Saving lives with information

“Sixth MERS death in South Korea amid sharp rises in cases”

The 5K team reviewed the latest world news this morning to find inspiration for our Can 1 Day of Design Make a Difference challenge. There were many stories of interest, but one in particular stood out for us.

The number of confirmed cases of people with MERS (Middle-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) has been growing in South Korea and the BBC has reported that a lack of information has proved a problem.

BBC News — 8th June 2015

“Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon accused central government of not providing enough information to citizens about the virus. But Health Minister Moon Hyung-pyo rejected the claim, saying such comments risked increasing public concern.”

That got us all thinking — what if we could design something that would help to inform people in affected areas of viral outbreaks, whilst also helping health organisations and medical teams to gather vital information in their fight to contain the spread of infection, find a pattern or even monitor mutation.

Sketches, user journey and flow diagram from our morning workshop

The concept we came up with was a web-app that would provide people with information about MERS, how they can prevent getting it and areas to avoid. It would also allow someone to register for help if they were concerned they or their family might be infected.

The registration data would help the World Health Organisation identify and proritise severe cases - offering on-site treatment if appropriate, as well as:

  • Collecting details of people who have come into contact with the patient.
  • Logging where they’ve been recently on a map, to assess if they could have passed it on.
  • Offer information and preventative measures to the patient and their family.

This information could also be used by medical teams on the ground — alerting them to new cases via a tablet application and giving them a live update on the outbreak.

Web-app concept screen showing how the symptoms check list and registration can give people in the area reliable, trusted ways to find out more about the disease. By presenting them with a checklist and questions, the WHO can also cut down on false positive self-diagnosis.
Tablet app concept screen showing how the medical teams on the ground can monitor confirmed cases and patient details - as well as being able to capture additional diagnostic data to be used in the research of the viral outbreak.

Find out more about our ‘Can 1 Day of Design Make a Difference’ challenge here.

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