Project Ideas

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Objective- Create a patient-centered environment that provides a sense of control and caters to patient's unique needs and desires.




Kids like to explore, but the realities of security for both patients and hospital personnel and materials usually means that they can't really go anywhere without supervision. Using RFID tags carried by the children to lock and unlock areas that they can safely be allowed to roam freely, we hope to facilitate the children's desire to explore while maintaining hospital and patient security. Also, adding activities, toys, or kiosks around the safe-explore areas could further make the kids feel welcome and at home.

Game Repository

It's really neat that the kids can watch DVDs while they're getting transfusions/dialysis, but idea could go a bit further. Using off the shelf components, we could make a repository of games playable using software emulators from a wide variety of game systems. For most of the classic stuff, we could probably just have a handful of servers running to service pretty much the entire hospital, but it gets a bit more computationally (and monetarily) expensive to give kids access to newer games.

The other big problem is the copyrights on the games. Building a prototype as a class project is certainly protected under fair use, but if actual deployment is a goal, then we need to consider just how we're going to get all these copyright holders to sign on. They'll almost certainly charge some licensing fee, but it's possible they may cut the hospitals a deal what with them being, y'know, children's hospitals and all. The opportunities for publicity might sway their money-laden hearts.

Remote Presence

Kids that are stuck in bed or just in one place for an extended period of time miss out on a lot of socialization and play opportunities. A system that allows these children to be able to interact and play with other kids from their rooms (or wherever they're stuck) without going anywhere could go a long way towards making these kids happier.

I've got a couple of ideas in this vein. One is a play station in the play areas where other kids who can freely move about can see and interact with the kids who are stuck in bed. The simplest version of this is basically a camera and a monitor on one end of a checker board, but the idea could be extended through the inclusion of things like mobility (a camera and lcd on wheels) or the ability to physically interact (robot arm?).

My other idea in this realm is an online space that the kids can play together in. Give the kids the ability to interact online with other kids in the hospital or beyond, and give them games and activities to do. This could be paired with the game repository. Even something as simple as watching a movie with another kid whose face you can see could go a long way towards making the children feel like they're actually playing with someone and not just stuck in bed.

JIT Nutrition

Problem: Ability to feed patients who vary in age with different nutritional needs and restrictions.


  • Develop a JIT nutritional plan that interfaces with the patient's EMR and the hospital cafeteria
  • Improve hospital efficiency, reduce waste, and provide customizable options.
  • Allow patients to make smart choices and eat on their schedule


  • This interface will allow patients to choose their meal from a touch screen that gives them options based on their dietary needs and the food available from the hospital

Self-Registration Kiosks

Registration centers where repeat patients can use bar-coded cards (similar to a CVS card) to check-in. These systems would be applicable to the asthma or sickle cell clinics at Hugh Spalding.


  • To streamline the registration process for repeat patients
  • Provide a medium for caregivers to personalize a patient’s experience
  • Educate patients based on their current and historical conditions


  • Scanning the patients card will immediately bring up the patients personal and insurance information and past visits. Patients will have the ability to update any personal information and enter the reason for their visit.
  • A personalized patient page will also be available for patients to enter special information about themselves such as; favorite color, favorite food, or special caregiver they have been treated by. This will help caregivers provide a personalized experience.
  • Educational information will also be available based on the current reason for visit and on historical conditions or existing treatments.


Internal Connectivity Tool

Children have different communicational needs. This system would use a device that is patient-centered, intuitive, built with the adolescent in mind, and fun to use to help children communicate between people in the hospital (from clinicians to newly-made friends), while also serving as a functional clinical tool (e.x. call button). Firefly.jpg

Home away from home

The objective of this idea is to help transform the Hospital look & feel into a more "Home like" place. This can be achieved by creating storage space for lockers where repeat visitors (Asthma & Sickle Cell) can keep some belongings (i.e. photos, plush toys, favorite DVD & Story books) which can help transform the room into a friendlier & more desirable environment for the childern. Furthermore, designing of the room should accommodate these items. So more Shelves for picture frames, connections for PS3's ..etc

Pain Free Pals

The objective of pain free pals is to provide sickle cell patients with a stuffed animal that can track their pain and provide them with a positive, educational distraction. One of the main symptoms of sickle cell is severe pain. This pal will have sensors in it where children can push on the sensors to describe where they have there pain. The pal can provide comfort to the child by understanding what they are going through and by providing education about their pain. The pal can understand the severity of the pain and help educate the child and parent about what they can do to alleviate the pain and if they need to see a doctor.


The Asthma Link

The objective of the Asthma Link is to create an online community for kids with asthma. Even though this disease affects many children, they still need a means to talk with other children facing the same difficulties. This site can be used to make friends, learn about their disease, and create a one-stop shop for them to manage their symptoms. This child-friendly, on-line community can feature blogs, Q&A with doctors, and symptom warning and advice pages. The goal is to give kids more control of their disease management and empowerment to overcome the obstacles.