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First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid, and can put together for the purpose. The idea of this first aid kit is to help people, who are living in the hard-to-access areas, to signal danger.

Photo of Emily Au

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All the signaling methods collected in this kit should be easy and cheap without relying on advanced technology to execute.

In order to make sure the kit can be used in any situation, the collected methods should indicate the condition(s) for best performance.

The contents of this first aid kit should be determined by the needs of individuals and family who are living in the hard-access-areas. Based on some proposed concepts in this challenge, some potential contents are listed below:

1. Magnesium flares with shooter (reference: Magnesium flares,by Sanjith Yeruva)

2. Smoke coding methods + different color smoke source+ lighter (reference: Firebow, by Simone Poli)

3. Gestural signal (reference: Signalling schools, by KarlSadler)

4. Homing Pigeon raising and training method + standard paper messages that can be used to send out some messages to the receiver (this is particularly important for someone who hasn’t received any education) (reference: Homing Pigeon Faster Than Broadband, by David Tang)

5. Beacon signal generation method + meanings of different signal patterns (reference: "ELEPHANT" - Beacon communication system using the ground as a medium, by Seiichi Okura)

6. Dog whistle (reference: “HOWL” - Beacon communication method using a dog whistle + Arduino, by Seiichi Okura)

7. DIY radio network building method + key components (reference: Construct a radio from scraps, by Coniqua Abdul-Malik)

8. Colalife (reference: Colalife, by christine fam)

9. Self-Administered Interview (SAI) tool (reference: Self-Administered Interviews, by Ann Brown)

The above list can be extended and modified based on the development of the concepts throughout this challenge.  Different kinds of first aid kits, from basic to complex, can be designed for different purposes upon the needs and situations.  E.g. 

Pocket first aid kit (can be used by single female or kids): it should contain simple danger signalling method, like Dog whistle

Basic life support first aid kit (can be used by family): it should contain more advanced danger signalling methods and survival pack (Colalife)

Community first aid kit (can be used by community support center): it should contain the SAI tool


Arjan Tupan's Enabler Cards concept is a very good way to present the instructions of different contents in this first aid tool kit.

How does your idea gather AND verify information? How does your idea keep those who use it safe?

The contents of the first aid kit have to be designed for the users who are living in the hard-to-access areas and the exact requirements should be collected based on their experience and situation. For example, earlier US Federal specifications for first aid kits included the incision/suction-type snakebite kits and mercurochrome antiseptic, since snakebite was one of the potential dangers that the army might encounter at that time. Actually, we have gathered a lot of useful information in this challenge. However, in order to further verify them, we should conduct a field study to understand what the common and potential danger situations are. Then, the contents in the first aid kit could be valued by the users.

How might your idea be designed to scale and spread to help as many people as possible?

First aid training would be a good way to educate people and teach them how to protect themselves and their family. Ideally, this first aid kit should be allowed anyone to use it without any question/problem when he/she opens the kit at the first time. In this case, the instructions of every danger signaling method have to be simple and intuitive, which can be understood by someone who hasn’t received any education or training.

How could you begin prototyping this idea in a simple way to begin testing and refining it? Who would use your idea and/or who is using it now? Is your idea technically easy medium or hard to implement?

The instructions and materials of every danger signaling method have to be carefully designed. The testing can be divided into three phases. In the first phase, each individual method will be tested by users in order to determine how useable and effective of the method. In the second phase, the collective methods in the kit will be tested under some typical scenarios in order to determine the effectiveness of the tool kit to be used in different situations. In the third phase, the refined kit will be tested in the field. Since all signaling methods collected in the kit should be easy and cheap without relying on advanced technology to execute, this idea should be technically easy to implement.

How is your idea adapted for conditions in hard-to-access areas, such as lack of internet and mobile access? Can users adopt it without much behavior change?

“User is able to adopt the idea naturally without change his/her behavior” is one of the user requirements for this design. Therefore, as noted above, a field study is proposed to understand the users’ needs and requirements before designing the contents of the kit. So, all signaling methods collected in the tool kit should be easy and cheap without relying on advanced technology to execute. As a result, this idea should be easily adapted for conditions in the hard-to-access area.


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Emily. Great. I can see how this could be helpful. I keep a grab bag in my home. I make sure that the contents are suited to the place I am living in. I also keep am emergency kit for situations when utilities and basic social services might fail or be suspended. Again relevant to the location.
Might you consider adding instructions for building a radio network? or something that enables the spread of information?

Photo of Emily Au

Hi Christine, sure! Great idea. That could be very useful if victims can spread out the information by using the self-built radio network (or self-built early warming system).

On top of the instructions, the component for making this radio network is also important. If would be more useful if the kit can include some critical components for making this radio network. Also, the size of these critical components have to be small and light, so that they can fit in the first aid tool kit and convenient for people to carry around.

Photo of Emily Au

I have added "DIY radio network building method + key components" in the list of potential contents of this first aid tool kit.

I think at the end this contents of the tool kit can be varying for the different purpose. For example, a small first aid tool kit for a single female should contain a dog whistle and this tool kit should be allowed her to carry with her all the time. Tool kit for an organization can contain more things, such as, Ann's self administered interviews cards (

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi thanks for adding me! I wonder if you might consider the colalife idea as a means of distribution.

Photo of Emily Au

Hi, I have added Colalife in the list. Also, I think it is more relevant to package the contents for different purposes and distribute to different targets with their specific needs. Thanks your input and see the update of the concept.

Photo of DeletedUser


hi for sure. different parts of the world different situations different needs.

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Emily yeah the thought was to have people think about putting things in place ahead of time. Not so much the special solution/content (there are so many excellent ones such as yours) of the box but rather to have it a part of the daily lives of people.

Colalife is a way to get things everywhere efficiently. I can imagine all sorts of things that could be tucked between the bottles or cans.

Perhaps my idea is to plant the notion of taking action now and not later. Let's see how we might take these ideas further as the challenge progresses. Exciting right?

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