Gabriele's Blog

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August 18th, Tuesday: The class starts. I'm really eager to learn a lot from this unknown topic for me.

August 20th, Thursday: Today we start learning some interesting info about onsite health centers, where they are, how they operate, what they offer. I join a new group and meet my new mates for some research and discussion about health centers.

August 25th, Tuesday: The homework for today was to prepare and present the results of our research on health centers. Many groups presented a lot of useful pieces of information I didn't know about, since my groupmates and I focused more on the most common problems concerning health centers. We are the last group to present, but we have to internet connection, so we can't access our presentation.

August 27th, Thursday: The visit to the Health Center here at GeorgiaTech is absolutely interesting. We are given some useful hints and precautions for avoiding swine flu, as well as some information on how it works and how it can be contracted. Going around the health center is a nice experience, since we discover that not everything is as perfect as one could expect, especially for many little details that one could not notice in normal conditions. Anyway, there seems to be a good attention to detail, like the TVs in the waiting room and the colored signs outside the rooms. We try to do our presentation at the end of the visit, but the Internet is not available here either, and we forgot to bring a usb key. I start to think we are somewhat cursed...

September 1st, Tuesday: We are presented more information, mostly regarding design of hospitals taking care of light and sound for example. It's incredible to discover that patients in hospitals can found themselves in such noisy environments! We try, for the third time, to do our presentation, this time with 2 usb keys (1 for backup, you never know...). Sadly neither one seems to be recognized by the computer (actually they are, but they're not shown), but eventually we manage to do it.

September 3rd, Thursday: The path of knowledge has no end, and today we keep walking fast on it. More information is given, and the picture is becoming a little more clear, though still a bit confused: not having a background in this field is easy, and coming to the United States for the first time without ever being in one of their hospitals doesn't help. We present a little skit recreating some particular problem of health centers. It's funny to see so many exaggerations that seem silly, but in the end they are true problems.

September 8th, Tuesday: The skit presentations continue, a funny hour today.

September 10th, Thursday: We split in groups and start talking about problems and possible solutions regarding onsite health centers. We're somewhat starting working for the project!

September 15th, Tuesday: Today we had and incredible guest, Ned Cooper from CHS, who presented their company, what they do, how and where. It's interesting to hear how thing we have just read about so far actually work in the real world, and what the main issues are.

September 17th, Thursday: Presentations day today; a lot of interesting problems and questions arose, as well as some good proposal for solutions to them and onsite health centers in general.

September 22nd, Tuesday: Today the last three presentations were done, and then we started a new interesting exercise: creating a room layout from a photo of an exam room (or something equivalent). It was challenging since it's hard to derive exact dimensions from a still image, but using some particulars such as a checkered floor (you say this is cheating? Well, it's not my fault if the photo was like that... =) ) I think we achieved a good result. Perhaps stereo images could help in this task, especially when depth is involved. It would be very nice to try... With this exercise I realized I knew about technical design more than I expected.

September 24th, Thursday: The visit of the clinic at the CNN center this morning was really interesting, because it gave us the opportunity to see a clinic at an actual work site (considering that the one in GeorgiaTech is mainly for students), and at the same time to hear from a company which provides such services. The seminar in the afternoon was extremely useful, because it showed us how to recognize problems from images/video, but most of all how to separate personal opinions from observations.

September 29th, Tuesday: Today there was a nice presentation on the analysis of current and future problems, as well as an interesting discussion on the kind of proposal for our project. It seems like it is harder than expected, especially because the access to real onsite clinics is extremely limited and usually not during business hours. We have to find some solution to this problem...

October 1st, Thursday: We discussed about some key concepts and phrases regarding onsite clinics, in order to focus on the main aspects and have a more clear idea. We also tried to highlight some numbers for creating a new clinic in GeorgiaTech.

October 8th, Thursday: New interesting presentations on field observation and floor analysis today. As usual ours took too long =)

October 13th, Tuesday: Consolidation session today =) We're getting really close to the final definition of the problem we're going to work on for the next few weeks.

October 15th, Thursday: As with lottery, we chose 3 topic we want to focus on for defining a problem and finding a solution. Today I had the feeling we were almost wasting time in a wrong approach. Perhaps letting us define the problems first and then find the general categories would have been more effective, because many interesting problems can be part of more than one single category. Furthermore, we are given the homework of writing the formal definition of the problems we want to work on, as well as do some research to find what has already been done and how big the window of possibility is. There is a very short time to do all this, and I have the feeling that there is a great difference between what we do during class and what we have to do at home, perhaps a better scheduling would make our life easier and could yield better results.

October 20th, Tuesday: NOP

October 22nd, Thursday: NOP

October 27th, Tuesday: Just a little bit of talking about the project (again) to figure out what the actual problem is and what we can do to solve it.

October 29th, Thursday: Today we discovered we have MUCH LESS time than previously scheduled to finish our mock up and I feel quite uncomfortable with this...

November 3rd, Tuesday: Some good progress with the project, but the time is getting more and more stringent.

November 5th, Thursday: Meeting with CHS people to present them our solution proposal. The feeling doesn't change: the time is still not enough and probably we spent too much time at the beginning of the course without really having a chance of understanding what the needs are.

November 10th, Tuesday: Presentation of our proposal.

November 12th, Thursday: Work on the design of our mobile clinic.

November 17th, Tuesday: Another day completely wasted. Finally we received some very useful help and feedback. Now we have a solid idea and design, but no time, no resources and no money. How are we supposed to build everything with nothing in just one week?

November 19th, Thursday: Finally we started moving furniture around, which means we started working on our mobile clinic! It's no longer an empty space. Even if it's still not really full, it's at least getting a shape. After all I am really looking forward to seeing how the final work is, as well as our (planned for now) model which should show the flexibility of our solution.