The project, being undertaken in collaboration with UNICEF, entails designing and developing scalable and ‘open source’ product / service / systemic solutions to reduce under-five child mortality in the developing world (especially sub-Saharan Africa).
During the 9 month journey, the team explored the problem space by researching, need-finding and extensive prototyping including and during a field trip to Ibadan, Nigeria. The design direction evolved from an initial focus on sanitation and specific diseases to that on identifying and addressing the gaps in the healthcare information life-cycle, increasing the reach of the healthcare system in the target context and on improving diagnostics in the field.
Some of the early exploratory prototypes included – ‘RadioMama’ – a radio-like device and service aimed at improving the information dissemination and communication between mothers and the health system; Baby Book – an information recording and sharing tool to improve communication between mothers and healthcare workers; D-Slide: A simple, step-by-step diagnostic tool for different health scenarios; and a ‘Health Mapping System‘ (explained in the video below) aimed at contextualizing health-indicators on different visual surfaces (e.g. geographical / maps) to yield timely, actionable insights for different scenarios (e.g. better planning the outreach activities of health-workers in a locality, detecting epidemics early etc.)
Eventually, the team decided to focus on bringing the health system closer to the communities. The most tangible design outcome was a ‘clinic-in-a-backpack’ called CareSquare, designed to be carried by the community health workers to provide immunizations and basic health services on the go. The product, however, was only a facade with the real goal being increasing the interaction between communities and the health system.
Team: An interdisciplinary team consisting of eight ME310 students from Aalto University, Finland and Stanford University, USA.