Designing for life after chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan-Kettering

December 16, 2009 § Leave a comment

For over six months, I was a warrior. From one infusion to the next, there was always another battle. Then came the end of chemotherapy. Driving home from my last appointment, I had to pull over. I was having a panic attack. What next? I was now a warrior without a war. It was just me. And the rest of my life. —Joan, Cancer Survivor

I just wrapped up a project for Memorial Sloan-Kettering as part of a seminar in Service Design taught by Mark Jones of IDEO. Joining me on the project were three of my colleagues from the Institute of Design: Jessica Striebich, Nikhil Mathew, and Julia (Joohyun) Lyoo.

While this presentation represents preliminary thinking toward providing a service design solution, there exists an undeniable void with regard to codified psychosocial care during and following chemotherapy. It’s also undeniable that many of the analytical tools and algorithms used to aggregate and analyze online sentiment can very practically be applied to tracking and visualizing a chemotherapy patient’s emotional journey.

It’s my hope that our thinking on low- and high-tech continuity of psychosocial care aids efforts at MSK and other cancer centers . . . drop me a line if you should happen upon this and find our thinking useful for similar projects.

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