I grew up with asthma and most of my family members have asthma. During my M.A. in Social Design, I was discerning my thesis topic and recalled a conversation I had a woman at a health fair in Baltimore. She mentioned that Baltimore was one of the worst cities for people with asthma and that asthma sufferers often lose the boxes for their inhalers which contain important information about how a patient should manage her/his condition. Knowing first hand the impact of asthma on an individual's life, I decided to pursue asthma management as a thesis topic. Although it seemed like a tempting design project to jump into, I knew that I needed to understand more about asthma and asthma treatment. I sought to uncover how design could influence asthma management and what can a designer do to make an impact in this space. For my M.F.A. thesis, I expanded my work and research on asthma management.
Following doctor’s orders to take medication regularly and properly is one of the biggest problems in asthma management. Often, extenuating circumstances exist, such as inadequate access to health care services, which prevent a patient from taking their medication consistently, even though they know about the consequences of not taking medications.
Because of the prevalence of asthma, hearsay about how to treat and manage the condition is taken as truth. I met a number of children with asthma who reported that their parents would give them their sibling’s asthma medication because it was “all the same.” Using unprescribed medication can be lethal for asthma patients during an emergency. Educating patients about their condition and treatment is crucial in providing the best care and treatment for their asthma.
03. Preventative care
Although there is no cure for asthma, the condition is preventable by knowing one's asthma symptoms and understanding how to avoid asthma triggers. Closely following an asthma action plan prescribed by a doctor is one of the most accurate ways to prevent an asthma attack.
I designed a concept app, Pollen. The app is a preventative tool for anyone suffering from allergies or asthma. It allows a user to check the current pollen count to determine if she/he needs to take allergy medications for the day.
02. Breathing Sounds
Motion graphics experiment in breath sounds. Teaching tool for educators and parents to understand and identify early symptoms of asthma.
03. Breathe Easy
A concept app that acts as a digital asthma management plan. The app reminds a user to take her/his medication on time and allows a user to record her/his peak flow readings, which can be useful in predicting an asthma attack.