Navigating the ideation phase of the Health for America (HFA) at MedStar Health program, the fellows generated hundreds of ideas, iteratively narrowed them, then developed two leading solutions.
The fluid networks built and the research conducted throughout the HFA exploration phase fed organically into the ideation phase of the fellows’ work. Their exploration groundwork enabled them to capture and embody the spirit of human-centered design through ideation: designing for the user, with the user.
Finding the Needs First
Some of the most important and actionable learning during the fellows’ exploration phase was finding and crystallizing needs within the stroke care continuum. Two, in particular, captured their attention and shaped the solutions they will carry forward.
The first was the difficulty of the hospital-to-home transition, when stroke survivors and their families often reported feeling “lost” at critical phases of transition. These include from inpatient to outpatient rehabilitation, and from outpatient rehabilitation to home. The latter requires that survivors and their caregivers “fend for themselves” and search for further resources without a hospital network to support them. As an added challenge to survivors and caregivers navigating these transitions, the basics of stroke education and management often aren’t universally known. This points to a need for an improved way to connect stroke survivors and their caregivers to stroke education and management resources.
The second identified need was the incidence of “wake-up” strokes, in which a person experiences a stroke during sleep and thus has no way of knowing what time the onset occurred. As a result, physicians cannot administer clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or perform clot-retrieving thrombectomy for lack of a “last known normal” which would place the patient in the 4.5-hour tPA and 6-hour mechanical thrombectomy eligibility timeframe.
Following is a preliminary overview of the two solutions that emerged to address these areas of need, respectively: Galva, a personalized stroke education and wellness program; and KnightCap, a smart sleep mask for stroke monitoring. The fellows will continue to research and develop both in the implementation phase that launched in early April. As detailed in our director’s recent blog post, this represents a “2017 program pivot” from selecting one solution that’s traditionally been implemented as with the past. Katia and King are teaming up on the day-to-day development of Galva, while Mike and Stephanie are continuing to bring the designs for KnightCap to fruition. Meanwhile, the HFA fellows seize opportunities to continue working and brainstorming together regularly, serving as one another’s greatest strategists and supporters and seeking to address the needs of stroke survivors more holistically. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more throughout this journey, as the 2016-17 fellows seek ways to sustain these solutions.
Galva is a personalized education and wellness program for stroke survivors and caregivers. Galva offers a novel solution to patient education and stroke management that empowers stroke survivors and caregivers to feel supported and hopeful about their ability to navigate the challenges ahead. Using the novel approach of experiential microlearning through empowerment kits containing wellness resources, modified educational flashcards, and an online social platform, stroke survivors and their families learn about the condition together in a meaningful—and galvanizing—way.
Using a series of three personalized empowerment kits delivered strategically throughout inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, and ongoing recovery, Galva enables survivors and caregivers to better manage life after stroke. As examples, these wellness resources might include a mindfulness book, grip exercise tool, and low-sodium snack, among other items. Overall, Galva serves to improve patient satisfaction, increase patient engagement and retention, lower readmission rates, and transform stroke management by educating, engaging, and galvanizing stoke survivors and caregivers.
Learn more about the current iteration of Galva here.
KnightCap is an intelligent sleep mask with a built-in EEG monitoring system to continuously track and analyze brain signals that may indicate a possible stroke during sleep. This device is comprised of a streamlined electrode system that pairs to an external KnightStand hub. In the case of a possible stroke, KnightCap will create a timestamp to identify time of onset and emit an alarm to wake the user and give him/her the opportunity to check for stroke symptoms and alert emergency services within the 4- to 6-hour treatment window. This technology is supported by a significant number of clinical studies coupling changes in cerebral blood flow to EEG waveform anomalies that have been shown to occur within 5 minutes of stroke onset. KnightCap is designed to be given to recent stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), atrial fibrillation (AFib), and other at-risk populations upon hospital discharge to wear to sleep for 30 days, the period when patients are at exceptionally high risk for stroke.
Moreover, KnightCap helps patients holistically at a vulnerable touch-point in their stroke journey through KnightEd, an educational touch-screen platform built into the KnightStand hub that holds the sleep mask and charging station. The interactive KnightEd console provides patient education, connects patients to resources, and increases stroke and rehabilitation awareness.
Learn more about the current iteration of KnightCap here.