Oct 2020- Dec 2020 


In collaboration with: 

Willem Tauveron 

Sabrina Barona-reinoso 


Inclusive Design, Nethography, Ethnography, Design Research, Human-centered Design


Miro, Rhinoceros 3D + Keyshot, Powerpoint 

The Problem

A pandemic causes many difficulties for many people, because of this they have to distance themselves from loved ones and self isolate. This can lead to people developing depression due to the mandatory isolation and not feeling connected to those who matter most in a time of need.

We wanted to created a product that will positively impact patients and will prevent depression, which can harm the recovery process.

Designing During a Pandemic: Conceptualizing Improvement in The Lived Experience of Cancer Patients with Leukemia 

Our Solution 

Our final product is a Hug Medical ID Wristband, that brings warmth and comfort when users are separated from their families and caregivers. Through this product we are trying to break down the walls of isolation between caregivers and patients by making feel connected, even at a distance. In addition, the bracelet can also provides both wearers with each others heartbeat, which can be felt through the bracelet. This feature is meant to emulate a hug through feedback and warmth. All this technology will be connected to and complimentary app we have designed. Which provides the caregiver with real time updates of the patient's condition and progress in treatment.


Design: I drew initial concept drawings, constructed final presntation, and designed final 3D mockup based on feedback from group. 

 Research: I helped conduct brainstorm sessions with the group and and analyzed interview and secondary research results.

About the User

Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood cells. First emerging in the body's bone marrow where stem cells are grown, stem cells are undesignated cells waiting to be assigned jobs.  Leukemia is the overproduction of these cells, causing them to mutate and have an abnormality that stunts them. The body is unable to make working cells and is overcrowded with cancer cells.

A body that isn't at work is a body at risk of immune and respiratory infections. Meaning the body can no longer fight off these infections slowly killing the host.

Why is This Important? 

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread globally since being identified. Hospitals have been overwhelmed and have had to make fast adaptations to procedures to try and combat COVID-19’s rapid human‐to‐human transmission. Leukemia Cancer patients frequently visit hospitals for Chemo treatment and disease surveillance. These individuals are immunocompromised due to their illness and anticancer therapy, making them extremely high risk for development of COVID-19. Because of this there has been an influx of caregiver and patient anxiety, as well as more need for patient isolation and testing leading to feelings of depression and fear. The systems in place are not well adapted to cancer and caregiver depression as well as anxiety brought on by COVID. This is an opportunity to rethink how we deal with Cancer medical isolation as well as re-evaluate the dynamic relationship between caregivers and themselves.

Project Timeline 



Understanding Problem Space 

Defining Project Goal


Creating Design Proposal 



(20) Nethographic 

(1) User Interview 

(16) Environmental Scans 

(25) Literature Reviews 

Empathy Mapping 

Affinity Mapping 

Ice Berg Model 


Journey Mapping  



(3) Initial Design Concepts 


Sketches Refined

User Testing

3D Mockups 


Research Methods Used: 


  • 16 Envermental Scans
  • 25 Literature Reviews 
  • 3 Market Scans 


  • 20 Nethographic 
  • 1 Semi Structured Interview  


Though a personal interview and extensive Netnography, our team was able to gain insight and learn about how the caregiver and the patient are affected by stress, depression and isolation as a result of the pandemic. In addition to this, our team gathered environmental and academic literature that focused on the difficulties that Leukemia patients go through on a daily basis and during chemotherapy.

The major points found in our research were the stress of their; 

  • Diagnosis
  • Difficulties of isolation for caregiver and patient
  • Overwhelming nature of cancer itself

Key Insights

1. Caregivers are motivated by feeling useful

2. Not being able to be around loved ones can lead to grief during isolation

3. Uncertainty of the future

4. COVID-19 and the effects on hospital organization leading to stress and anxiety

5. Importance of support systems in caring for patients

6. The cancer experience can have positive aspects


Design Opportunity

From the insights gathered and extensive research collected, me and my group where able to create these (3) initial designs to tackle the problem space:    

Concept 1- CareGiver Care

Designed by: Sabrina Barona-reinoso 


This app was designed with the caregivers needs in mind. Providing them with a platform that is their own. Highlighting the need for "me time" and giving caretakers a time to brake meditate and cool down. 

Concept 2- Activity App

Designed by: Willem Tauveron


A user intuitive Iv pole that makes mobility in the household simple. This pole has flexible spring loaded feet that provide stability to the user, but also roll over uneven surfaces with ease. This design focuses on user mobility in the household, with the intention of making the caregivers role easier.

Concept 3- Hug Medical ID Band 

Designed by: Jaclyn Flomen


From our research we have discovered this need for balance. Trying to replicate this idea and concept we made connections to a hug and the lack of them in the era of COVID. This bracelets goal is to emulate the sensation of a hug with warmth and smell. To provide comfort for cancer patients and caregivers in isolation.


From the feedback given the group was able to come to this conclusion: 

We had sketched out append designs for caregivers relating to burnout and app designs related to motivating leukemia patients to exercise and be healthy, all ideas revolved around the main theme of mental wellness and helping to combat depression. 

Our group had decided that this concept of how we could emulate the feeling of a hug and the caregiver burnout app were two very strong ideas and had a lot of research to help support these as valuable solutions. So from that we devised a method of merging these two ideas into a product+app solution working for both the caregiver and cancer patient. As from our research we have discovered that these two users share connected pain points as well. In our case by helping one user you subsequently help the other user. As both users in our case exist in symbiosis they are dependent on each other's existence. 

Refined Sketches 

User Testing 

Methodology in this stage of usability testing was categorized by asking family and friends what they thought of the product idea and initial drawing and idea. From there we adapted the ideations drawings to this feedback and made adjustments to the design in the areas of size, material, shape and profile. Following this, our team  conducted another round of questions to each other, based on what we thought the design should look and feel like, to evaluate and prioritize  design and these functions. 

Key Questions 

1. What material do you feel would be most comfortable?

2. How large of a band would you want on your wrist?

3. What type of strap fastener would be most useful for the patient?

4. Should this be available to both the patient and the caregiver?

5. Could it come in different colours?

6. How heavy would it be?

7. Could you mimic someone's heartbeat and hug?

8. Would scents really be the best for a medical situation? 

3D Mockups 

What did I learn from this project as a designer? 

When completing this project, I got to experience the possibilities of design for health. Learning the value of ethnography, design research, and inclusive design for the most extreme user.  I also got the opportunity of directing this team, giving me leadership experience. Overall, I walked away from this project, looking at human centric design as a step towards life centric design.  

I also got to try out Keyshot rendering and build on my 3D modelling skills. 

Using Format