My bachelor graduation project explores how to empower users to be more proactive on their health rather than being reactive. The result is a smart device used at home to measure vital signs and perform basic medical tests by guiding the user. It enhances communcation by sharing results with a physician and family members.
How might we empower user to be more proactive on his health?
Nowadays, diagnosing process is extremely painful for both patients' physicans' point of view. As the number of skilled healthcare workers decreases, patients spend more time, energy and money on their healthcare. As a result, they become more reactive and prefer not to be involded in the healthcare system unless they extremely need it. The original impetus for the idea was to empower the user to be more proactive about his health rather than being reactive.
In recent years, tech advances and overall increased connectivity have brought forth a number of new trends in health monitoring systems. There is a shift toward accurate, intuitive tests that can be operated by patients. During the secondary research, I discovered the term "point-of-care testing" which could be used as a tool to enhance healthcare (POCT or bedside testing) is defined as medical diagnostic testing at or near the point of care -that is, at the time and place of patient care.
For the primary research, I had a chance to speak with physicians and biochemists and discuss my project aim and get their feedback. I visited biochemical laboratories of hospitals in Ankara to understand what are the best vitals could be used for home tests. I tried to the create an accurate scenario and narrow down my target group which includes elders, large families, babies and people with chronic diseases. For these steps, I combined secondary research and the feedback/advices from physicans.
For the persona creation last step was to talk with a family which recently had a family member as a patient (dad) that is in the recovery process of a hearth surgery. Three perspectives (patient, doctor and family member) helped me to refine my statement as "enhancing diagnosing or recovery process by collecting a sample, producing instant feedback to save time, money and energy for patients ". In order to increase the quality of healthcare, I tried to find alternative solutions for better and healthier communication between the patient and the physician. Within this concept, doctors and patients both get faster result and overall experience is more convienent for patients and providers. Blink would decrease in overall cost of care and increase patient satisfaction by "being more linked" with their families and healthcare providers.
Blink is based on before and after comparisons and time-based tests that can be easily analyzed by visual samples. The features were defined based on secondary & primary research including feedback from physicans & patients. These vital signs and basic test are commonly used for during the diagnosing and recovery process or even for regular checkups. Through its straightforward, compact design, Blink measures blood pressure, body temperature and can be used to perform blood, urine and saliva tests.
1- Urine test cartridge has 8 color strip reagents for urine sample that are: bilirubin, ketone, nitrites, keratin, glucose, protein, microalbumin & urobilinogen.
2- CBC test lancing uses a blood sample which to test WBC, RBC, MCV, MCH, MPV, PLT, RDW-CW, MCHC, Hemotrocit, Hemoglobin.
3- Saliva test cartridge includes 3 color strip indicators for PH level of saliva sample.
Viscoelastic Focusing (VEF): VEF can be adjusted to different particles and specific particle distributions by an appropriate choice of fluid components
Spot Infrared Thermometer: Measures the temperature at a spot on a surface (actually a relatively small area determined by the ratio
Oral Fluid Urinalysis Testing: Semi automated urine chemistry analyzing from the urine color with dry urinee strips. Oral fluid analysis with sample from saliva of mouth
Probe is used to collect visual samples and for infrared temperature. Regular blood pressure monitor is used to collect blood pressure data from wrist.
For the overall enhanced user experience, user interface design process followed product design. Blink as a unique, smart medical device needed clear, directive but user friendly interface. In order to that, I put myself in the patients shoes and went through the details of various use cases that Blink provides. That helped me to create user flows and basic wireframes. Within improved high fidelity prototype based on feedback from users, I had user testing interviews with 7 potential users (2 physicans, 3 patient, 2 caregivers). Their feedback based on content, interaction and visual design, helped me to finalize UI design.
Within this new solution as a deep health tracker, users can directly communicate with their physicians and other family members. Patients will login to their Blink device whenever they need, but they could also use Blink+ app on their smart phones not only to be on track with their upcoming tests and results but also to communicate with others. Family members can also use the app by using their caregiver profile to be up to date all the time.
INTERNATIONAL DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARDS 17'
Blink has received gold awards in IDEA and Spark Design Awards and Design Turkey. It has also been selected as commended design in RSA Student Design Awards. Blink has been exhibited in UAE, Global Grad Show (Dubai) and in various events in Turkey including Design Week (Istanbul).
1. One of the most challenging part of this design process was considering the laws and regulations in the healthcare system. That was challenging while defining the features of the concept and while having interviews with physicans.
2. Working on both hardware and software part of an overall experience was challenging due to timeline.
1.Helping patients to be more proactive on their health should be approached with a holistic view including the system/people around them. Hence, as a next step, I'd focus on enhancing the experience of caregivers (family members) and physicans to fill the gaps in the systematic concept that I've created.
2. Considering the usage scenario, voice interaction would guide the user (especially elderly) in an easiest way. I'd include voice input as a next step.