Helppo.

An in-home system to support senior people with physical & mental impairment manage their daily health conditions.

 
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Project Overview

I was inspired by the sudden brain stroke my grandfather suffered in 2006 and resulting dramatic change of my grandparents' lifestyle for the next 11 years while our family was living abroad. The outcome is a senior friendly system that can complement and support caregivers in assessing the severity of health crises and avoid unnecessary ER intervention.

Duration

  • Research - 3 Days

  • Design - 1 Week

Project Advisors

Components

  • Research

  • System Design

 
 
 

The Challenge

Diabetes usually comes with other comorbid diseases that can easily bring patients into critical health conditions.

 
 
 

What if you cannot grant (because of your illness) a consistent schedule of medications?

What if the only full-time caregiver you can afford is your elderly spouse?

What if your insurance won’t cover unnecessary ER calls?

 
 

For senior people with physical or mental impairments, managing these situations alone can be challenging. Additionally, their caregivers often misjudge or inappropriately handle these critical situations.

 
 
 

The Solution

I propose a senior friendly system that can complement and support caregivers in assessing the severity of health crises.

 
 

The Smart Patch is worn by the patient and continuously measures their vitals.

The Wall Aid Unit displays the patient's vitals and assesses the severity of their condition. In the case of a critical condition, the unit calls the ER.

The Helppo App allows for remote access the patient’s vitals and can be pre-configured with emergency contacts.

To personalize the entire system, health professionals can specify the specific condition of the patient, control their medication, and schedule.

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ELEMENTS OF THE SYSTEM

 
  Showing a patients’ status

Showing a patients’ status

  Staying on schedule

Staying on schedule

 
 
 
  Alerting abnormal values and providing first aid guidance

Alerting abnormal values and providing first aid guidance

  Alerting a patients’ critical condition

Alerting a patients’ critical condition

 
 
 
  Showing a patients’ status remotely

Showing a patients’ status remotely

  Alerting a patients’ critical condition remotely

Alerting a patients’ critical condition remotely

 
 

SYSTEM CONCEPTUAL MODEL

 
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The Research

My insights for this project were derived from the ten months I spent in Italy taking care of and supporting my grandparents, Bianca & Bruno, throughout a major health transition.

 
 
 
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Caregiver

Meet grandmother Bianca. She supports Bruno measuring his vitals, keeping a routine on medication, and maintaining a healthy diet.

Due to age however, she often falls short of memory and can’t always be there to help him.


 
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Patient

Meet grandfather Bruno. He was 87 years old with senile diabetes and other comorbid illnesses such as cardiac insufficiency and capillary leak syndrome.

He had a really hard time managing his health because of his limited movement due to a brain stroke he suffered in 2009.

 
 

KNOWING THIS,

how can we complement, support, and help Bianca in taking care of Bruno?

 
 

INSIGHT 1

The doctor visited Bruno every two weeks and is available only on weekdays.

INSIGHT 2

Medication is given at different times of the day or even forgotten, causing healthcare challenges.

INSIGHT 3

The ambulance is called several times a month but often for misjudged emergencies.

 
 

Their Daily Routine

By creating a Journey Map and Feedback Loop Diagram, I was able to visualize my insights and identify where to intervene in the current system.

 
 
 

At the moment, their daily routine consists of Bianca manually measuring Bruno’s glucose, heart rate, and blood pressure, followed by providing his prescribed medications.

 

A few times a month however, his medications are given at different times or even forgotten, resulting in Bruno to witness hypoglycemic episodes overnight and Bianca calling an ambulance. Upon arrival, the ambulance relieves Bruno from his episode by feeding him spoon of sugar.

 
 

Proposed Conceptual Model

The newly designed system, including the Patch and the Wall Aid, supports and guides Bianca in the following ways:

  • Maintaining a consistent schedule of medication;

  • Giving the correct medication;

  • Suggesting what to do in case of an emergency;

  • Calling the ER in critical conditions.

 
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Reflections

Working on projects forced me to think of systems differently. Instead of designing a system in isolation, I had to think of the system as part of a larger ecosystem including patients and caregivers.

Next Steps

I would elaborate on dependencies of the system by developing a business model, look at the lifecycle of the medications, as well as design a brand style guide and a physical prototype for user testing.

 
 

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