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Title:The Science of Empathy: Binder Clips as Insulin Pumps
Author(s):Gannon, Andrea
Subject(s):Library and Information Science
Abstract:The current insulin pumps available to diabetics are unpleasant to use due to clunky interfaces and a lack of elegance and discretion. These aspects affect the ease and quality of diabetics lives by contributing to poor management of this autoimmune disease. Blending information science, design thinking, mechanical engineering, and available technology creates an opportunity to modernize assistive wearable medical technology and develop new and better user experiences. To grasp what having an insulin pump is like, I built a simple prototype out of binder clips and string for my colleagues to wear. While I actually am diabetic, my classmates used these binder clips to represent real insulin pumps in a process called bodystorming, a tangible form of brainstorming, to experience problems that diabetics encounter while trying to maintain normal, comfortable, and healthy lifestyles. The team learned how difficult it was to perform everyday tasks such as bathing, changing outfits, navigating curious pets and children, dealing with tubing getting caught on doorknobs, and more. My coursework in library and information science teaches the science of empathy to communicate the needs of others. Empathy helps us to understand unfamiliar frustrations, and these lessons can be channeled into an iterative process of redesign.
Issue Date:2015-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Andrea Gannon
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-20

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