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A wearable emotion "clock" to express feelings to forge connection & intimacy, and eliminate misunderstanding.

Sharing emotions is a way to connect people to one another, this idea uses a wearable device to show, express, share, & connect via emotions

Photo of Thao-Nguyen Le

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

This idea is for everyone involved in the end-of-life experience, from the patient to the caregiver to the family members, and potentially all areas where humans interact and need to forge a connectedness when there are many complex feelings involved. This idea is for a wearable device for everyone involved (could be high tech or low tech) that the user can display their feelings as a form of self expression or a conversation starter.

At the end of a life, there are many feelings involved from all sides and it can be complex to maneuver from all parties involved, from the caregiver to the patient to the family members. 

While connectedness is a critical part of living, when someone is near the end of their life, they might feel distant, disconnected, loneliness from those around them. The caregivers and the family members too will feel these disconnected feelings and misunderstanding will happen if complex feelings are not brought up and addressed. 

This wearable device could be high tech, or low tech where there are a set group of basic emotions such as Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, Fear, (this is from the movie Inside Out, but research can be done to decide which emotions to use in this device) plus one called "Ask Me" where the user would use the hand on the wearable emotional clock to indicate how he/she is feeling at the moment. There could be 2 hands, one for a primary feeling and one for a secondary feeling. 

Before anyone interacts with each other, but especially on the part of the caregiver and family member, they should indicate how they are feeling at the moment, and try to be honest to themselves about it. Then, they can approach the patient and ask how the patient is feeling and start a conversation based on the wearable emotional clock that the patient is wearing. Based on that, the caregiver or family member can also share their own feelings, displaying their own vulnerabilities, and forge a connection when both sides have shared how they truly feel.

This is also an opportunity to provide whatever support all sides can give to one another. For example if the patient was feeling particularly angry or sad, and if the caregiver is also angry and sad, they can commiserate together and share about how they have gotten out of those feelings in the past. If one side feels joyful and the other side does, this is also an opportunity to "cheer" the other person up by talking about gratitude and sharing joy. 

Through talking about feelings and connecting based on feelings after both sides have shown their feelings by wearing it, this is a chance to lift the other person up, or work together to lift both sides up, or simply to be there and cry together because sadness is also a natural feeling to have. 

All parties involved should attend a workshop either together or in 3 separate groups (for Caregivers, for Patient, for Family members) to learn about the device, and how to use it to foster connectedness. This workshop could be devised by the company with the wearable device, and based on research, and be led by competent people in the field of human emotions. This could be trained. 


-This idea was formed at a @NYCOpenIDEO popup session-

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I can get a group of friends together, especially some engineers to create/make some basic simple low tech emotion clocks with 6 quadrants as indicated above (Joy, Sadness, Digust, Anger, Fear, Ask Me) and test it out at a local clinic or hospital with a small group of Caregivers, Patients and Family Members.
We can assess the project by testing it against another group in the same clinic/hospital not using the emotional clock. I would do preliminary assessment, concurrent and post evaluations

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Ask me questions to refine my idea. What are some of the ways why you might think it will work as well? How can I improve this idea? Suggest the materials and how I can build the prototype. Help me build the prototype.

Tell us about your work experience:

I love problem solving and seek out jobs/positions that will enable me to come up with ways to solve problems. I've worked in finance, startups, HR, and now I am doing business operations for a fitness company.

This idea emerged from

  • An OpenIDEO Outpost or Chapter
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Attachments (2)

VID_20160623_202117.mp4

Longer video-demonstrating how an exchange between caregiver and patient could happen with this wearable device

VID_20160623_202210.mp4

Short & sweet: The idea of the emotion clock explained in a video.

31 comments

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Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Thao-Nguyen Le , can you please add Kaiyi Liu and myself to your team? Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Thao-Nguyen! Here are some key questions and milestones we encourage all idea teams to consider in the Refinement phase:

1. How might this idea address the unique needs of the target audience you're designing for?
2. Clearly summarize the value offering of your idea in 1-2 sentences
3. Communicate your idea in a visual way with user experience maps http://ideo.pn/UX_Map
4. Identify assumptions that need to be answered in order to validate your value offering: http://bit.ly/1Oi8ZHu
5. Collect feedback from potential partners and users to answer the assumptions you’ve identified.

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 07/12" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of Tiger Buchman
Team

As I related to you on the last Open Ideo meeting, I only think this is appropriate as part of a dialog initiated by the patient and maintained by the patient.  I still don't think it's appropriate for a healthcare worker to enter a room with an emotion already expressed even if they are waiting for the patient to initiate the conversation. 

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Tiger Buchman Thank you for your input! We are visiting Mt.Sinai on Thursday to present this idea to the group of nurses and doctors and get their inputs as well. There could be rooms for different way of opening up the dialogue between patients and their family members, between nurses and patients, amongst nurses. We will explore all the open items.  As we discussed during our meetup and considering your input, we will make this as an "Op-in" program where the patients and care-givers will be given choices to participate. Thank you for your kind suggestion!

Photo of Tiger Buchman
Team

I appreciate the update.  Would love to hear how it goes. 

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Tiger Buchman We are looking forward to the feedback session. If you are available on Thursday (2PM or 6:30PM), please let me know I will add you to the list of feeback sessions that we will have at the Mt.Sinai!

Photo of Tiger Buchman
Team

I can't resist the invitation.  I will come for the 2pm and stay for the 6:30pm if I'm able.  Will it only be your ideation, or some of the other ideas expressed as well? 

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Tiger Buchman Thursday sessions are feedback session. If you come to Thursday session, then I would strongly encourage you to come to Wednesday prototyping session at the mid-town office location. We will be finalizing the prototype and the skits. We will be presenting four different ideas.

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Morgan Meinel this idea was inspired by you. Thank you for sharing your story. You can watch the video attachment to get the feel on how it could work. 

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Lee-Jung Kim Thank you so much for your kind words; I'm glad that our interview has been a source of inspiration in the development of this idea. Thao-Nguyen Le -  I really love this idea. It is a very creative yet practical way for individuals to be able to share their feelings without necessarily having to do so verbally at first. Many of our non-verbal patients on the Palliative Care Unit have emotion/care cards that they point to to indicate what their emotional/physical needs are at that time. Having creative avenues, such as this idea you've developed, could really potentially be of benefit to many people. I would personally benefit from something like this because I have a challenging time expressing my emotions, especially when trying to remain strong and courageous throughout my work day. It's a great way for colleagues to have more insight and understanding into our shared human nature and vulnerabilities and collectively support each other. 

Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas and contributions! All the best to you :) 

Photo of Thao-Nguyen Le
Team

Morgan Meinel So glad to hear! Hopefully we can make this idea into a product/reality soon. Lee-Jung Kim 

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Thao-Nguyen Le Maybe we can regroup and refine this idea after July 4th holiday. Davendra Sukha is an industrial designer and perhaps can help us visualize this better? What do you say Davendra Sukha I can also reach out to the whole NYC OpenIDEO Chapter and we can do iteration and test session. Anne-Laure Fayard We miss you here in NYC! I am thinking of doing a few more pop-up sessions to get more people familiarized with Design Thinking methodology and we can refine these ideas. Really fun ideas are coming out of this challenge! It is really exciting!!!

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Thao-Nguyen Le Thank you for uploading the video within the post! 

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great feedback Morgan Meinel It's great to see that you already use a version of this with the emotion cards. It's also great to read that this could also be something you would feel comfortable using Lee-Jung Kim it might be worth looking at these cards when refining the idea and see how you can build upon it and refine. Looking forward to the next iterations!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Lee-Jung Kim It'd be great to have at least one more session during refinement. I agree the ideas that came out are really interesting. Sorry to be so far but I'll be there in thoughts and comments :-)

Photo of Davendra Sukha
Team

I can sketch up some visuals / provide further refinement on this concept. Always happy to help! Lee-Jung Kim 

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Davendra Sukha That would be awesome! I don't know how we can share the visuals.. perhaps you can save it on a blog or website or youtube and put a link in the comment?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great idea! I think you can just take a picture and add it as visuals.  
For animated sketches, a video could work. Davendra Sukha that will be really nice!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Thao, Lee-Jung Kim , A-L and Morgan.
That is really interesting and great feedback that you are using Emotion Cards in hospice for non verbal patients in particular.  I would not have known intuitively that some patients are non verbal at the end of life.  Morgan Meinel is this due to their disease, or is it part of the process?   How are the cards used?  Are they at the bedside for each patient?  Is using them initiated by them, or is it part of the daily routine when a nurse is by the bedside providing care?  How does it work in hospice?  Is there one nurse who attends to one patient for an entire shift?  Would you spend much time in the room with a patient as a routine, or does it depend on care needs?  
Regarding emotions of nurses on the unit is this something that you and your colleagues discuss in any informal way?  Is it something that you would use to share emotions with your patients, or primarily with colleagues? 

I wonder if color coding the emotions might be helpful, fun and pleasing visually?
I also wonder if this might be something useful to use to share more broadly, from patient to family and friends on social media.  Thinking about patients like Emily in the Inspiration phase who described feeling that people did not always know what to say to her when she was ill (she had cancer) - maybe your Idea can be something that is shared over social media as an ice breaker as well?    ( Jim Rosenberg  posted this interview with Emily.   She created Empathy Cards using humor to create connections.  https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/end-of-life/research/first-person-emily-mcdowell)

One other emotion I would add is shame.   

Looking forward to seeing your idea develop!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thank you Bettina Fliegel for these great comments and questions. Regarding  your comment on patients being non verbal at the end of their life, it reminded me of two posts I read during the research phase: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/end-of-life/research/goodbye-oma
and https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/end-of-life/research/communication-aid-for-the-dying-and-their-families

which highlights around communication, in particular of emotions.
Thanks also for pointing to Jim's interview of Emily as it is also a relevant inspiration for this idea.
I'm sure you'll be able to push this idea further Thursday during the Prototyping / Feedback pop-up session of NYC OpenIDEO Chapter. Looking forward to reading the updates.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

I will definitely check out the links.  Thank you!  
 I am looking forward to the meet up!

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Bettina Fliegel , thank you for all of these great questions! Many people at the end of life become non-verbal as a part of the natural process of dying. Withdrawing from the world seems to be a universal physiological and psycho-social process. However, for those who are not actively dying, and still alert but non-verbal (due to mechanical ventilation, debility, expressive aphasia due to stroke and other neurological disorders, even language barriers), the communication cards can be very beneficial. Typically a nurse will assess the patient to see if they are good candidates for the communication cards. We do keep them at the bedside, at a convenient location. One nurse will attend to 3-5 patients on our Palliative Care unit, and deliver care over a 12 hour shift. We do our best to spend quality time with each patient and family, but naturally some people will require different levels of care and time, depending on their unique needs. We have a great multidisciplinary team that consists of nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, patient care associates, social workers, chaplains, doulas, volunteers, music, pet, and yoga therapies - so that we can do our best to optimize the wellbeing and unique care needs of each of our patients.

Regarding the emotional states of the nurses on our unit, we typically will address them informally with one another and/or our nurse manager. When we are having a particularly difficult time, our chaplain will sit down with us for a debrief session. We have coffee chat once a month with our social worker and chaplain, which is also usually very helpful as well. We could possibly implement the use of emotion cards during coffee chat, although I am uncertain how many nurses would be comfortable with it. I do really like the idea of using alternative creative avenues to express our emotion with one another. At times we can become quite exhausted and withdrawn, or feel vulnerable - which may be an optimal time to use the emotion cards.

I hope this is helpful! I would love to see how this idea manifests. All the best to each of you! :)

Photo of Thao-Nguyen Le
Team

NYC OpenIDEO Chapter 

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thao-Nguyen Le Lee-Jung Kim one way to test the idea might be to use some of the emotion cards mentioned by Morgan. I'm wondering if you could also have a "joker" card where people can put any emotions they feel and that might not be on the card. That'd be useful for the prototyping phase to see what are the types of emotions and choose the best labels. It might also be good to always have this option.

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Anne-Laure Fayard We will explore the emotion card concept. Joker card is brilliant!

Photo of Thao-Nguyen Le
Team

Lee-Jung Kim sounds good, would love to take this to the next level. I'm usually available Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 at the earliest if we meet at your office. I'm available 7/7 after 7:30. 

Photo of LOrena Lorena
Team

Hi guys just browsing through and found your idea quite promising onto something! Not just for end of care, but I can see it can be used anywhere there is human interactions~ as emotions are so important to health and well-being, but it is often still taboo to show it.

I like your concept because it promotes trust and showing each other our own emotions because we see other people showing theirs also. Therefore, easy to create a upward spiral.

I actually feel what you had there, the paper plate is a great prototype for testing and even for the final product, I feel something very low tech, just out of paper or a badge of sorts is more than sufficient. As Morgan mentioned about pointing to care cards, I feel that is a great starting point, but you guys can improve on this card so it can become 'wearable' and visually a bit more fun and nice to wear. Fun looking enough so people can pick up on it and feel playful and relaxed to start a conversation about it.

This will be great for networking and social events for conversation starters and connect to strangers quickly!

During the prototype session, can tally up words people like to describe to help refine words to use. But I like the way you using the words from Inside Out to begin with, as they did so much research on that :) 

Good luck guys~

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

LOrena Lorena Thank you for your comment and input! The team came up with simple but yet elegant solution to encourage sharing (feelings, stories). Thao-Nguyen Le ,  NYC OpenIDEO Chapter  should we get together after July 4th (Wednesday, July 6th) to do some fun prototype of different wearable emotion clock? Jocelyn Xie Can you bring your friends?  Davendra Sukha you can bring your talent! I can offer our office space again^^

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Thao-Nguyen Le Here is the link to the short video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN_vI27TbMc
And the whole skit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBTQ8qFwMn4
Please insert the URL (I think you can choose 1) so that the video appears in the body of the post. Thanks!

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim
Team

Thao-Nguyen Le Thank you for posting this idea! I think the idea of showing primary feeling and secondary feelings is very appropriate for the end of life because one could be feeling sad and happy at the same time and need to share these feelings. Having a group session to learn about how to use this device is a also great idea as i believe just having an instrcution note will defeat the purpose of sharing feelings. Awesome! We should connect back with Daven who is an industrial designer (he was in the emotion monitor group). 

Photo of Thao-Nguyen Le
Team

This idea was generated by a session on Thursday 6/23 from @NYC OpenIDEO Chapter session