top of page


My Role: User Researcher, UX/UI Designer

Duration: 24 Hours


Participants are from: 
CMU’s MII-PS program
MIT’s IDM program
Northwestern's EDI program
University of Pennsylvania's IPD program
Penn Medicine
It is a 24 hours Integrated Design Innovation challenge to solve a 20 year old problem associated with Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD) and postoperative delirium. There are three complex problems based on different stages during the surgery: before, during, and after. 
Our team focused on the before surgery stage, so we created a service application that helps caregivers screen patients at anywhere and anytime before the surgery. 
From a few workshops, we learned that surgery causes tissue injury and can trigger an inflammatory cascade that may patient’s susceptible to cognitive decline. In UPMC, the existing screening system provides different screening tools for older patients to minimize the risk of POCD and Delirium before the surgery, but the process is not only time-consuming but also bringing ethical concerns to patients and their caregivers. So how to prepare older patients for surgery in order to minimize the risk of POCD and Delirium? 
Interviewed: 10+ patients and their caregivers, and clinical staff
Observed: screening process in the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania
Reviewed: literature of the existing screening tools
Facts we learned
  • Less trust: sometimes doctors have financial incentive to do more surgeries, so the patients feel that the doctors don't listen to their concerns any more and don't care about what they want or need
  • Less Involvement: the caregiver has nothing to do while the doctor is doing a screen test for the patient before wsurgery
  • Ethical concerns: the doctors are concerned about being honest to the patient, because they don't want to give pressure to the patient
We hypothesized that if we could distribute the responsibility of clinical staff to other stakeholders, more patients could avoid disadvantages by systematic barriers. So we redefined the problem: How can we leverage non-clinical stakeholders to pre-operatively screen for behaviors and risk factors associated with the onset of POCD or Delirium after surgery without systematic barriers?
We choose caregivers as our primary stakeholders, because they usually know patients better, and have more time to focus on older patients. 
We brainstormed ideas that are related to screening service before surgery.  After two rounds of speed dating, we narrowed down to 1 integrated idea.
Our concept is to design an app that helps caregivers screen patients at anywhere and anytime. Since the cognitive assessment is a delicate subject to discuss with patients, the independent screening test conducted by their caregiver is a simple way to increase comfort and help affection. The expectations we want to reach are
  • Build trust with doctors
  • Screens for risk factors and behaviors
  • Provides baseline cognitive profile
  • Keeps caregivers involved and informed
Choose a screen test
The core function of SnipChat is taking a screen test. There are four screening tests provided by SnipChat, and each test will take less than 10 mins to conduct. 
Conduct a test
The caregiver can record a daily test video by following a simple instruction. 
After finishing recording, SnipChat will auto-upload the video to the patient's journey on the website. The journey is mostly for the doctor to review the patient's situation in time. 
At the end of the day, we presented our solution to the partners and got positive feedback. 
bottom of page