The every day experience that I have chosen is that of the physician consultation. Specifically, I am interested in consultations with doctors that involve patients who have a long term or chronic health need (such as pregnancy, disability, healing injuries, etc) where information communication between the patient and the physician are meant to cover spans of time (as opposed to an immediate need for vaccinations, etc).
This is meaningful to me because as a person with a disability, I spend immense amounts of time with doctors, and often am unable to communicate all the information I feel is important to give a complete update on my condition in one short visit. Additionally, about 19% of the population is estimated to have a disability (by the US Census), plus health needs such as pregnancy or injury probably touch the lives of the virtually the rest of the population in some way. With increased the increasing amount of importance placed on business in medicine, patient-doctor interactions are becoming shorter and less frequent, and those people who are of a low socioeconomic class face difficulties in continuity of care (because they are forced to attend public clinics with doctors that have rotating schedules, and as such may never see the same physician twice over the course of, say, a pregnancy).
The outcome should express the following data points in a concise, clear manner: sleep, diet, exercise, mood, perceived severity of symptoms, perceived treatment efficacy (where applicable), perceived severity of side effects of treatment (where applicable). All of these will be displayed over time, and the period of time will be changeable (so a physician can ask the output to display a week, a month, etc). Several other functions of the application (on separate outputs) will allow the physician to determine specific symptoms the patient has been experiencing (from which severity will be determined) and specific side effects of treatment (where applicable).
I am focusing on sleep, diet, exercise, and mood because these four data streams can provide insight into patients' overall health and sense of well-being. If a patient is consistently sleeping, eating well, exercising regularly, and is in good spirits, then he or she is likely to be responding will to treatment recommendations, and may not need to talk in too much detail in the office visit. However, if the patient is having trouble sleeping (or sleeping at irregular hours), is only eating one meal a day (or constantly eating), isn't getting very much exercise and feels sad all the time, their health need may be consuming their life and they may need to spend more time discussing treatment alternatives or other counsel. Sudden changes in any of these areas might also suggest a need for further questioning. Perceived severity of symptoms, treatment efficacy, and side effects are also medically informative data to include, especially when presented parallel to the above. For example, if a patient is recovering from a severe injury, and for the past week they have suddenly become depressed and stopped sleeping and exercising enough, but previously they had been doing quite well, the physician will be able to show the patient the output in order to encourage them to continue with physical therapy and other self-care and their good spirits will return.
In order to capture this data, the program will be downloadable as an app for smartphones, tablets, and home computers, as well as being available over the internet so that people who are unable to afford their own technology can use a version at, for example, a public library computer or pharmacy tablet station. The smartphone/tablet version will include the option to serve as an alarm clock, which will not shut off until the person has input an estimate of the amount of time they slept. It will also include a step counter and GPS-integrated fitness app that will automatically record exercise for the user. There will also be a dietary function that will allow users to input data about their food and water consumption, which will offer advice on how to determine serving sizes. There will be a built-in reminder that the patient can set to occur at a certain time of day for their convenience, which will prompt them to answer unanswered questions. Computer users will be able to download and print logbook pages in order to record the same information, so that they can keep track of this information throughout the week, assuming they must come back to the library in order to input the data. All of the programs will have different settings for different common problems, which will have preset symptoms and treatments (and the option to add additional ones, if desired).
Please see the diagrams for explanations as to the design choices and presentation of individual data streams.
I have attempted to incorporate the principles of graphical excellence by paying close attention to the various recommendations presented in the reading and viewing. Each output "map" has been designed specifically that it might accurately represent (statistically) the most important information (substance) that a physician might need to know in her relationship with a patient. Additionally, the design incorporates some "nudges" that are meant to help incentivize the patient's participation and appropriate medical decision-making.
I hope that my project "embodies data art's 'forceful point of view' " in the way that the data is presented colorfully, and outlines what is being done--and perhaps what needs to be done--in order for the patient to maintain the highest level of health possible given their condition.
The feedback I received from my group helped me to refine my project by pointing out the potential tricky areas that would need to be addressed.
Is this a good/useful/informative piece of content to include in the project? Have your say!
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