This was a 4 stage project where we started as individual ideas, then joined into small groups to find broad solutions to a large problem space (pandemics). The final design came out of the notion that pandemics are huge problems and it would require a huge solution. One of our major constraints was this idea that creating a whole new system would first take too long, but also cost too much. We used this constraint to find existing technologies and systems to help build what we feel is the pandemic treatment room of the future.
The initial stage of this project was an individual exploration of ideas. Knowing that we’d be grouped at a later date, I wanted to explore a variety of wide and far reaching concepts. The investigating I did on Ebola, proved that the problem was multi-dimensional. You couldn’t just take care of one or two things and the problem would go away, you’d have to tackle everything to solve it. To make things worse, the CDC in the United States, was having difficulty understanding the proper treatment methods, which lead to confusion amongst hospitals and fear in the public. Ebola is a disease that needs to be attacked in a very aggressive manner, so many of my initial ideas were about containment for the hospital staff and patients.
The idea that initially seemed to have the most promise was the Mobile Ebola Clinic. Doctors would travel from house to house in the Mobile Clinic, and if a patient did have Ebola, the Mobile Clinic would become the treatment facility as well. A major concern for the hospital is bringing sick patients in, possibly infects even more people or patients. With something like Ebola, it could whip out an entire facility if a sick patient is treated incorrectly.
After the initial first stage of this project, as a group, we narrowed all of our collective ideas down to a small set of core ideas. These ideas represent a wide array of creative, scalable, cost effective and tangible solutions, should a rural pandemic occur. We used a concept evaluation chart to identify the top ideas based on a variety of criteria, and ideas we thought should already be implemented in the medical setting. We decided that the final idea should really identify the problem of a pandemic outbreak and how it affects a hospital.
This sketch represents what I believe to be the hospital room of the future. Because Ebola is a disease that needs to be completely contained, it separates the patient from everyone else, except those treating them. In such a time, family support is crucial to survival and a positive outlook, and what this idea represents is a room that is completely separated by glass. The family lives on one side, the patient on the other.
The mission of the modular mobile clinic (MMC) is to contain patients in a safe, comfortable space where they can receive treatment without the risk of spreading the virus. In the event of a very contagious illness, community safety is at the utmost importance, and it’s in everyone's best interest to take the most aggressive measures to insure this. The guiding principles that make the MMC viable are: use of existing infrastructure, efficiency, cost and containment.
The modular mobile clinic is built off-site at the GE plant in Louisville, Kentucky, where factory workers can build around the clock, 365 days a year, rain or shine. Once built, it’s sent to a holding facility at one of the many locations around the country. In the event of an emergency, the MMC’s will be sent from the holding facility to the hospital as an exterior room to the hospital. This is where treatment and recovery will take place.