Eradicated Illnesses (Assignment 1)

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/02/health/cdc-january-measles-report-disney/

The measles outbreak in the US when it had been declared eliminated from the US in 2000.

I chose this article because a disease having an outbreak that we found a solution to years ago seems surreal. I decided to take the approach for this assignment then of thinking about what the world would be like today if history had gone differently, a method that was suggested by Auger.

Story:

It is 2015 contagious illnesses are present across the world. Within the United States, students are required to provide evidence of a clean bill of health from within their family before they are able to enter school each week. Without this proof, children are ban from entering school where diseases are easily spreadable. The learning materials provided over the internet have expanded and been made to target mobile devices so that students at home can still learn and stay caught up with their class. Teachers are held responsible for standards and have started assigning more of these materials where there is more flexibility for students to be physically in the classroom.

The class distinction is greater because those with more income have easier access to proof of a clean bill of health, so are able to have their children in school more often. This causes those without to have to take lower income jobs and to miss work more often to stay home with their children. Public transportation has started to dwindle as more people desire to drive to avoid the disease carrying buses and subways. People that cannot afford a car are more likely to be on the public transportation and are more likely to get ill. Those that do drive cars have longer commutes because of the increase in the number of people that drive. Buildings in highly populated areas are required to have a few levels of parking when developed to handle all of the cars.

Medical centers have inexpensive take home kits that they have developed to handle the increase in contagious deadly infections. Because there is not enough room in the hospitals to handle illnesses, when one is reported, an illness alert in placed on that residence and the patient is sent home with an illness kit. The illness kit provides inexpensive tools that allow the monitoring of vitals, medications that are needed, and IV lines if necessary. The kit also comes with a temporary digital recorder that is preprogrammed with alarms to remind the patient to take vitals and record these vitals in the device. Only when they have been entered and sent to the doctor electronically does the device stop beeping. This allows health professionals to track patient progress from afar and to request they return if needed or to provide them with a clean bill of health.

When a doctor places an illness alert on a residence, this has become public knowledge. To respect some privacy, the name of the person is not reported, but just the illness and residency. This allows the public to research on the internet where outbreaks might be located near them. On a map, they can search by neighborhood and location. They are able to filter by the type of illness. A notification of illness on the map can only be removed and added by medical professionals. This all has been caused by vaccines never having been discovered and been made available to the public in the United States.

MedKit

An example of the take home medical kit that medical professionals would send home with patients.

PhillyIllnessMap

An online map that can show illnesses in your area. You can search by both illness and around your address.

Resources: Auger, James. 2013. Speculative design: crafting the speculation, Digital Creativity, Vol 24, no 1, 11 – 36, 2013.

Link to Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b4kEG6BCriSnQi00fA4oGIjzbx5kunb6ck4SU3QLsm4/edit?usp=sharing

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2 thoughts on “Eradicated Illnesses (Assignment 1)

    • The reading we are doing for tomorrow’s class reminded me of our discussion about this in class as well. In Futurish the authors discuss a project ByoLogyc that discusses the solution to disease spiraling out the control. The answer was to sell tickets to a safe camp.

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