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MedScan : community

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How did this design improve life?:
Our world is constantly changing, it gets more crowded by the day, and people are getting more mobile than ever before. Technology plays an increasing role in our everyday life.
And yet with all this technology, the medical sector falls back on enormous amounts of paperwork.
One of the mayor complaints is that people’s medical information is not available across hospitals, so in every new hospital a new medical file is to be made. This takes time and time costs money. This results in not-quite-so-fast services on times that people need them the most, it also results in higher operating costs for hospitals and the entire healthcare sector.
It is a clear fact that people, especially the elderly, are going to increasingly have themselves diagnosed at the comfort of their own homes. Yet without a proper structure supporting this, it will never grow as big as it can and should.

The MedScan system offers a solution to most of these problems.
It enables people to diagnose themselves and upload this to the network, where it becomes part of their medical file. It enables doctors to immediately get access to the information they need such as intolerances of their patient and previously done examinations. They can get better insight into their patients health situation by having the ability to compare their findings with those of other experts. Hospitals will always know immediately which patient lies where and why he lies there.
Also it enables a faster way of taking care of the insurance and healthcare payments by directly sending the billings to them.

A system like this needs high security, not only to protect the valuable files, but also to get people to use it. It is easier adopting a secure system than a not-so-secure one.
This is why we recommend the use of a fingerprintscanner, it makes for a clear contact with the securing devices of the MedScan system. People will have to place their thumb on the scanner in order for the doctors to access the more secured files. Not every doctor has access to the full information, the MedScan system consists of layers requiring several clearance levels. For example: A doctor might be able to access the history of diagnoses but not the dental records, while a pharmacist can only access the subscriptions made by specialists without being able to change anything. Only the owner of the MedKey can have access to all the files, but in a manner that is clear to the masses, so they can understand their own medical situation.

The MedScan system uses wireless technologies to communicate between units. For example: when one enters a hospital or even an ambulance, their MedKey gets scanned and the authorised personnel gets access to the required information. The use of these wireless technologies might also make it easier to find people after disasters and to identify otherwise unrecognisable bodies.

The MedKey is chosen to be a stylised shape of a large fang, yet with a slight glow to it. This is to relate it back to the time when shamans used to heal with the powers of the earth, it should give a feeling of comfort and security to people, just like they prefer earth tones in colour after great distress. Nature seems to have a characteristic that makes people feel safe and calm, and this is what healthcare should be like. It should be clear and understandable, safe to use and free of unwanted hassle and paperwork. It should be advanced yet not to distant for those who require it.
Name of Designer(s):
Joost Vannieuwenhuyse
Designers professional status:
Student
Status of realization:
Not realized
Kind of design:
Intangible design
Year of production, realization or publishing:
2005
Designed in country:
Belgium
Used on continents:
Entire World
Short description of design:
MedScan is both tangible and non-tangible.
The non-tangible part is the MedNet a network containing the medical files.
The tangible part consists of the MedKey, which contains a chip and stands in for the connection to MedNet. The other part is the MedStation a thumbprintscanner allowing for high security of personal records.
Functionallity and use of design:
MedScan is first and foremost a network the MedNet.
The MedKey is a plastic object containing a chip, the necessary items for wireless communication automatically connecting it to the MedNet
The MedStation is a plastic object containing a fingerprintscanner, for securing the health files; and the necessary items for wireless communication.
Drawbacks of life improvement:
It is possible that people will at first be rather conservative about having all their personal information on a network
Also for it to be at its most effective state, the MedScan system should be used internationally, a goal that is not easily achieved
As with all digital information, there is a risk of hacking, with identity-theft being a growing crime, the availability of this system might make such crimes easier. So high security is of the utmost importance.
Currently the medical world is still somewhat conservative against this sort of accessability, mainly because of privacy regulations.
A new type of international law will have to be instated to accommodate and protect the people from misuse.
Research and need:
MedScan started from my belief that the medical world is to complex.
Extensive research was done by interviewing people on how they looked upon technology in the medical sector, as well as their current perceptions of the medical systems.
Also frequent talks with people from the industry and sector were done to get a system that, although maybe still a bit futuristic and conceptual, was acceptable for them.
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