Logistics in Indian Healthcare.
To design a utility device which aids the patient and his family through all logistical tasks in the hospital facility.
Rhode Island School of Design
The intent of my thesis is to explore and understand the scope of design within very practical problems of society. I feel design has a potential and purpose to intervene within what society considers established norms, but the inception of which was a result of corporate practicality and popular culture of the time.
I want to use design mechanisms to create a product which fits into the current mechanisms of popular culture and eases its functioning.
Rural and Sub-Urban States
The project began by looking at the different demographics within the country and what factors drive the force of healthcare. A large part of the personal income is dedicated towards health due to lack of insurance services, and thus the demographics and individual cultural traits play a big role in how people prioritize their well-being.
To observe and understand the problems in the healthcare setup of the rural and sub-urban areas, the cultural clash with the system and possible design interventions within this system.
My research led me to understanding the social and cultural norms that exist within specific regions of the country. A very prominent region in this is the state of Bihar, a victim of multiple social problems, all of which funnel down to poor healthcare infrastructure. There was an inclination to understand different cultural clashes of the healthcare system, which is adopted from outside the country and caters to a society with strong traditional beliefs.
Bihar State Demographics:
Narrowing down the window of sub urban and rural healthcare facilities, I focussed my research specifically in Bihar and looking at the macro livelihood of the people. Multiple social factors create both, minimal and immense problems at the systemic level within this broad range of health. I interviewed people, and tried to narrow down a few topics of interest within this system.
Cultural Clashes within the system
I collected multiple insights from interactions with local professionals, and compiled them under social categories of 'literacy', 'infrastructure' and 'poverty'; for targeted research in the three domains. I chose 'infrastructure' as a targeted domain and began a deep dive research within this to understand the system better.
Multiple interviews were conducted across different health professionals and patients who have been associated with the system. Most interviews were centered towards understanding the current scenario, how different challenges are targeted in different places and talking to people who have been exposed to different dimensions in their practice. Apart from this, there was an attempt to talk to charity and health funds on how they created targeted impact in places with social barriers.
Insights and system structure
The basic hospital system can be categorized into clinical services and non-clinical services.
Within non-clinical services, my main focus was on patient related delivery services. These services deal with all issues directly concerning the patient inside the hospital which are categorized as non medical equipment.
The patient journey map depicts an average user's journey in a rural or sub-urban setting; with the journey coinciding with multiple cultural practices and traditions. This journey map helps locate specific areas of interest within the journey of the patient and target them specifically through primary and secondary research.
The project is currently in the phase of narrowing down on particular directions. The intent of this phase is to help in a focussed primary research in January when I would visit hospitals and other medical centers in India. The interviews and discussions of the next phase would aim at extracting micro problems within specific hospital workflow and be filtered by some relevant criteria (depending on the workflow) such as:
6. Workflow management
These tabulated observations would help in formulating the final brief, which can be reiterated and designed in the final leg of the project.