Mental illness is still stigmatised around the world and considered a taboo topic. In the United States alone, 40 million people suffer from anxiety disorders.
Bubble aims at providing support and professional help to patients by tracking their pulse and breathing rate. It uses technology to track symptoms, collect data about the behavioural patterns of patients that lead to panic attacks, and consequently help them to avoid these attacks. It aspires to help patients lead a happier, anxiety-free life.
Systems Thinking, UI Design, Connected Devices, Prototyping
An anxiety disorder is a common mental illness defined by feelings of uneasiness, worry and fear. While everyone goes through anxiety sometime or other, a person with an anxiety disorder feels an inappropriate amount of anxiety more often than is reasonable.
Social anxiety or social phobia involves a fear of social or performance situations (such as meeting new people) in which an individual may feel embarrassed or have the uncomfortable feeling of being judged. People with social anxiety commonly avoid social situations.
To better understand the struggles of a person dealing with an anxiety disorder on a daily basis, I reached out and interviewed a friend. The interview helped me to understand Divya’s day to day activities and her caregiving network. Mapping her activities onto a journey map helped me identify key insights and opportunity areas.
Through the interview I learned that Divya relies mostly on her mom on a daily basis in helping her manage her condition. Her mom helps take care of her medication and routine. Her small group of friends also provide the emotional support she needs when she feels anxious. She also relies a lot on her weekly appointment with her therapist.
Trigger situations occur frequently. Unawareness about handling these trigger situations increases the fear of having a panic attack.
If there is a way to intervene when the patient starts feeling anxious, we can avoid the panic attack and hence evade getting stuck in the anxiety loop.
How can we leverage technology to identify trigger situations and predict the patient’s behaviour to enable them to avoid a panic attack?
To address this opportunity, I started ideating a system that would fit seamlessly in the patient’s daily life. I chose to focus on 3 key areas –
Gathering data through a device (fitted with sensors) to map the patients’ behavioural pattern
Using the same device to act as the medium of intervention when the patient starts feeling anxious
Designing a platform that helps the patient manage their condition
I first mapped out the structure of mobile application through quick wireframe iterations. I also investigated the different forms of wearable sensors that could be worn easily.
Wearable Bubble Device
Bubble phone application
Daily Anxiety Level Awareness
The application communicates the behavioural pattern processed through the data collected from the wearable device. It also allows further analysis to dive deep into the statistics gain insights.
The user can see their progress through their daily completion of activities. The system allows them to set new activities and change the notification settings for each activity.
The platform gives the user access to a variety of sessions curated by professionals that they can complete ranging from breathing exercise to meditation to help them manage their anxiety.
This solution was designed with only the patient in mind and this system could be more holistic with the inclusion of the doctor's profile and the other caregivers of the patients as well. There is an opportunity to expand and design for the therapist's portal as well as a care-givers application. This solution would also benefit from user testing the light patterns and the hardware device.