Haven
2021
Haven is an integrated system that enables people with chronic pain to visualize their pain and build understanding with their support network.

This project was advised by
Axel Roesler and sponsored by Lilly Design Labs at Eli Lilly.
Challenge
Design a forward-thinking health solution for chronic pain management at the intersection of digital health and wellness, ubiquitous computing, and equitable design.
We asked
How might we help alleviate a pain sufferer’s feelings of isolation, loneliness, and helplessness?
Solution
A two-object system with three main features that: 

1. Helps chronic pain sufferers externalize their pain through a visual representation of pain and pain vocabulary

2. Enables them to build a pain community support network

3. Helps them cope with their pain through coping exercises
PROCESS
Research
To gain a better understanding of the problem space, we conducted primary research and interviewed people living with chronic pain over zoom and medical experts over the phone.

We also delved into secondary research that included: literature review on chronic pain and pain management. We also conducted a competitive analysis on existing chronic pain management techniques and services.
Research
Brainstorm + Ideation
Based on our initial secondary research to understand chronic pain, we began to brainstorm high-level concepts of problem areas and created over 50 initial concepts. By running a series of Design Thinking and Inclusive Design sprints, we identified multiple barriers for both patients and providers.

Affinity mapping helped us cluster similar ideas and generate our insights.

Research
Insights + Design Opportunity
Insight #1—We found that chronic pain sufferers have difficulty communicating their pain, often wishing they could express what their pain feels like to their support network of loved ones, caretakers, or health care providers.

Insight #2—Chronic pain sufferers find that their support network lack the understanding to empathize with their pain
Research
Storyboard
We storyboarded a use-case scenario based on user personas which was then presented to Eli Lilly stakeholders. Our first concept included a bio-tracking patch that captured the users pain data. This data was manifested visually in the form of a physical orb that reflected a user's pain status.
Concept Sketches + Wireframing
Based on feedback and further ideation, we moved from a physical orb to a digital, platform-agnostic product to keep the service accessible to the user at all times.

We created user flows and created high fidelity wireframes to showcase three core functions of the Haven service.

Research
Final Design
Three core features: 
‍‍
1. Helps chronic pain sufferers externalize their pain through a visual representation of pain and pain vocabulary and aids them in better communicating their pain to people they’re close to

2. It connects them with other pain sufferers who share similar experiences

3. It helps them deal with pain through personalized, guided coping exercises

Final Design
Deliverables:

—A two-object system that provides both input and output for the pain sufferer. The first object is a bio-tracking patch that would be placed at the base of the neck to capture the user's biodata.

—With the collected data, the second object serves to externalize the pain experience via a pain visualization system and pain vocabulary that is customized via a digital interface.

—Utilizing personal pain data, the system matches users with other people who have a similar kind of pain—their Pain Pals. Pain Pals are depicted like a neural network, with each orb representing individuals. Users can engage in synchronous or asynchronous communications, helping them find a sense of support and belonging.

—This service can be used as a tool for guided coping exercises, such as meditation or breathing exercises, with the option of opting into live sessions with other users.

Reflections + Considerations
If my team were to revisit this project, we would conduct evaluative research and user testing with chronic pain sufferers to measure the efficacy of our service. We would also further investigate the visual representation of pain and development of a pain language library. Additionally, we would continue to refine the interface to include more gestural features, given the context of the AR environment.

Haven was both a challenging and rewarding project, in terms of breadth of scope and the tension between speculative futures and pragmatic business needs. It drove home the importance of research-driven design and how research guides our insights.