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How can we help people with poor literacy to self-diagnose?

Designers at Honeywell Technology Solutions in Bangalore, Ankur Sardana (NID) and Parag Trivedi (IDC), have created a self-diagnosis tool for people living in rural India. The design is simple, efficient, and low-cost.

Photo of Nathan Waterhouse
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Using this mechanical tool, the user rotates the rings and chart, which helps with the following needs:

1. How soon should I try to see a doctor?

2. What kind of diagnostic tests will be done on me? (helps set expectations around cost and alleviates fear of the unknown and unfamiliar)

3. Should I see a regular doctor or a specialist?

4. Useful contact information

How does it work?
"The tool consists of a set of Rings (symptoms), a disease chart & other information. These rings could be made of cheap but durable cardboard. Each ring has set of symptoms. The patient rotates the rings (starting from smallest) & chooses his symptoms by bringing them in one line, below the marker. Each symptom has a number printed on it. The user maps the disease code (set of numbers, 1 from each ring) on the chart. The chart provides tentative result –disease name, severity, next steps, diagnostic tests required to confirm disease, doctor they should meet (i.e. which specialty) & contact information of doctors &hospitals. Made out recycled plastic/cardboard, it is easy to be produced locally in the villages."
(Adapted from DesignWala)

1 comment

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Photo of Avi

Fantastic! Paper = No Electricity required:) The tool can probably diagnose 80% of medical issues correctly (Pareto's law at work). The tool paper could be laminated to make it more durable. There's an informative interview with the tool's designer Ankur Sardana here: