TermoTell is a real time temperature monitor and alert system, designed to save the lives of children under five at risk of Malaria.
TermoTell Team Information
Where are you based? Where are each of you from/where did you grow up?
Efrat weidberg was born and raised in Tel aviv, Israel and has been living in New-York for the past 6 years. She is an experience designer who previously worked at Amazon and currently works at SapientNitro. Julio Gallego Delgado, PHD, was born and raised in Madrid, Spain , and been living and working in NYC for the past 5 years. He is a post doc at New York University School of Medicine, Microbiology Department,Parasitology Division. Innocent Asuquo Edagha, Ph.D. is based in Nigeria. He is a Fulbright Fellow, New York University School of Medicine and a Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
What does TermoTell do?
TermoTell is a sensor-powered bracelet designed for children under five. It is joyful, colorful and chewable, but most importantly - it saves lives. The bracelet reads the child’s temperature and sweat patterns in real time, analyzes the results against a pre-defined algorithm and detects dangerous patterns that indicates the risk of Malaria.
Once a dangerous temperature pattern is recognized, the bracelet will alert the environment in couple of ways. First, it will glow, so it can be seen even in the dark. Second, it will send an alert to a feature phone owned by a parent or other community member. Thus, It will inform them when it’s crucial to seek medical attention.
Once the child is taken to a medical facility, it will send the data to a smart phone application owned by a local doctor to assist with the diagnosis process.
In addition, using Internet technology, patient data will be stored, analyzed and shared among researchers around the world.
What is the problem TermoTell helps to solve?
Malaria is still one of the top 5 causes of death in children under 5 years, killing more than half million every year. Most children who die from malaria succumb to cerebral malaria, the deadliest complication of malaria with a mortality rate around 20%, usually within the first 24-48 hours after admission to hospital. Of those that survive, 25% develop long-term neurological sequelae.
Most malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa where rapid and accurate diagnostics are a challenge. Nowadays, diagnosis of malaria requires specific techniques, expensive infrastructures and trained personal to assess a proper diagnosis.
TermoTell could answer one of the most elusive problems when facing malaria: fast and accurate diagnosis. Moreover, TermoTell will can be easily used and monitored by anyone, independent of his or her education level with very basic training.
How did you hear about the challenge and what inspired you to enter?
I heard about the challenge from a post on my Linkedin newsfeed. In the past few years, I have been experimenting with new design-thinking-inspired ideas using sensor technology, while Julio’s research is focused in the area of cerebral malaria. Thus, we felt like this is a great opportunity for collaboration.
What was the toughest challenge you faced and how did you deal with it?
The challenges we faced was communicating the idea in a timely matter, while keeping everything low fidelity. At first, we were focusing on the technology aspect of the project, asking questions like how is this all going to work? How are the different devices going to communicate with one another, and how can we translate academic research findings into a diagnostic algorithm.
We also want to communicate a whole system, rather than just the wearable itself, and had to use our time wisely. Storytelling has been the most important tool we used. Creating use cases, service design system maps, touch points metrics and storyboards, we were able to see the big picture and bring the design, technology science and environment together, before going into the details of execution.
Our advisor, Dr.Innocent A. Edagha is based in Nigeria and was able to provide us with real stories that helped inform our design decisions.
What do you feel the next phase of the challenge, working with industry mentors, will bring to your design?
We feel like the next phase can bring structure to our design process and help communicate our idea in the best possible way, so more people can get excited about it.
From a product design perspective, it will be useful to get some ideas on what materials to use while keeping in mind the it will be worn by children under five.
Also, we would like to start thinking about execution. Thinking about the experience principles, design guidelines and functional requirements- what will it take to bring our idea to life?
What other projects are you working on? We are eager to know!
This is the first project we work on as a team!
Efrat has been working on creating a connected gamified boxing workout experience, using a sensor-enabled boxing glove, a supporting IOS app and a projected environment.
Julio’s post doc research is focused in the molecular mechanisms underlying cerebral malaria.