Electro empowers medical students in efficient learning of the electrocardiogram (ECG)
Design probes and prototypes to conduct interviews and user tests with medical students
Main interface with multiple tabs that highlight the 4 key features of Electro
Medical students can interact with the physical heart model to the see the occlusion of blood supply
Electro exhibit in the Human Anatomy Museum
What it does
Electro assists medical students in acquiring knowledge and to be familiar about the cardiovascular system. The exhibition facilitates effective and efficient learning of the electrocardiogram (ECG) in relation to the heart’s blood supply.
Medical products are mainly designed for professional practitioners such as doctors or nurses. Our group decided to take a fresh stance by designing for medical students in assisting their medical educational journey to be more joyful and less strenuous. After interviews with NUS medical students, we were surprised that medical students solely memorise the electrocardiogram (ECG) but do not fully grasp the concept. Due to insufficient exposure, they have trouble visualising 2D data from ECG in terms of the 3D heart. How can we bridge ECG readings and blood supply to the heart to facilitate efficient and effective learning?
How it works
Electro is an interactive exhibit comprises of a physical heart model connected to a touch screen display. The physical heart model will light up to show how an occlusion of blood supply appears as ECG in the display to strengthen connections. It aims to familiarise students by using 4 key features of Electro. Firstly, they are exposed to various selection of ECG display enables for customisation of information absorbed and greater familiarisation. Secondly, the use of color coding to bridge 2D to 3D information connecting the heart model to interactive display for better visualisation of the ECG leads to the physical heart walls. Thirdly, lighted pathway in physical heart model shows how an occlusion of blood supply appears in the display to direct their focus area. Lastly, normal ECG can be overlaid over any abnormal ECG for better comparison. These key features are then condensed to a single interface to facilitate effective and efficient learning of ECG.
Through research and interviews with the different groups – the medical students and professors, our team wanted to learn and discover more about the topic on cardiovascular system and decided to work on ECG as is mostly used as a preliminary diagnostic test due to its low cost. Several fast prototypes were made and tested out to understand and observe the student’s thought process at a deeper level which leads to our insights. Most students have trouble identifying ECG leads in relation to the respective heart walls and is partly due to their insufficient exposure of ECG, even though is crucial to remember such medical fundamentals. Therefore, our group decided on designing an interactive exhibit to strengthen student’s structural understanding of the heart by creating connections through the interactive setup, hence deeper inscribing their learning to memory. Our group received positive results after the final prototype was shown to Prof Dinesh Kumar, Head of Department of Anatomy and several year 2 medical students. Having to familiarise ourselves with the medical jargon at such short span of time was tough, our group still feel that the journey was a fulfilling one as Electro value adds to their current study materials.
How it is different
There is a need for a shift of focus on medical design that not only focuses on designing for professional practitioners such as doctors or nurses, Electro focuses on designing for medical students in assisting their medical educational journey to be more joyful and less strenuous. With Electro, learning of medical terms and information will be made easier with better visualisation between the study materials and the respective anatomy physical models. It also value adds to their current study materials with fun elements. The physical heart model and interactive display work hand in hand in delivering the information to medical students in facilitating effective and efficient learning of ECG, hence deeper inscribing their learning to memory.
The future of Electro is to enable greater accessibility and scalability. Electro can not only be confined in the museum, students can now view the interface of Electro app through their personal device enabling for easy access of information anywhere and anytime. Other than focusing on ECG on the topic of myocardial infarction, area of focus can be extended to accommodate all other years medical students as the framework of Electro is adaptable to more complex heart condition.