Our Stories: Vince Paglione and the Creation of Informacio

Since starting Polar Green, many people have asked me why we focus on health through design. The answer to this question is both complex and obvious.

I spent the last 35 years of my life in higher education administration working in a college of architecture, design and the arts. In those 35 years I worked with design through academic programming, design review committees and international design grants. Through these experiences I learned the power of design and how it can impact people. During an 8-year grant that focused on participatory design in communities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, I saw firsthand how good design could change people’s lives.

The health part has been a life journey for me. Both my parents suffered from serious health challenges and I witnessed how they were able to be positive and live life fully. This life lesson served me as I battled two cancers over the past six years. Fortunately for me, I had great doctors and was able to benefit from new medical technology.

It was through my experience as a patient that I saw one critical fault line for physician/patient communication- the computer medical workstation. As a patient, I could not see my tumor clearly; nor could my doctor show it to me. Having spoken to other cancer survivors about these frustrations, I discovered that I was not the only one for whom this had been an issue.

Informacio began as a patient story that developed into an ongoing narrative. I told this narrative to a team of designers, who translated the problem I suggested existed in healthcare computer workstations into a visual concept.

Much like a science laboratory, the design studio conducts research and experiments. We began with a series of visual experiments that were constructed and deconstructed through evidence-based design and critique by the team and medical professionals. After 12 iterations, a base prototype emerged.

We are now in the critical stage for our company, as we need to both do on-site testing and focus groups. This research is what our Indiegogo backers are helping us achieve. We are committed to our product and our vision to help patients. Informacio transcends current workstations through quality design, functionality, touchscreen/traditional options and ergonomic consideration for the healthcare professional.

To view the Informacio Workstation campaign on IndieGogo, please go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/informacio-a-modern-touchscreen-enabled-healthcare-workstation.

Preparing For The Doctor

health literacy

As a company that specializes in health literacy, we here at Polar Green know that a visit to the doctor’s office can be frustrating. With all the bits of information you’re trying to remember and take in, sometimes it can just be an overload. That’s why in today’s day and age, it’s more important than ever to be prepared before you even leave your home. Fortunately, we’ve put together a short list on how to prepare for your upcoming doctor visit.

 

Prepare for the Doctor

1. Think. Why did you make this appointment? Before visiting a doctor, it’s important to take some time and think about what you’d like to get out of the visit. Having an idea and goal as to why you’re visiting the doctor is the best way to optimize the time spent at the appointment.

2. Jot It Down. When you’re taking in a ton of new information from a medical professional, it’s easy to forget what was originally on your mind. Before even stepping foot out of your door, jot down your thoughts, feelings, and questions, and rank them in terms of priority. This will ensure you get the most out of your visit.

3. Health ID. When you get to the doctor’s office, you’ll want everything to run as smoothly as possible. Ensure a fluid visit by making sure you have your points of identification including your personal ID, Health Insurance ID Card, as well as a form of payment.

4.  Medical History. If this is your first time visiting this particular doctor, he or she is going to want to know your medical history. Be prepared with an up-to-date handwritten or printed copy of your medical history. This will cut time spent on asking you questions and let you get to the point of the visit much quicker.

 

Getting the most out of your doctor’s appointment is important. That’s why it’s necessary to start preparing before you even leave your home. Following our list on Preparing for the Doctor, is a great place to start. At Polar Green, health literacy is our number one priority. In an effort to close the gap between medical professionals and their patients, we have developed a prototype known as the Informacio Workstation. For more information on the Informacio Workstation, visit our website and sign up for our newsletter here: http://bit.ly/OzfdGw

Improving Health Literacy

health literacy medical technology new medical tech polar green

With all the new technologies, as well as future technology to come, we’re pretty lucky to be living in such a medically advanced society. In fact, in just the past 30 years the average life expectancy in America has grown by almost 10 years. And yet, with all the new technology and specialized vocabulary our doctors and medical professionals use, it often becomes a daunting task to try and understand the simplest explanations. Thats why, as a company that specializes in health literacy, we here at Polar Green have put together a list of some of our favorite techniques in improving ones health literacy.

Improve Health Literacy

1. Ask. One of the best ways to improve health literacy is by asking questions. If a doctor explains something and it’s confusing, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It’s important to understand ones own health and asking questions will do just that.

2. Repeat. Hearing and understanding are two different things. Once your doctor has broken down and explained what you need to know, try repeating it back to the doctor in your own words. Being able to do this ensures that you understand the situation, or will inform your doctor that he or she must further clarify.

3. Medicine. Misusing medication is dangerous. The next time you visit the doctor, bring all of the medications you take with you. Bringing in your medications will avoid harmful miscommunication and guarantee you are correctly following directions.

4. Friend. If you have a difficult time processing or understanding your medical profession, consider bringing a friend along on your visit. A friend can help cover the bases and be an extra set of eyes and ears when it comes to understanding.

5. Interpreter. In the event that you or someone you know does not speak English, but is visiting an English speaking doctor, it’s important to ask for an interpreter. Every citizen has a right to an interpreter at zero cost. Let your doctor know which language you would prefer to make an appointment in.

Not understanding what a doctor is explaining can be a scary and potentially harmful situation. At Polar Green, health literacy is our number one priority. In an effort to close the gap between medical professionals and their patients, we have developed a prototype known as the Informacio Workstation. For more information on the Informacio Workstation, visit our website and sign up for our newsletter here: http://bit.ly/OzfdGw

Exciting new opportunities to report.

We have been busy since our last update. We are in the process of changing our company structure from a LLC to a C-Corp. This decision was made after numerous recommendations by consultants and business associates in information technology. We are redesigning our web page with the informacio product displayed front and center. We have a new partnership with Livestream Chicago under the leadership of Nick Bacon and Andrew Mausert-Mooney. They are helping us to market and run another crowd funding campaign. We continue to build our network of future partnerships with conversations with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Business Development – French Government Business Development, Health GaDuGi, HeroTechForge, KDE, The Kiran Consortium (Lucy Mancini Newell) and University College Cork, Ireland.

Marcio Dupont our industrial designer has returned to Brazil and is making great connections in Sao Paulo with industry.

Brain Ellison our furniture designer has been busy helping us with both informacio design strategy and networking.

We were recently interviewed for the F6 incubator in the Netherlands. It was a great honor to make it to this level. We are also competing for a $25,000 grant under the FedEx Small Business program. We are working in a new space at the Illinois Medical District  – HTI Center in Chicago Technology Park.

We also are planning a series of health webinars with Livestream Chicago and hopefully audio streamed internationally on Spanish Public Radio.

 

Medstartr Campaign – Lessons Learned

Medstartr campaign – A sincere thank you to Medstartr and CEO Alex Fair. They were a great partner and completely accessible. We did not make our funding goal, but learned a lot from our experiences in our first attempt. Maybe the major learning lesson was we needed to show our innovative product to potential funders. We will correct this and make another attempt onindiegogo in 2014, both showing and demonstrating our product. Our appreciation to those who donated and all who viewed us on Medtstartr. We look forward to making informacio a reality in the furniture field for users in health, education and design.

Vince Paglione – December 31, 2013