I'm Darrien Tu, an industrial & product designer from Toronto but living in New York.

I approach the creative process through analytical research & user insight.

I believe good design is the product of observation, conversation & collaboration.

VIVA
Read More   (+)
My graduate thesis looks at long-term health wellness monitoring in the home. It looks to discover the emerging intersection between personal health monitoring, information technology, and biology and how consumer product design can faciliate this interaction. The past decades have seen a strong desire in consumers wanting to make personal health a high priority. Increasingly, people want to gain control over their own health. This does not mean abandoning specialists; rather it implies a better collaboration in monitoring, diagnosis and treatment.

More people including specialists focus health through the lens of ongoing maintenance of wellness and treatment for illness and are now just understanding its fusion. Leveraging bioreporters and synthetic biology, this thesis proposes its integrated use with a central online hub designed to facilitate the patient and doctor relationship in chronic disease management and as a patient warning system for preventable diseases.

I developed a system where the medical application is split into two seperate devices tied to a single hub, namely, a breath and skin emanation sensor. Incorporating a non-invasive means of measurement is off up-most importance. If this system is to be used by the patient in their own homes on their own volition then it needs to be non-intrusive. Molecules called volatile organic compounds (VOC) are a diverse carbon-based group of chemicals emitted from our bodies in exhaled breath, skin emanations, urine and saliva and is often a reflection of our metabolic condition. Measuring the volatome, the total amount of exhaled VOCs, has been proven to be a successful diagnostic tool for specific chronic diseases, underlying pathogenesis, and a monitoring tool for disease progression and therapy efficacy. These device will be just one part of a larger program designed to future forecast what healthcare monitoring of chronic diseases and health trend could have the potential to be.

The technology and the health boom are showing new ways for users to data mine their inner workings but clinical diagnosis is being outpaced by the fitness and general wellness trend. By taking a step back and looking at specific ailments can give rise to better and inventive solutions. Through tying a stronger connection between patient and physician as well as letting patients engage with their personal health in a more tangible manner, Viva is a window into what personal healthcare and wellness maintenance will unfold into in the coming future.