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Amulet: A Secure Wearable Mobile Health Device

Creative Fields

Engineering, Product Design

 

Course or Client

Dartmouth Center for Technology, Security, and Society

 

Completion Date

Spring 2014

 

Skills

Product Design        Electronics Integration

Injection Molding             

   

"The Evolution of Amulet" (above) was featured at the Dartmouth Arts Exhibition DAX 2014 digital arts showcase.

The Amulet was presented at the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival and funded by the National Science Foundation.

Challenge: Build a prototype secure wearable mobile health device within current hardware and software constrainst.

Overview

 

The Amulet is a mobile health hub which interacts with body area sensors to streamline data collection, actuation and analysis. Working in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team of Dartmouth professors, I envisioned and iteratively prototyped several physical bracelets and developed the Amulet UI/UX. This project was begun and envisioned in the early days of mobile and wearable health. The Amulet network hub is important both for medical researchers as well as users who seek to consistently monitor symptoms of chronic disease. The vision is that computational jewelry will provide available, reliable, and secure hubs for body-area mHealth networks. 

 

This project gave me insight into the breadth of the human centered design process. I spearheaded initial user research, brainstorming, rapid prototyping, software and hardware integration, user interface design, brand development, and the manufacturing process including CAD design, 3d printed mold making, and injection molded prototypes.

 

The Need

 

How might we enable people with type II diabetes to consistently monitor symptoms and improve health outcomes?

 

My key insight was that consistently monitoring health indicators provides the opportunity to accurately diagnose and intervene at critical moments to prevent or manage the exacerbation of chronic diseases. Amulet is a disease disruptive technology.

Tech Specs on Final Prototype

Monochrome 128x32 I2C, 7x25mm OLED display

Polymer Lithium Ion Battery 110 mAh, 3.7V, 7.5x12x28 mm, 2.65 g

7.35 inch inner circumference, approximately 2.2 oz in weight

Process

 

My design and manufacturing process involved numerous sketches, rough proof-of-concepts, rapid 3D printing, silicone molding, building up to a hand injection molded prototype.  Furture iterations of course would have involved mold design, but I was limited by the machines available in the shop. I designed the first 3D printed molds in our machine shop, and created numerous iterations with different materials as well as experimented with embedding electronics. CAD designs of the bracelet as well as the mold were constantly revised to meet the needs of the team and user specifications.

 

To develop the electronics I worked with a hardware engineer to optimize the current board to make it "wearable" size.  I also spec'ed out and ordered the LCD display and battery. 

 

I conducted the entire research, ideation, prototyping process, including learning injection molding and SolidWorks advanced mold design over the course of eight weeks. After completing my course, the team hired me to finish the first working prototype with integrated electronics for a presentation at the USA Science and Engineering Festival and the National Science Foundation.

Interface

How users feel towards the Amulet is important to the design.  Other bracelets like the Fuelband or the Fitbit seek to celebrate active lifestyles through reinforcing feedback.  Amulet, on the other hand, needs to invoke a sense of trust, avoid stigmas associated with disease, and be non-invasive to daily life.  Due to hardware constraints, I developed two designs. The first, developer model, was feasible with the current hardware size, and the second generation, user model,  anticipates the use of flex PCB and board miniaturization.

 

The user model incorporates four hidden LED symbols to discreetly communicate with the user in conjunction with vibration, and more in-depth interface on the smartphone app.

 

The Solution

 

Amulet provides a multifaceted mobile health intervention, integrating glucose monitoring, insulin injections, exercise, and healthy eating.  Furthermore, Amulet’s solution creates a new platform for mHealth innovation by integrating secure health monitoring with accessible and non-stigmatizing design.   

 

My vision for Amulet goes beyond monitoring a single disease. As a hub for any body area sensor networks, Amulet aggregates and processes symptom data, actuates responses, and alerts and informs the patient and medical provider network.  This platform allows other developers to write disease specific applications for flexible multi-functionality.