LYNK is a precautionary solution for pandemic outbreaks. It is system with a modular dashboard that allows for communication between the Center for Disease Control, hospitals and the general public.
Part of a student project at the University of Washington, the design brief was to design a solution in the event of a pandemic outbreak. There were several problem areas identified after speaking to subject matter experts, including poor communication channels between the Center for Disease Control, hospitals and family of affected patients, which is what the final solution (LYNK) focuses on.
During this first stage of the project, the design team individually explored and ideated various solutions that directly targeted the high problem areas outlined by subject matter experts. We also individually researched more in-depth information in order to better understand the problem space. At this stage, we started exploring personas, experience maps and other artefacts.
The design team at this stage began to narrow down and refine, as well as combine, the ideas we had so far to strengthen our concepts. The three potential solutions that we had at this stagewere strongly directed at the problem areas, specifically: communication gaps, contamination of hospitals and mentalhealth of the patient.
Along with refining our potential solutions, we also consolidated our personas and worked on experience maps in order to better empathize with patients, their families and caregivers.
In the last stretch of the project, the design team chose one final concept as the solution. We decided to work on a system
communication redesign of the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Based on our research and subject matter expert input, we knew that the current communication system, especially from the CDC, is hugely lacking in terms of informing hospitals and hospital staff about changes in protocol and updates, as well as in informing the general public about important information they need to know.
LYNK, the final solution, is a communication system that allows for easy communication between concerned parties during a pandemic outbreak.
The final concept by the design team, focuses on improving the current communication between the CDC, hospital staff and general public.
This solution would be in the form of a central system thatenabled the CDC to communicate quickly with hospitals and the general public. There would be incoming information and data that the CDC could track, such as supply inventoryof gear at hospitals, new cases and incoming patients.
This system also allowed the CDC to send outgoing information to concerned parties. Information such as updated protocols and new inventory would be pushed to hospitals. In the event of a confirmed infected patient, the CDC could also notify the general public in the vicinity of the patient by sending out an alert through the system. The system also allows the CDC to send out press releases.
While the solution has a lot of potential, there are some factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as participation from CDC to manage and update pandemic information, partnership with phone companies to recover location data and most importantly, the potential to cause mass panic when alerts are sent to the general public.
Moving forward, the next research steps would be to identify the types of information that each stakeholder group needs to know and what widgets are useful tools for synthesizing information and responding to problems.