This is about shifting positions and perspectives. Of what it means to design digital tools for healthcare in ‘under-served’ communities. Of what it means to ‘care’ within such communities. This is about making deliberate moves; caring moves.
We move away from the position that design is about “discovering compelling and disruptive solutions” for the messy real-world problems of community-based healthcare. We move towards understanding that design is a mode of highly situated and collaborative inquiry to both, understand what is good care and how it is achieved in practice, and to artfully integrate digital technology as part of local, ongoing practices of good care.
We move away from the position that people are mere generators of ‘big-data’, used as evidence for ‘evidence-based’ healthcare interventions. We move towards exploring the possibilities of collaboratively envisioning tools that enable people to blur the distinction between producing and consuming by engaging with their own data in multiple meaningful ways.
We move away from the perspective of solutioning. A perspective that propagates the myth that there is this one great solution out there, a magic pill, that can solve all problems of community-based healthcare; it only has to be discovered by designers and innovatively applied to the context of use. We move towards practicing design as a way of “infrastructuring“. A perspective that foregrounds the building of, over time and through a situated engagement with a particular community, the social and technical resources and infrastructure that enables the members of the community to design solutions for their own issues and implement them in practice.
Our ideal, over time, is to democratize the design of digital technological tools for health & wellbeing, and locate it as part of communities and their everyday life. And to democratize the infrastructures of health data so that communities can meaningfully engage with their own data as part of their ongoing care practices.
Do take a look at our ongoing projects, and people involved. Likely that our mistakes, lessons and reflections, and stuff that inspire us reveal more of our journey as it unfolds, inviting you to join us in making such caring moves.