Perhaps the greatest challenge designers face when creating new products intended to improve a person’s health is ensuring proper use and adherence. A user may adopt the product initially with optimism or even enthusiasm, but over time, we often see waning engagement and inconsistent use. This is a big problem when the efficacy of the product depends on long-term use.
Most children in the developing world will never see a doctor or visit a clinic, relying instead on Community Health Workers (CHWs) who are a critical link in delivering basic healthcare to underserved populations. Every day this dedicated and largely volunteer network of CHWs visit patients, help screen for life-threatening diseases and dispense medication, often with little training or support.
Our Aging in Place initiative is focused on exploring product and service solutions that encourage the continued autonomy, independence and wellbeing of seniors who are aging at home. After our initial research and ideation phases, we found ourselves returning to a core set of themes that were fundamental to each of the varied seniors we interviewed: Identity – “Help me stay ME,” Sociability – “Help me stay engaged,” Routine – “Help me stay in control,” and Activity – “Help me stay mentally and physically active.”
Up to 50 percent of all neo-natal deaths in the developing world occur within the first 24 hours of delivery, largely the result of inadequate access to healthcare and precarious conditions at birth. In this perilous environment, how can high infant mortality rates be reduced? That was the challenge frog was asked to solve by Bill Gates, as part of his guest editor stint for Wired magazine’s December 2013 issue focusing on lifesaving innovations. Jonas Damon, frog creative director and project lead, discusses frog’s prototype for a holistic support system to help mothers and vulnerable newborns.
Building on Research
In our last blog post we shared a few of our favorite stories from the Aging in Place field research and identified the major design themes that had emerged. We have since translated these opportunities into archetypes and frameworks to inform the current phase of the project: Design Concepting.
Establishing a Framework
What are the best ways to take care of someone you love as they age?
“It's paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn't appeal to anyone.”
― Andy Rooney
The boundaries between design and psychology are progressively blurring. With designers increasingly facing high stakes challenges and more psychologists jumping off the academic pedestal to get their hands dirty with real people in real contexts, the two disciplines are more intertwined than ever before.
About a decade ago, the job of the designer was making the path from A to B as easy and streamlined as possible. During this “usability” golden age, the main focus was to remove any type of cognitive friction along a predefined path to a predefined goal. Anyone interested in buying a book online, for example, only needed to know where they were in the process and what steps were necessary to ensure the right product was delivered to the right address. Other key elements of the experience, such as where the need for the book originated or how reading the book would enrich a person’s life, were given little to no consideration.
Today’s landscape is quite different. Designing highly usable products and services to help people buy books online is still significant but designers also have the chance to influence people’s lives and decisions on a much deeper level.
As technology disrupts established healthcare systems and the traditional patient-provider dynamic, frog introduces a prototype Connected Care Solution (CCS) that seamlessly connects doctors and patients and supportive communities. Based on a new patient-centered healthcare paradigm, CCS fosters a collaborative relationship between the patient, providers, and a social network to improve health outcomes and help achieve lifestyle goals. With a deep knowledge and expertise in the healthcare sector, frog designers, technologists, and strategists are exploring innovative and systemic solutions for the future of healthcare—today.
The Innovation Learning Network meet twice a year and brings together the most innovative healthcare organizations in the country to share the joys and pains of innovation. Earlier this year frog hosted the ILN in the Space Needle in Seattle. The front-line innovators and leaders in healthcare explored how to take advantage of gaming ideas and principles to inspire innovation in the serious world of healthcare.