Our group decided on a health product targeted at elderly who are prone to health risks and requires constant monitoring and care, for example, those diagnosed with high blood pressure, those with history of heart attack and fainting as well as those who have gone through surgery recently. Many a times have us neglect the problems of old folks. With our increasing aging population, these probelms will also increase with time. Hence, we need a product that can aid to reduce damage caused by these problems.
An ethnographic research did by our group revealed that problems faced by elderly when using a health device are as follow:
- Complicated information displayed on the health monitoring device.
- Small textual information on the device.
- Buttons that are multi-function.
- Many measurable entities in one device.
- Wearing devices on their bodies as it is not part of their culture.
Since we are targeting on the elderly, we will have to take into considerations their physical abilities when we are designing our product. Hence we came to a conclusion that the product we are going to produce must be:
- Small Form Factor.
- Lower Power.
- Low Latency/ High Scalability/ High Responsiveness(Kustanowitz 2004).
An expertise Interview with Dr. Victor Loh, NUS University Health, Wellness & Counseling Centre resulted in the following insights to some issues that we did not put into consideration at first:
- Wrist is an accurate measure of heart rate and blood pressure, but not body temperature.
- Body temperature is usually taken in the mouth, underarm, ear or rectum.
With these information, we began our journey to create a product to help mankind!!! (This may sound like some pre-written noble script but i assure you it's not... It's thought up on the spot, not pre-written... Haha...)
Our Product - UX1000
The UX1000 will be an integrated, real time health-monitoring device with a GPS system embedded in it. The GPS system allows the tracking of the location of the elderly during times of emergencies. UX1000 is also able to transmit signals to appropriate parties in times of impending emergencies. This can be done manually or automatically. In cases in which the elderly using this product fainted and is unable to send out a signal, the product will automatically send out an emergency signal based on the readings of the heart rate and blood pressure of the elderlywhich may be irregular at that point of time. Other than heart rate and blood pressure, the UX1000 can also measure temperature and serve as a normal wrist watch when these special functions are not in use.
This is the paper prototype that we came up with for the Low Fidelity Prototype phrase. We printed and tested these prototypes with some elderly.
Figure 1.1: Introduction of buttons and functions
We later came up with a High Fidelity Prototype. I must say we owe this prototype to Gerald, who took so much effort in dismantling stop watches and also some mix-and-matching and fixing them back to make this prototype.
One mintue silence for our noble stop watches.................
Oh well back to serious thing. So this is how our physical prototype works:
- When not functions are not in use, it serve as a normal wrist watch.
- When the mode button is pressed, it changes to functions to read heart rate(see Figure 2.1), blood pressure and temperature.
- For reading of temperature, user has to detach the UX1000 from the wrist band and insert the ear-plug-look-alike device(in this case it's an ear phone) into the ear(see Figure 2.2).
- In cases of emergencies, a signal can be sent out manually as well as automatically. To reduce the risk of false alarms, user has to depress both the top ad the bottom emergency buttom simultaneously in order to send the signal(see Figure 2.3).
- In cases in which the user has passed out, a signal will be sent out automatically as mention in the overview of product.
- To configure the UX1000 to send signals to the appropriate parties, user can either ask their children or their doctors for help to log on to http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~vohuutie/nm4210/login.html (prototype website see Figure 2.4) or log on to the same website themselves( do not look down on elderly, they know alot that are out of your imagination can bring you). Follow the steps in the website to get the UX1000 to send out the signals to the targeted parties.
Our final prototype comes with a nicely designed box(see Figure 2.5) and user manual for detailed instructions. To order the prototype, simply add a comment to this blog and we will get back to you(If we have time to make another prototype) as soon as possible.
Figure 2.2: Reading temperature by detaching the UX1000 from the wrist band.
Figure 2.3: Position of the emergency buttons. Top and bottom.
Figure 2.4: A brief overview of the website to configure the sending of signals.
Figure 2.5: Nicely design UX1000 product packaging
- Peace of mind.
- Easily incorporated as part of lifestyle.
- Health-conscious statement to peers.
- Value longevity.
- Intuitive affordances.
- Ease of use.
- Appropriate feedbacks.
- Error reduction.
- Easy to learn.
- Product will be first promoted to hospitals as a recommended device for their patients.
- Can be bought from hospitals or over the counter in pharmacies with doctor’s prescription.
- Can be rent from hospital to cater to a short duration of use, such as after surgery, and will not be using it in the long run.
- Has to be heavily marketed as easy to use and help to enhance health through channels that the aged normally subscribe to
- Viral Marketing.
- Doctors testament to the product’s uses.
- Government subsidy and support.
- Publicity through media such as televisons, world wide web or printed media.
Final Product Evaluation
- Product appearance is pleasing.
- Easy to learn.
- Easy to use ( multifunction button, simple interface).
- Light signals are useful.
- Large LCD aids visibility.
- Trusts & feels safer with the product.
- Face is too big and heavy.
- Difficulty in slipping the face back into strap .
- Difficulty in wearing the product.
One of the most common comment is that it is difficult to attach the product back onto the wrist band. This is due to the strength of the clip that holds the product to the wrist band. In order for the product to stay in place on the wrist band despite constant movements of the hand, we required a clip with considerable strength. However, this post another problem for us to solve. Overall, I think that our product is quite feasible and should be widely appreciated and liked if it is being produced.
Final Experience Evaluation
- The product appearance is generally well liked.
- The concept of the functionality of the product is well received.
- There is a high level in the ease of use of the product.
- Relatively high elderly acceptance.
- There needs to be more improvements on the comfort level.
- Improvements on the ease of slipping the face back onto the strap.
- More attention to the strap to make it easy to wear the product.
Through this assignment, I've learn the importance for researching and understanding the needs of our target audience before we get hands down to design a product. I understand the importance of negative comments against our product. In order to improve our product, we need more negative comments so as to know where our mistakes are. In addition, possitive comments allow us to know what are the good parts that we need to maintain.
Just a random comment, MSN is good and useful... Hahaha...