disease'. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration

    Wolstenholme, D., Downes, T., Leaver, J., Partridge, R. and Langley, J., 2014. 'Improving self-efficacy in spinal cord injury patients through "design thinking" rehabilitation workshops'. British Medical Journal Quality Improvement Reports, 3 (1)

  • Publications

    A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

    Keynote presentations

    ‘Design Practice in Healthcare’ – CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber Implementation Showcase, Friday 6th March 2015, Plaza Hotel, Leeds

    ‘Bringing Design Practice into Healthcare’ – Health Foundation Co-Production Summit, Wednesday the 11th March 2015, Bangor University

    Invited presentations

    Invited presentation and workshop – Langley, J., ‘Thinking with your hands: Participatory design and creative practices as knowledge co-creation’, PenCLAHRC Seminar Series on Implementation and Knowledge Mobilisation Research, Monday 2nd November 2015, The University of Exeter

    Invited WebEx presentation – Langley, J., Wolstenholme, D., Craig, C. and Chamberlain, P., ‘Engagingaging – meaningful participation of older people in research and innovation’, Innovation Learning Network Ageing Series (part of the ‘Virtual Thursday’ programme), August 20th 2015

    Healthcare Innovation Workshop at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Jan 14th-16th, 2015

    Invited Workshops

    Lego Serious Play workshop – Exploring the meaning of Citizenship for people living with Dementia, 27th October, The University of Sheffield

    Lego Serious Play workshop – Exploring future enabling technology for people with Peripheral Neuropathy, 13th October 2015, The University of Sheffield

    ‘Service Improvement by Design’ STH Leadership Forum, Friday 17th July 2015, The University of Sheffield

    ‘Service Improvement by Design’, Sheffield MCA Expo, 1st-2nd June 2015, Sheffield Hallam University

    Lego Serious Play workshop – Exploring team strategy with Community Care Team, 14th May 2015, North Anston

    ‘Participatory Healthcare Innovation’, Ageing Actively, Wednesday 13th May 2015, Sheffield Hallam University


    ‘Design Impact’, Health Services Research Network Winter Meeting ‘IMPACT’ 2015, Swansea, October 2015

    ‘Design Space’ exhibition, Health Services Research Network Symposium 2015, Nottingham, June 2015

    ‘Design Space’ exhibition, Health Services Research Network Symposium 2014, Nottingham, June 2014

    ‘Head-Up’; Design4Health Conference and Exhibition, July 2013 - winner of best exhibit as judged by a panel of independent and international judges drawn from the keynote speakers excluding the hosts and organisers

  • Other activities

    Honorary Research Fellow at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
    Honorary Research Fellow at Sheffield Children’s Hospital
    Member of Research and Innovation Board at Sheffield Children’s Hospital
    Founding Member of TITCH Network
    Member of HealthTech Sheffield (Sector advisory group to Sheffield LEP)

  • Postgraduate supervision

    ‘Can design thinking enhance self-management skills, resourcefulness and creativity in children with long term conditions?’
    ‘Co-designing digital technologies to support victims of domestic abuse’
    ‘What is the effect of the design of clinical space on the management of care?’

  • Media

    Dr Joe Langley is a Design Engineer in Healthcare Innovation working in Lab4Living, an interdisciplinary research group which brings together designers, health care practitioners, engineers, psychologists with the aim of designing products, services and environments to improve the quality of life and well-being for individuals.

    Joe’s research focuses particularly on the role of different stakeholders (Researchers, Patients, Healthcare Professionals, Industry) in the innovation process, using creative practices to co-create novel interventions and put them into everyday practice.

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