Anaphylaxis Prevention System for Children
Every three minutes a child in the US has an anaphylactic allergic reaction, and every six minutes a child is brought to a hospital, or urgent care center in response to allergy-related anaphylaxis. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 out of every 12 children, or 11.8 million, has a food allergy, and allergy is increasing in prevalence.
Often, the unexpected triggers of allergies and the complexity of school health services hinder timely medical response. Aibi helps children with allergies monitor their condition and alerts the onset of an allergic reaction to caregivers to ensure a timely response.
Aibi is a design concept that consists of a redesigned epinephrine auto-injector that is more portable and easier to use, a wearable for kids to determine allergic reactions, and a medical emergencies alert system to delegate adults to take action in the case of emergency situation.
Aibi is designed to help kids to defend against allergies. By empowering elementary school children to take action in the quick onset of severe allergies, Aibi can be a critical step in ensuring their survival.
Solving critical pain points in a complex system
Current Pain Points in School Health Services
Talking to nurses and school staffs in elementary schools about their workflow and medical response not only allow us to develop a deep understanding of the context and complexity of the system we are trying to solve within, but also enable us to empathize with them and put ourselves in their shoes. These led us to a few key insights:
- Nurses are understaff in school.
- Non-medical staff are reluctant to take over the responsibility when nurses are absent.
- Lack of availability of Adrenaline Auto-injector in public spaces.
Weaknesses of current Adrenaline Auto-injectors
The current Adrenaline Auto-injectors are not efficient and not cater to kids’ needs:
- Kids don’t have enough strength to apply Epipens.
- Epipen Cap Warning Issued by Distributor
Specifically designed for allergic kids to detect Anaphylaxis.
Using light‑sensitive photodiodes, the wearable measures the histamine levels to constantly track allergies. The wearable signals adult caregivers in the earliest stage of anaphylaxis prior to severe symptoms and lethal anaphylactic shock.
By using color as a tool of expression, we are painting an entirely new fun and engaging experience for kids to use the Aibi wearable.
To complement the colorful physical exterior, we design the customizable animal characters on the digital screen in order to create multiple possibilities for kids to use the wearable, making them part of the delightful experience.
By referring to contextual information such as time and location of devices and people, a companion alert system delegates tasks between caregivers to increase efficiency. By broadcasting the signal across a multitude of devices, the alert system increases visibility and awareness of an event in real time.
To increase visibility and access during an episode, the epinephrine auto-injector plays a distinctive audible tone and the label illuminates intermittently. Once found, the label provides accessible procedural instructions.
The injector contains a disposable cartridge with two doses of epinephrine. The National Food Allergy Guidelines recommends two doses of epinephrine available at all times for high-risk patients.
Brand Identity and
Human Centered Design Guidelines
The “Human Factors Principles for Medical Device Labeling” published by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends the use of serif type for body text to optimize legibility of medical instructions.
However, serif fonts are not ideal on smaller gadgets such as the Aibi wearable. Visual research helps us to understand that the space between letters in serif fonts is slightly reduced due to the ornaments that they have, therefore, creates an effect called lateral masking or crowding, which hinders legibility.
We chose Roboto as the body text because it is a simple sans serif with a uniform stroke width. Having more open white spaces inside the letters increases the ability of word recognition. Time is naturally of the essence in medical situations, thus it is critical to use a font that could be read accurately in a shorter time frame - not so much about immersive reading but a quick glance. Futura PT Book with all lower case as the font for the logo.
I involved actively in helping my team in the process of interviewing various stakeholders in the system, including allergic kids, parents, nurses and non-medical in elementary schools, which gives our team a qualitative perspective of their needs. After speaking to several nurses during our visit to elementary schools, I realized that there are problems that nurses have to constantly juggle with in their everyday lives, such as the placement of epinephrine kits and medical instructions, which helped me to make design decisions that it could be improved by designing better workflows.
I collaborated with Daniel to explore different opportunities of how might we help to fill in the missing gaps in the current system and project how those interactions and user flow could be. After reading the stories of kids who died from allergies such as Mercedes Mears, it helped us to rethink about how to connect existing missing data points, which eventually led to the concept of Aibi that consists of three unique yet critical components.
Branding and Identity Guidelines
Aibi comprised of different products to solve different problems in the system, thus I created a Brand Identity and
Human Centered Design Guidelines to provide a consistent experience to our users through refined typography and color palette. I collaborated and communicated with Daniel and Rocky to ensure the consistent branding is being applied throughout the design process.
As an interaction designer who used to design in the digital medium, it is a unique challenge for me in this project to constantly think about how digital design could work coherently with the physical products. For example, we positioned Aibi wearable to be a lifestyle product, without necessarily presenting it as a watch to avoid blurring the focus, as opposed to being a device for detecting Anaphylaxis. But at the same time, the colorful straps and customizable animal characters are an abstraction that using the wearable is a fun and engaging experience.
I want to thank Daniel and Rocky for the support and it is amazing that we have accomplished a collaboration that spanned across both the interaction and industrial design field. I learned a lot in the process working with them.
If given more time, I would have created a picture book to further integrate the storytelling aspects and the experience of Aibi wearable. Children will read about the animal characters illustrated in the picture book, which will help them to send alerts to notify their parents and nurses when medical emergencies happen. Given the complexity of the project, I abandoned working on the picture book after having a discussion with Daniel because we would like to focus on telling the story of the main components of Aibi.
Professor Axel Roesler
Professor Matthew Marzynski