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A mobile swabbing booth to address Singapore GPs’ concerns about swabber protection: human-centred design during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Teo, Boon See1, 2, 3, 4
  • Li, Esther1
  • Khoo, Yi-Lin5
  • Evaristo, Michelle5
  • Fang, Yang2
  • Smith, Helen E.2
  • 1 Camry Medical Centre, 95 Toa Payoh Lorong 4 #01-66, Singapore, 310095, Singapore , Singapore (Singapore)
  • 2 Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Experimental Medicine Building, 59 Nanyang Drive, Singapore, 636921, Singapore , Singapore (Singapore)
  • 3 National University of Singapore, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine NUHS Tower Block, 1E Kent Ridge Road Level 11, Singapore, 119228, Singapore , Singapore (Singapore)
  • 4 8 College Road, Singapore, 169857, Singapore , Singapore (Singapore)
  • 5 Temasek International, 60B Orchard Road, #06-18 Tower 2, The [email protected], Singapore, 238891, Singapore , Singapore (Singapore)
Published Article
BMC Family Practice
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Sep 08, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12875-021-01531-8
Springer Nature
  • Research


BackgroundDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health asked Singapore’s private general practitioners (GPs) to perform swab testing in their clinics, but some GPs had concerns about swabber protection. Our aim was to develop a swabbing booth to address these concerns.MethodsWe developed a prototype with potential GP users using a human-centred design approach and piloted it with 10 GP clinics. The pilot was then extended to 170 GP clinics around Singapore. These GPs were then surveyed on user satisfaction.ResultsNinety-three GPs (54%) responded. The majority (75%) practiced in public residential estates in small practices (mean 1.95 doctors). 86% requested the booth to enhance swabber protection. 74% “would recommend” or “would strongly recommend” the booth to colleagues. 79% continue to use the booth to conduct swab tests. 92% liked that it offered swabber protection. 71% liked that the booth created a separate space for swabbing and 64% liked its ease of disinfection. 47% started swabbing only after receiving the booth and 58% said the booth was “important” or “very important” to their decision to participate in swab testing. However, 34% disliked that it took up too much space and the most frequently critiqued area was the gloves.ConclusionThe human-centred design approach generated a product that had high user satisfaction, addressed GPs’ concerns of swabber protection and increased GPs’ participation in swab testing. The booth may be useful where GPs are concerned about swabber protection and space is limited.

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