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  • Reassuring Touch is a stress/pain device that provides the reassuring feelings of direct human touch for patients in unpleasant clinical situations. It is especially targeted at patients undergoing unpleasant operations like the spinal tap who may have infectious diseases. 
    Hospital patients who have or may have infectious diseases are isolated to prevent transmission. Tests may be unpleasant, uncomfortable, exposing, or even extremely painful. Usually, unpleasant procedures are a time for loved ones to offer support, making the experience more tolerable, but for patients with infectious diseases direct human contact may be dangerous. Physical human touch is an effective way to calm patients and increase comfort. Research even shows that some types of doctors have more effective outcomes when they come into contact with their patients. 


    Reassuring Touch is a small device that patients can keep with them to maximize comfort and make the hospital setting more tolerable. Reassuring Touch uses clinically researched acupressure points, deep pressure, soft materials and warmth to replicate the positive sensations of human touch, without trying to replicate a human hand. Two selected acupressure points reduce acute or chronic pain, discomfort and nausea, and calm the patient's mood. Deep pressure aligns the nervous system and reduces spontaneous firings, cutting back on the unpleasant sensory overload of the hospital setting. Direct, soft, warm contact replicates the calming sensations of physical touch that are most effective at improving mood and longer-term outcomes. During extreme pain, the acupressure points reduce the intensity of the pain while Reassuring Touch provides an object of focus to grip, rather than the uncomfortable, chilling edges of a hospital bed or wheelchair.

  • The Caterpillar is a childs sensory blanket that provides comfort and privacy in a high stress environment of the hospital using weight, textures, and light. The blanket transforms into a mini light up fort over a child’s head.

    After a procedure, a child may have to stay in the hospital overnight. All the bright lights, beeping noises, and people running around, can make it hard to sleep. Wouldn’t you want to be at home in privacy in a warm bed? The caterpillar is the perfect device to "bring home" to the hospital. The weighted blanket will pressurize the child to provide comfort and insulate the warmth. When it gets loud at night and the child just wants to fall asleep, the caterpillar can be opened covering the head and shoulders. It is a mini fort built into the blanket that creates warmth and privacy underneath. Additionally, there is soft yellow lighting to create the sensation of warmth. The materials of the blanket are soft fuzzy felt that are different shade of green. The cover-up is a light thin sheet of dark green. All the green colors make the child feel as if they are a caterpillar.

  • Hospitals, while being great for health, are often places in which people experience a lot of emotional stress, boredom, and discomfort. This is often due to the long waiting periods that both patients and the caregiver go through when waiting to meet with a doctor. It is often the case that a patient and caregiver may be waiting two hours for a five minute talk with the doctor. The Captivator is a device that address the issue of ambiguous hospital waits by giving the caregiver and the patient a device that gives a time estimate of when the doctor will attend to them. The device does this by changes color depending on where in the waiting and meeting process they are in, in relation to the doctors rounds. 

    The goal of the Captivator was to make something that both distracted the patient from the situation they are in by being both tactile and visually pleasing. At the same time, it is also a useful tool because it relieves some of the ambiguity of the wait time. We went through a bunch of iterations of the shape of our design and decided on a dodecahedron because it is both ergonomic to the joints of the hand and is also an intruiging shape to look at. The Captivator uses a bluetooth shield connected to an arduino to recieve signals determining when to light up the LEDs in the caregiver/patients device. 

  • PROCESS: THE CAPTIVATOR

     

     

    Hospitals, while being great for health, are often places in which people experience a lot of emotional stress, boredom, and discomfort. This is often due to the long waiting periods that both patients and the caregiver go through when waiting to meet with a doctor. It is often the case that a patient and caregiver may be waiting two hours for a five minute talk with the doctor. The Captivator is a device that address the issue of ambiguous hospital waits by giving the caregiver and the patient a device that gives a time estimate of when the doctor will attend to them. The device does this by changes color depending on where in the waiting and meeting process they are in, in relation to the doctors rounds. 

     

    Our goal was to create something that relieved stress. We brainstormed about different senses that we could work with that would relived stress. We settled on sight and touch because those were the most direct senses to work with given our time period. Touch is a very powerful tool. We used Bristol board to create three dimensional shapes. We experimented with symmetrical shapes like the dodecahedron and the isodecahedron. We also experimented with organic shapes. In addition to that, we looked into different ergonomic shapes. The organic ergonomic shapes felt good but where not as aesthetically pleasing as the symmetrical ones. Even though the symmetrical shapes might now appear to be nice to touch, the dodecahedron is. Once we decided on the shape we experimented with the size of the object. We wanted it to be something a person could hold. Our only constraint was that it was necessary that an Arduino Nano could fit in the object. 

     

    When experimenting with sight, we decided we wanted a colored light to be the sign of when the doctor would arrive. We worked on different ways to diffuse the LEDs because that is something that is really beautiful. In the initial phases of our design we experimented with the Captivator casting patterned shadows in addition to just light. We did not follow through with this primarily because of the time constraint. 

  • Many hospitalized patients are not able to go outdoors whenever they want to. Hospital rooms can feel empty, dry, and dull. The HumidiFlower: a humidifier, light reflector, infused with essential oils, will bring the outdoors inside. 

    When one stays indoors for a long period of time, the effects may consist of insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Most hospitalized patients do not have the option or opportunity to go outside. Our goal with the HumidiFlower is to bring the freshness of the outdoors to the patient. The base of the Flower is a vase that holds the humidifier. The mist carries through the stem of the flower and fogs out of the center. The petals of the flower are infused with essential oils, which the patient can use as perfume, or to calm themselves down with the scent of lavender. LED lights reflect off of the metallic petals, and create the illusion of sunlight, in the bleak room. A hospitalized patient should not feel trapped. The HumidiFlower aims to cancel out that feeling. 

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  • Fear or stress has been linked to poorer outcomes for patients undergoing surgery, procedures, clinic visits or hospital stays. In this studio we will follow the 2d-3d iterative design process to learn how to express and build emotions and feeling into objects. We will then apply our learning into a functional device to be a positive companion for an acute visit or long term hospital bound patient. This object will serve to convert their emotional state to one of positivity and healing through its interaction.