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MOHE: Mobile Health for moms, kids, adults and elderly

P. Arslan 1 , H. Nam 1 , M. Romero 1 , P. Perego 1 , F. Costa 1 , G. Andreoni 1 and S. Muschiato 1

  • 1 Dept. of INDACO Politecnico di Milano, Via Durando 38/a, 20258 Milano Italy

Abstract. The following paper presents a creative process aimed at developing innovative scenarios for mobile health. The entire research “MOHE” is summarised, but the paper is focused on a creative workshop performed in order to arrive, from a complete research, to four movies of 2 minutes each. 20 participants, divided in 4 groups, where involved in 2 days intensive-work that has produced 4 storyboards of scenarios. Each group, composed by designers and bioengineers have been collaboration of medical specialists. Each group has focused their attention on a user-target (moms, kids, adults and elderly) in order to create new concepts for everyday healthcare services through mobile technology.

Keywords: Mobile Technology, Healthcare, Digital Services, Creative Process, Personas, Scenario , Storyboards, Moodboard

  • 1 Introduction

Innovative medical technologies offer a range of solutions to address the early detection and diagnosis and the efficient treatment of many diseases. Today, almost all widespread chronic illnesses can be treated successfully if detected and diagnosed early enough. Modern health Information and Communication Technology increases the accessibility of individual citizen-patient information and supports clinical decision-making.

Medical devices are a diverse group of products

that ranges from simple items such as sticking plasters to complex devices such as heart by-pass machines (Martin 2008) According with the European Medical

Device Directive (93/42/EEC): „„Any instrument,

apparatus, appliance, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software necessary for its proper application intended by the manufacturer to be used for human beings for the purpose of:

diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease,

diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation for or compensation for an injury or handicap,

investigation, replacement or modification of

the anatomy or of a physiological process control of conception and which does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means,

but which may be assisted in its function by

such means.‟‟

  • 2 Aims and objectives

MOHE, Mobile Health for moms, kids, adults and elderly, is a project aim to develop new scenarios of use of medical devices, based on mobile phone

technologies. The project is focused on 4 specific target groups; pregnant women, kids, adults and elderly. The aim of this paper is evaluate the effectiveness of the methods applied in the creative phase and their impact on the resulting concept designs.

  • 3 Methodology

The project is structured in three steps:

Research on future product-service systems for eHealth, the market of mobile healthcare products, existing technologies suitable to be

applied in mobile phones and users‟ needs.

Co-design workshop involving designers,

bioengineers and healthcare specialists. Video scenarios production.

The different design tools have been used in the co- design workshop to stimulate collective creativity (Leonard Burton and Swap 1999) for the generation process of new scenarios.


The overall research and the development process is shown in the Fig 1.

Fig.1 Complete research process diagram In the initial brief the target user groups were defined as:

Fig.1 Complete research process diagram

In the initial brief the target user groups were defined as:

Moms/dadies and babies


Healthy adults

The elderly

The research phase, conducted through the review of literature, surveys and previous researches (including questionnaires, interviews and observation) permitted to focus the project more precisely considering unsatisfied needs and potential market niches. The target user groups were consequently specified as:





with focus on

psychological support Preadolescent with focus on autonomy gaining in everyday life and chronic disease long term management

The elderly over ‟75 with focus on technology

tradeoff and memory sustain for example for correct medication assumption Healthy adult with focus on overall wellbeing and family dimension

We have chosen Scenarios (Carroll 2002) to develop

the co-design phase considering that it



appropriate method for designing services. In fact, scenario-based design focuses on the description of the

users and how the users perform the tasks in order to

extract users‟ demands; and provides a tool to design

products with high usability. This design approach helps developing ideas that involve interactions with multiple users over a period of time and is very useful when a service with a defined goal has to be achieved. Different scenario formats have been used in the development process according to the actors concerned in the different phases: a narrative format at the beginning to facilitate the communication with the real users, storyboards in the workshop phase and movies as final output suitable for company and public communication. The different scenario formats are based on:

Personas (Pruitt and Adlin, 2006) are fictitious characters created to represent the different user types which are useful as a design tool in considering the goals, behaviours, desires of a group of real users. According to Pruitt and Adlin the use of personas offers several benefits in product development. They are synthesized from data collected from interviews in order to help to guide decisions about a product, such as features, interactions, and visual design. Such


inference may assist with brainstorming, use case specification, and features definition.

Moodboard is a type of poster design, collage of materials that consists of images, text (quotes, keywords), colours, textures, materials and samples of objects in a composition to get a visual stimuli and inspiration in order to develop their design concepts, to get a picture of what they want to accomplish and to communicate to other members of the design team. The mood board may be used as a frame of reference during the design process in a variety of abstract disciplines, as advertising, fashion design or trends research but we don‟t find references about applications in health care design field. Storyboard (Vertelney and Curtis, 1990): is a tool derived from the cinematographic tradition; it is the representation of use cases through a series of drawings or pictures, put together in a narrative sequence.

3.1 MOHE Workshop

3.1.1 Workshop progress

The aim of the workshop is to explore new application for Mobil Phones Technologies in Health care by creating 4 scenarios related to 4 different users. The preparation of the workshop included also participant choice and interdisciplinary team building. Each team was shaped to comprehend 1 tutor, 2 designers and 1 bioengineer. The participants have also been chosen and distributed in the teams on the basis of their previous experiences regarding scientific and empirical knowledge of the target users.

The workshop lasted three days:

1 st day when the research and

the tools have

been presented and the concept development began 2 nd day when participants deepened the topics

through further research and user interviews 3 rd day dedicated to the final storyboard development and presentation

All the teams could take advantage of the consultancy with medical and sports specialists. The outputs of each team were a storyboard and a concept summary. These outputs have been presented to the movie designers who translated them in a new storyboard format usable as reference to shooting and producing video (narrative trikcs, shots, scenery, actors, visual effects and infographics, soundtrack, etc.). The movie designers also developed a

communication strategy, including image treatment consistent with Samsung‟s brand image. The 4 stories have been connected to create a social network (Charles is Stella‟s – the 12 years old girl grandfather; Bob the 40 years old professional worker – is Nicole‟s – the pregnant mother with a three years old son husband).

3.1.2 Workshop Input Material

Following tools have been used to summarize the peculiarities of the users of each group emerged in the research: a persona resuming users‟ characteristics and condition, a moodboard representing their emotional real and desired state and a “one day life story” developed together with real representants from

2 inference may assist with brainstorming, use case specification, and features definition. Moodboard is a type

Fig. 2. Personas / One day Story / Moodboard

the user groups (i.e. a grandfather, a pregnant mother with a three years old daughter, a 40 years old professional worker and a 12 years old girl jointly with an endocrinologist) (Fig. 2).






participants of the

workshop to confront everyday possible health problems and behaviours of the targeted user groups. As an example, One day Story of a healthy adult starts


from defining the lifestyle of the user: where he lives, his job, age, family and hobbies. Then his daily routine of the work, sport and social activities and the consequences of these outlining possible healthcare problems or situations.

During the workshop, two discussion session has been realized in which all groups have synthesized their concept ideas in a chart using post-it (fig. 3).

3.1.4 Workshop Output Material

As final result of workshop experience, each group has produced one storyboard of their proposal. According with video producers request, each storyboard, and their frames (Fig. 4), has been composed with movie attributes.

3 from defining the lifestyle of the user: where he lives, his job, age, family and

Fig. 3. Group Chart in discussion session

As an outcome, each single frame with a 16:9 format as a template has been sketched with a written detailed explanation of the idea. Then each single frame is compiled in a 20 frame storyboard as a result of their proposal in order to be compatible for the movie production. The participants of each group had also thought about the mood music, voice type of the narrative speaker, 3D models and 2D visualizations of the possible scenarios.

3 from defining the lifestyle of the user: where he lives, his job, age, family and

Fig. 4. Example of some single detailed frames.

3.1.5 Proposed Concepts

Four concept scenarios has been produced and presented to movie production team. Bellow a brief description of concept proposals for each target groups. Group 1: The concept developed for pregnant moms is a device for the mother that gives trust, safety and joyful feelings during her pregnancy giving an emotional and clinical support connecting the fetus inside the mother to the medical professionals, friends, family and social groups.

3 from defining the lifestyle of the user: where he lives, his job, age, family and

Fig. 5. Concept for pregnant moms. (example frame)









preadolescents. According with Lang, Medical devices


are primarily designed






adolescents with chronic conditions using products which have been designed with little or no consideration for their specific needs. (Lang et al. 2010). The concept for kids is an object with special features that allows, also, instant messaging and short range communication in order to provide a less expensive social interaction. This is also applied to improve the quality of life of kids with chronic disease.

4 are primarily designed for adult use, resulting in adolescents with chronic conditions using products which

Fig. 6. Group 2- Concept for kids. (example frame)

Group3: The central point of the concept for healthy adults is "Self Care, encouraging of active life style and eventual monitoring of health state of his family. The application permits to keep in continuing connection all the members of the family or the social relationship and an instate exchange of information.

Fig. 7. Group 3- Concept for healthy adults. (example frame)
Group 3- Concept for healthy adults. (example

Group 4: The concept is a support for the elderly people to manage his everyday healthcare activities and improve information exchange between doctor and patient such as taking medicine when his blood pressure isn‟t good or an appointment with his doctor by an registered information about his blood pressure.

Fig. 8. Group 4- Concept for elderly people. (example frame)
Group 4- Concept for elderly people. (example

4 Results

As results of our research, we obtained interesting conclusions about the used methodology. Some conclusions of the experience and recommendation are summarized below:

Input Material, as the synthesis of the research,

is an important start point for warming up the

teams. It‟s important to provide reports of the

research well structured but summarized, in order to permit the team to be quickly tuned with problems and opportunities on the specific field of interest. In our Workshop has

been found







complexity of the research. A normal power point presentation has been used to communicate some parts of the research (as example: state of the art of mobile


The creative tools must be suited to the team participants. Some tools, as Moodboard has been demonstrated less useful for not design- oriented participants. On the other hand, the

most used tool in all teams was “One Day History” description.

The importance of the Workshop Director, Who is the person encharged of improve the creative process in each project team. Actually, the Workshop Director is a key role for drive and generate cross-fertilization between teams conserving their own peculiarities. Workshop Director is useful also for reduce the periods of creativity gaps in the teams work using creative tools (input material). The storyboard method used for present the final proposals to the moviemaker team, must be integrated with a brief description of the ideas and a technical description of used technology for each function. Actually, the


producers of the final movie has decided that the stories presented in the storyboards, too

complicated for the movie length. In order to discuss the section to cut without lose quality, it was necessary study in deep the used technologies on the design proposals. For this reason we decide to create an accessory

document called “technology behind the concepts”, with this material was easier

carefully chose the functionalities to represent. 7 release of storyboard has been presented by movie team, before approvation for movie production.

5 producers of the final movie has decided that the stories presented in the storyboards, too

Fig. 9. Example of final movie photogram of group 1

Carroll, J. M., (2002) “Scenarios and Design Cognition,” APCHI2002, Oct.23-26, Beijing, China: 23-46 Codesign 2000, International Conference, DEED Design Research Society, Coventry University, 11 13 settembre 2000 Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders, (2006) Scaffolds for building everyday creativity. In Design for Effective Communications: Creating Contexts for Clarity and Meaning. Jorge Frascara (Ed.) Allworth Press, New York. Lang, A. R., Martin, J. L., Sharples. S. & Crowe, J. A. (2010) A Qualitative Assessment of Medical Device Design by Healthy Adolescents, 3rd AHFE International Conference 2010, Miami. Leonard Burton, D. e W. Swap (1999), When sparks fly:

Igniting creativity in groups, Harvard Business School Press, Boston Martin, J.L. et al.(2008) Medical device development: The challenge for ergonomics, Applied Ergonomics 39 271


Vertelney, L., G. Curtis, (1990) Storyboards and Sketch

Prototypes for Rapid Interface Visualisation, CHI

  • 5 Conclusion

The creative workshop was an interesting and useful step on the general research process, but was necesary a huge work to set-up it and to analize results. Could be more effective giving less initial information but give more than 2 working days to the participant. This condition could reduce the effort of organizer and, more important, give more time to the workshop participants to search, analize and discuse information. In adition could be useful to involve final user, not only on the research phase, but directly on the work groups.

  • 6 Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thanks to the designers and medicians who participated in the creative workshop.

  • 7 References




Adlin, T., (2006) The Persona Lifecycle:

Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design,

Morgan Kaufmann