A holistic approach to therapy
When prompted to design a product that would help patients remember to take their medication, through our research we ran into a larger systemic issue; Patients are struggling to get better because they are misusing their medication or their medication is biologically incompatible.
To ensure that patients are on the road to recovery, communication between the patient and doctor must be accurate and medication must be taken properly as well as monitored for effectiveness.
Treating Mental Health
We recorded and interviewed patients as well as a psychiatrist to gain insights about each area of this triangle. The key insights and quotes included:
“I need to gather a lot of information in very little time to asses how to treat a patient.”
“If I have a panic attack on Monday but I see my therapist on Friday, I wont always remember the details.
Patients and healthcare providers wished they had seen health trends sooner
Patients have trouble keeping track of treatment and exercises
With those key points in mind we explored various forms and use cases for the device itself. We knew that this would be a very intimate device, so the form had so have semantics that reflected soothing, trusting, and inviting details, but also be discrete.
Product semantics inspiration
We developed a minimal form that functioned to carry medications in a discrete manner.
We designed an simple interaction between the patient and the device that would collect information about how they are feeling. This information could be shared with their therapist or doctor to keep track of health trends that could tell wether or not a medication is effective.
Proof of concept
To show and prove that this conceptual interface is feasible I prototyped the interaction using an Arduino, rotary encoder, and neo-pixel ring. The result that is shown above pictures a visual cue, in this case a gradation in hue, that indicates a value change when the patient is inputting how they're feeling. This lighting cue serves not only to be an indicator, but also to be soothing, to help form trust between the device and the patient.
One of the key insights from our interviews was that the act audio journaling was not only helpful for patients, but also that sometimes they forget the details of what brought on, for example, a panic attack. Having that information at a therapy session could provide the psychiatrist with key insights that then help with the patients treatment.
Never forget to take your medication again
The device's size makes it discrete and portable so you can have your medications with you wherever you are. With the option for haptic, audio, and visual notifications, you can set the times at which you want to take your medications.
By encouraging better documentation, communication, and habits, Mindful would be a step in the right direction when it comes to treating mental health. These same principles could help in other therapy related situations such as ensuring that opioids and other drugs are not abused by patients.