LIM Prosthetics Care Guide is a service that enables local Syrian citizens who wish to help their community, to be trained with LIM prosthetics technology, and help provide ongoing care to refugees experiencing first-time amputations.
Conduct in-depth research on the Syrian refugee crisis, identify an opportunity area, and create a section of a deployable, end-to-end service with multiple touch-points.
Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, InVision, Keynote.
Approach & Role
Our team focused on creating a service that addresses the amputee crisis growing among Syrian refugees. We collectively researched, analyzed, and built the service. I built and led the prototype of the Prosthetic Care Guide app.
Syrian Refugee Crisis
Due to the ongoing conflict in Syria, an estimate of 1 million Syrians are physically injured, and roughly 80,000 need prosthetic fittings to replace limbs lost in the conflict.
About the Service
We focused on creating a platform that addresses the growing amputee crisis among [Syrian] refugees. Our service enables local citizens to be trained in LIM prosthetics and provides ongoing care to refugees experiencing first-time amputations.
A universal training protocol to help train local champions to fit prosthetics.
Universal Prosthetic Training Protocol
Since our goal was to create a training experience for Syrian locals and surrounding regions of conflict, we didn't want language barriers to be a limitation in recruiting potential volunteers. Our idea was to create a training guide that would include a universal language, whether it was through iconography, images, videos - something that would allow anyone to look at it and get a basic understanding of what is being conveyed.
The training experience is divided into 3 days of training, and a three-week shadowing session:
Overview of the Service
Amira, who has been looking for a way to help out her community, finds about the training program through a flyer and applies immediately. After an on-site interview and careful considering by the prosthetist, she is accepted into the program and is asked to come in for a 3-day training session.
On the first day of session, all of the trainees introduce themselves to each other. The prosthetist spends the rest of the day walking through the current situations of their patients, the process of treating and fitting patients, and things to keep in mind as they learn and help fit patients.
Patient Assessment Chatbot
Assessing the patient is an important first step toward providing prosthetics care. Some amputees may benefit from using prosthetics over wheelchairs, while some may not.
This chatbot is used to help the medical center verify the patient’s situation. It's also a tool used in the training process to help trainees in understanding the key components of patient assessment.
Text the chatbot at +1 (619) 308-6066,
or view the Facebook Messenger chatbot here.
On the second day of the session, Amira walks to the medical center where she meets the patient that will be treated that day. Amira and the other trainees are given the information about the patient that was filled out during the chatbot pre-evaluation.
Prosthetics Care Guide
The Prosthetics Care Guide (PCG) allows trainees to review the lessons at home taught by the prosthetist during the training at the Medical Center.
The lessons are divided between day one, day two, and day three of training, as well as the three-week shadowing sessions. Each lesson includes subcategories of the information taught - a more simplified version of physical lesson booklets reviewed at the Medical Center, yet still keeping all the valuable content for the trainee to review.
On the third day of the session, all of the trainees are shown how to customize the prosthetic for the patient and observe how to fit it onto the limb.
As the three-day training session ends, the trainees are given an evaluation of their performance up to this point. They hear what they are doing well so far and what they can improve on, which will be addressed during the shadowing session.
Over the course of the shadowing session, Amira begins to understand the complexity of assembling and fitting a prosthetic and is able to know all of the steps involved.
Once the shadowing session is over, Amira schedules an on-site evaluation with the prosthetist, that will help the prosthetist to evaluate if she understands all the components toward the fitting and care-giving process.
Designing the Service
Discovery and Synthesis
In order to identify a specific opportunity area in the Syrian refugee crisis, it was important for us grasp and understand the context of the crisis to the best of our abilities. As a group, we went through a two-week defining phase where we gathered as much research, which was later mapped into a refugee's journey, from beginning to end.
During our team's discovery phase, we learned about barrel bombs and the sheer amount of casualties and injuries caused by these bombings. We saw an opportunity to address the need of supplying prosthetics to amputees. We further confirmed this need through interviews with prosthetists and subject matter experts in the Syrian refugee crisis.
After further investigating areas of focus in supplying prosthetics to amputees, we narrowed our options to a few design directions: Providing a self-care kit for the patient, Creating a mobile care unit, and Establishing a psycho-social peer network.
Defining the Problem Space
As we analyzed and synthesized our research, we mapped out a macro service that would address all of our design directions previously chosen, from establishing a care facility to providing follow-up care. We interpreted "end-to-end" service as having to cover most, if not all the main friction points in the larger problem space.
However, as we started accounting for the service's desirability, viability and feasibility, it became clear to us that it would not be viable to create a macro service that covered all the larger friction points.
We revisited our research and found that interviewees had expressed a critical shortage of people needed to provide care to amputees (despite an existing and steady supply of prosthetics, given most prosthetic companies have a non-profit arm). We narrowed our service to focus on the micro training component, as the need for training people to fit prosthetics had the greatest opportunity for impact.
Communicating Service Design Concepts
A journey map was created in order to show the educational training experience from the perspective of a local in Lebanon who is interested in becoming a trainee to treat Syrian refugee amputees. The trainee’s end-to-end journey considers nine experience stages, the actions taken through multiple touch-points, their thoughts and emotional journey possibly generated through their journey
Prosthetic Care Guide App
"Day 2 of Training"
The PCG app allows trainees to review the lessons at home taught by the prosthetist during the training at the Medical Center.
The lessons are divided between day one, day two, day three of training, and a three-week shadowing session. Given time constraints, we weren’t able to prototype all lessons. We decided to prototype "day 2 of training - understanding how to measure for customization" as it is the touchpoint most prone to memory retention friction in the trainee's journey.
Learnings & Outcomes
This project was my first time designing an end-to-end deployable service with multiple touch-points. I learned that as a service designer, when designing for a community I’m not a part of, I hold an ethical responsibility to 1) understand the problem space throughly, and 2) prioritize community inclusion in the service, as instead of outsourcing, making local champions the main actors creates a bigger impact loop within the micro and macro problem space.
LIM Prosthetics is considering expanding their business overseas and partnering with community-driven organizations. At the end of the project, we handed them the service delivery model. They are free to use the model as a basis to partner and expand overseas.