Databetes 6 helps patients better manage their diabetes and the day-to-day challenges that come with it. We allow diabetics to form small support networks of just 6 fellow patients. Consider it your own personalized mentor network. Continue reading
I’ve brainstormed 3 potential ideas for a final project. They all target diabetes as a user group. Yet I hope the final system design could be applicable to other chronic condition patients.
Suvarchala, Ryan and I started by summarizing our thoughts on our own health. One common thread that ran through all our presentations was the importance of community support in achieving health goals. We moved through this part of the assignment quite quickly. But designing our second representation turned out to be a much more dragged out experience.
Getting enough good sleep is essential to us all. Yet for something so essential to human existence, it remains a mystery. Our sleep schedules change over the course of our lives, shifting from something that we take for granted to something we wish would become more predictable. Without thinking about it, we all know upon waking whether we feel refreshed or not (regardless of the total number of hours slept).
Tackling this blend of reason and emotion that seems to be inherent in sleep, it would be great to develop a large modern art painting canvas on display opposite our beds when we awake. Each night, the painting would change in relation to our dreams. Upon waking, we could be staring at a Jackson Pollock oil drip painting, highlighting a sporadic sleep. Or perhaps we would see Mark Rothko color blocks and smooth color transitions. After a night of construction outside our windows, perhaps our sleep would be like a Picasso or a Dali painting.
On a similar note, sleep could be compared to competing on a Japanese game show. Assuming you don’t speak Japanese, it would be quite difficult to win the grand prize (a good night’s sleep). Each morning, we could awake to a link in our inbox to a YouTube video of us competing the night before. Slowly, some of us would be able to spot some patterns in some of the challenges and react better each week. Other concepts, no matter hard one tried, would remain out of reach with wins and losses being equally surprising.
Touching on Anthony Dunne’s Hertzian Tales and para-functionality, we are looking at health and health care design. According to Dunne, “The prefix ‘para-’ suggests that such design is within the realms of utility but attempts to go beyond conventional definitions of functionalism to include the poetic.”
In May, the CDC launched an exercise called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.” According to the SF Examiner, “The May blog posting got 30,000 hits in one day, and it continues to draw thousands of visitors daily.”
As a way to motivate people to build an emergency kit for themselves and think through issues about preparedness and health in a crisis situation, it is a well designed event. One Ohio county ran with the idea to organize, “more than 225 volunteers in Delaware County north of Columbus … to dress as zombies Monday in a drill for officials who would deal with real-life situations involving hazardous materials and disaster response.”
While this is not a product design, it executes on the same level as other objects featured in this article, from the drinking cane to Philippe Ramette’s “Object with Which to See the World in Detail.” More kitsch than high art, this CDC exercise does nonetheless still aim to help people address health issues. As such, what it may lack in modern art aesthetics it makes up for in good will.
The first two feedback systems I have looked at or designed relate to diabetes. The final one is for a cruise control system on a car.
1. Closed-loop insulin pump system
Researchers are taking several different approaches to cure diabetes. Some are aimed at prevention. Others are new forms of treatment that rely on either a medical or technological solution.
There are a range of medical treatment options, such as the use of stem cells to replace damaged pancreas cells. Technological solutions aim to replicate the normal automatic systems in a non-diabetic. What was often called an artificial pancreas is more often referred to as a closed-loop insulin pump system. It combines an insulin pump for medication delivery with a continuous glucose monitor to measure blood sugar level. Continue reading
This week, I simplified my experiment and lowered the technical barriers. I still focused on creating a photo logging system for diabetics. It aims to create a fast and easy system for remembering what you ate and the relevant carb counts. Since everyone is creatures of habit, I strongly believe that most people have a limited amount of meals that they cycle through at home or at restaurants. In the future, I want to be able to connect these meals, the medication dosage and the resulting blood sugar readings. This “meal memory” system could allow people to save and recall their information for more accurate dosages and better blood sugar control.
Goal: Allow diabetes patients to make a photo log of food & drink items for diabetes patients, including the estimated carb count. This would link both to their private account and also to a public blog of all users