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 OVERVIEW

In 2014 I have had to undertake a physically and emotionally taxing job of helping a family member with schizophrenia and back then there were no systems that could give my family the slightest bit of respite to get through this illness together.

At CCA, I took the opportunity to envision a product that I thought would have been useful to countless families battling all sorts of mental health problems all over the world. Designing this product was a form of catharsis I suppose.

 

Duration: 3 weeks

Solo Project

Project Advisors: Nathan Streu

 
 
 
 

PROBLEM AREA

Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel and behave clearly.

This disease affects more than 200,000 Americans per year.

The exact cause of schizophrenia isn't known, but a combination of genetics, environment, and altered brain chemistry and structure may play a role. Treatment is usually lifelong and often involves a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and coordinated specialty care services.

Schizophrenia is characterised by

 
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CAREGIVER NETWORK

The sudden arrival of a schizophrenic episode often sets the caregivers off balance

 
 
 
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Unpredictable

Illness

Patients leading independent lives are often left without a support structure during the outbreak of an episode. The paranoid thoughts in their heads are overwhelming and cannot be appeased without therapy and medication.

Strained

Relationships

The shock of the mania is taxing on the relationship. Often the patient lashes out surprisingly when there have been no episodes for a while. It can be hard to emotionally manage for any caregiver who is living with the patient.

High Caregiver Responsibility

Doctors appointments are not easy to come by. The responsibility of the caregiver to manage the patient in the early hours of the mania are high. Calling the police may make the patient more afraid and enraged.

 
 
 
 
 

How might we enable the caregiver to effectively manage the unpredictability of schizophrenia by providing clear indicators of an episode?

 
 
 
 

IDEATION

Sketches & Directions

 
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THE SOLUTION

Connected Health Wearable

Circle of Trust is a schizophrenia intervention that helps caregivers manage expectations and be more aware of the mental state of the loved one under their care.

 
 
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Two Paired Rings

The choice of the rings as a monitor was both a practical and a cultural decision. We are used to wearing rings for marriage or even promise rings and engagement rings. We even wear rings to show brotherhood if we’re part of an exclusive club.

 

A Mobile Application

The Circle of Trust app is paired with the rings and is used to to relay important alerts or the patients status to the caregiver’s mobile. The caregiver can take an informed decision based on the data they are able to see.

 
 
 
 

THE FUTURE STATE

How it works

 
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USER EXPERIENCE

Key Features

 
 
 
 

Constant monitoring of patient’s condition

The rings constantly monitor Stress levels, Hand tremors and Speech patterns and relay what it is reading to the mobile application where it is displayed to the user in an easy to understand visual format.

 
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Comprehensive alerts when parameters are high

When the 3 parameters simultaneously spike high then the system warns you of a possible psychotic episode. It even offers you with first response options to deal with the episode.

 
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Detailed and accessible patient history

Daily statistics are fed into a comprehensive patient history which can be read by a medical practitioner and utilised for further studies or even to predict the triggers for the patient.

 
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VISUAL DESIGN

Developing the brand

Circle of Trust is a schizophrenia intervention that helps caregivers manage expectations and be more aware of the mental state of the loved one under their care.

 
 

Core visual principles

Wise, not preachy

We aim to be wise in how we perceive complex information. Humans not algorithms make the decisions.

Quiet, not still

We wish to create a system that blends in with its environment. Having us around should feel like asking for help from a quiet librarian.

Non-intrusive, not inactive

The interactions should feel necessary and not an intrusion into our daily lives. We aim to be a bridge that connects people not a distraction.

 
 
 
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USER EXPERIENCE

Wireframes & Flow

 
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CONCLUSION

Learnings

Bringing my own experience and point of view into a design project was a fresh perspective I had to take. This helped me become more confident in the choices I made to create Circle of Trust. However, I would still require further User Testing to not fall into an expert mentality trap when it comes to certain interactions or varied user experiences.

 
 
 
 
 

NEXT PROJECT

Tales From the Sea

SUPPLY CHAIN | SERVICE DESIGN | ECOSYSTEM DESIGN