Blog  DesignWell

Gamification for Healthcare Products: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

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.

Blog  DesignWell

Backpack PLUS Will Empower Community Health Workers

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.

Blog  DesignWell

Aging in Place #4: frogs making

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.”

Blog  DesignWell

Healthy Baby: Helping Newborns in Developing Countries Get a Better Start in Life

This healthy baby.

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.

Blog  frogs on the road

Health 2.0 Recap: New Approaches to Health Care Funding

The 7th Annual Health 2.0 fall conference kicked-off with the Health 2.0 co-founders Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya discussing how the future of health care lies at the intersection of consumer technology, enterprise and policy, highlighting the need for a holistic ecosystem.

The day was a mix of optimism and nervous energy.  Speakers, panelists and attendees touted advances in technology facilitated health care tempered by funding challenges that were magnified by the potential government shutdown, now realized. It should come as no surprise that in addition to the key topics of personalized care and big data, the subject of funding was a major theme of the day. Representing a wide variety of perspectives, from startup founders to investors to government administrators, speakers and panelists addressed the challenges of creating sustainable business models in an industry that is largely dictated by a reimbursement model that doesn't account for the current ways in which technology is transforming health care.

Blog  frogs on the road

Connecting With Users: A Design Research Primer for Healthcare

The more I work with early state healthcare companies, the more I hear that user experience is a big concern for CEOs. Patients and providers are now, more than ever, driving the decision for which products get purchased and how they get used. Much of this choice is based on whether or not the product is usable and fits within their workflow and needs. Reaching out to users and gaining insights on how they work and what they respond to is the underpinning of good user experience and key in shaping product decisions.

In this post, I provide an overview of design research and focus on some areas to help early stage healthcare technology companies plan and execute research to  gain insights from connecting with users.

Blog  South by Southwest by frog

Building a Health Narrative

A caregiver shows an example of a family medical history document she created after learning about her father’s heart condition. She shares it with other family members and doctors to add important context to the care process

We tell stories to understand and express who we are, aspire to what we want to be, and shape what others think about us. We tell stories to entertain, mythologize, or just share. The many approaches to storytelling are a frequent topic at SXSWi this year, with 100+ panels that reference stories or storytelling. Our own story is being created every day, through conversations with our self, through interactions with other people, social networks, companies, and institutions. These days, we don’t have full control over it–online networks and digital communities are actively shaping, telling, and retelling stories about us and our behaviors that we’re not always aware of

At SXSWi, the popular author John Hagel raised the distinction between stories and narratives. Stories are finite. They have a beginning and end. Stories are also about someone or something else. They are not personal to the individual. Narratives are open ended, with a resolution that is undefined. Narratives are personal and contain an invitation for others to participate in the resolution.

How can the story of our health turn into a narrative with friends, family, physicians and the care community that is coherent, useful, participatory, and evolving? How can narrative put a face on our conditions and enable deeper understandings of ourselves and more meaningful interactions between us, our caregivers, and health providers that help us feel better and lead to wellness?

Blog  frogs on the road

Designing for Health Innovation: the Seattle Design Summit

Recently, frogs Teaque Lenahan and Jake Zukowski facilitated the Seattle Design Summit with the help of designers Jenni Light and Kat Davis. The summit was part of AIGA's larger Design for Good initiative, which aims to put design at the forefront of positive social change. Sponsored by PepsiCo's Nutrition Ventures, the two-day event focused on guerrilla design research and divergent thinking as a catalyst for health innovation, particularly in the prevention of lifestyle diseases.


China: Creators and Consumers of the Future


China, the second-largest economy in the world, is considered home to the world’s factories, manufacturing everything from zippers to photovoltaic cells.  With its population of over 1.3 billion and still a booming economy, consumption has been on the rise, leading to a new class of super consumers bred on instant gratification and constant connectivity.



Health 2.0 India 2012

Healthcare is one of the most critical needs for the human race. In India, as elsewhere, a few are fortunate to have access to the best facilities while many others don’t have access to even the basic healthcare needs. Today there are not only medical professionals that are contributing to bridging this gap, but also a multitude of technology, business and design professionals contributing in the form of new and innovative ideas, products and services. In India, where there are only six physicians for every 10,000 people, the conjunction of different disciplines in healthcare services is important in order to augment the human reach with scalable technological and service interventions.

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