Industrial - Bachelors
EVA is an AI device focusing on treating mental health through its whole journey with monitoring and therapy techniques. EVA is designed to replicate life, using the senses of touch, feel, sight, sound and movement to best connect with the user. Using the AI and embedded sensors the device can monitor you through your health journey and employ treatment to help combat health.
It was about 6 years ago when coming home from AFL my father was caught driving under the influence of alcohol, after going home while we were playing to go and drink. This was the start of the slow cycle downwards for where, over the years countless more incidents have occurred with the worst experienced with the combination of alcohol. This has not only affected my father but also our family, with many fractured relationships that has affected our health as well, while experiencing this mental change. Over the years I have continued to wonder how and why? I have been questioning the current methods of treatment and how we can better our health and, most importantly, limit the worst side of depression.
Less than 50% of people living with depression globally are receiving treatment as this big problem we are facing has inspired me into the topic of mental health, where we have seen the prevalence of this disease rapidly rise due to stressful living and tough times as it can impact a user’s education, work, relationships and cause disability. This illness is literally killing people with about 3,000 people dying each year in Australia from suicide, and the number have been rapidly rising since the early 2000s.
The research phase of the project was conducted using action research, employing the technique of interviews and secondary research to best gather my data. I conducted this in two cycle phases, the first being with a former professor in facility of health at QUT and the next phase with a social worker at Currumbin Clinic and a patient who is also my user. From this I explore the disconnections between the current system where I extrapolated out important themes which included Rehabilitation, User Behaviour, Routines and Life Stages, Brain and Sound, Nature and body.
The user was the most important aspect of the project, luckily/unluckily I had a user for a primary source of information. This information was critical in empathizing with more users and mapping out characteristics and establishing touch points of which the product intervention could impact. Through all of the user data gathered my priority target market is those aged from 16 – 45 years old with still consideration for those outside this age.
The most important aspect of health is how things shift, and the time where people experience different things, which can make mental health so unpredictable. To effectively make a difference to mental health we need to look at the whole journey from a current state to the downfall cycle, then to our worst state. Each aspect needs to be targeted so we can assess behaviours, signs, mood and what is our best self to develop relationships.
The user’s environment plays a huge role, where research found that rehabilitation can be used like a high and putting a user back into the world creates so many challenges, as finding that even the most safest of places, like your bedroom, can be the worse for a user with bad thoughts, stemming from this place.
I envisage the best mental health system would offer treatment without stigmatising attitudes, one that genuinely acknowledges distress and validates a persons’ feelings and can offer assistance rather than judgement and advising a patient of what they can do to alleviate their distress and not to focus solely on what will NOT work.”SANE Ambassadors, SANE australia, 2019
Designed to stimulate life in a new form, EVA is here for us! Driven from research and development, EVA can help connect us back with life and how we treat our own health. The AI system will grow with the user and learn their strength and weaknesses using monitoring, tracking and voice/tone recognition with the combination of designed activities focusing on stress relieving, relaxation and understanding. This helps the device work together with the user to improve their overall health and combining both monitoring and therapeutic tools inside a small adaptable device can greatly improve the way we experience environments and the dynamic shift of health.
The EVA app is designed to provide the user with more tools in their journey
Features in the app will consist of activity tracking, health monitoring, reflective and daily sessions, activities, guides, experience and exercise modes as well as destress/ breathing exercise options with also an option to connect with others. These features will add a more personalised feel to the user where they can better in-sync their experience and key goals.
If the user is diagnosed with a mental health problem then their will be an option for their doctor or close contact to have another app experience tailored for them to better connect with how the user is going. A key interaction here is when a user is in a critical state where the device can detect this and notify their close contact or doctors so they can get help where the device will enter a safety first approach.
The biggest feature that is incorporated into the app and device is the ability to send and receive heart beats where the user can physically feel it with EVA. This can provide a poetic nature of sorts in promoting life and letting the user know their not alone.
The device is made up of 31 components all fitting within a 12.5 mm thickness body. The small size was vital in order for users to feel comfortable to wear and be portable. Joining the components will consist of mechanical fasting and adhesive where we can take apart the product and recycle for end of use.
The main body elements consisting of the frame which will be made up of strong Aluminium so that the device is durable and can hold the components. The side grips will be made of soft silicone for a comfortable fit in the hand and to allow a squishy feel. The top will also be made from silicone with a very slight Voronoi texture and the back will be made from a Sega fabric for its aesthetic appeal as well as making the device feel more soft and approachable. The fabric is used so that the mic and speakers can work properly as these elements combined help convey a sensory experience for the individual that is only amplified with all of its interactions.
The shapeshifting top will be achieved with the use of magnetic 3D printed shapeshifting polymer where we can program it to do different movements in response to a magnetic force. Their is currently huge potential for this to grow to being remotely controlled and to have huge impact within soft robotics and health. EVA controls the shapeshifting polymer using an electro magnet under the polymer which will have a series of different magnets with different forces that when applied the polymer will shapeshift into the flexible top.
To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry.”Paul Rand: A Designer’s ART, 2000
I believe that the process is the most important part to any design, without backing or informative information then the design cannot succeed. I strive myself on the process establishing a strong development record packed with research, concepts, development and continued iteration, following the double diamond process of design. The development of EVA encompasses 15 weeks of hard work where the first half was focused on research and initial concept moving to the second half focusing on prototyping and development of the design. From this I made my own plan to succeed with regular action and reflective plans to ensure I was meeting the requirements of each stage.
Implemented into the four main health phases discovered through research, EVA will adapt to the user and their health. Through the general wellbeing phase the device will be less active and more used for entertainment like feeling music and movies. During mild symptoms the device will have more communication and mood/stress altering activities. Entering the depression stage the device will encourage more sessions with a focus on reflections and ways to improve, with additional stress/mood activities. When severely depressed, EVA will take a safety approach and let their close contact know and connect them. Here their close contact person can send them their heart beat to promote life or/and get help as EVA will employ slight interactions to boost back health.
Applying EVA to the whole cycle of health not only provides a better chance of establishing an ongoing connection but ensures we can navigate each phase a user may experience where we can prevent the worse from happening and promote the use of motivation and participation within individuals.
Everything that matters in living systems – what makes the difference between something living or not living – is motion, and motion is ultimately the result of shape transformationNathalie Katsonis, Harnessing the power of shape – shifitng polymers, 2018
Striving for complexed challenges to solve, Jordan tries to think differently focusing on the design process exploring it from multiple angles with plenty of research and iteration to find the best solution. He prides himself on pushing his boundaries to reach great final outcomes and design impact.