Research Papers

Exploring Holistic Solutions for Type-2 Diabetes for Bottom of Pyramid Population in India
Authors: Prerak Mehta and Vinay Venkatraman
Published and presented at DRS Bangkok 2012 by Design Research Society

ABSTRACT: Healthcare is a prominent sector where design intervention can make tremendous impact in the way people live and receive treatment.Type-2 diabetes is a huge system condition that involves lifestyle, insulin therapy, oral medication, dietary restrictions and exercise regimen. The underlying socio-economic environment plays a major role in the way patients behave. The paper aims at exploring the experience and process of treating diabetes in India for the bottom of the pyramid population. Emphasis has been laid on a strong research methodology to generate key findings through action research which in turn would drive the conceptualization and development phase. Multiple field visits involving contextual inquiries, shadow-in, volunteering and observation were conducted for this purpose. Pilot user testing for the initial concepts developed has been done. Through a reiterative process, the challenge is to create holistic solutions that span service, communication and product design. Download Full Research Paper | View Presentation
Design Research in Neonatal Healthcare in Urban India
Author: Prerak Mehta
Published and presented at DRS Bangkok 2012 by Design Research Society

ABSTRACT: This paper attempts at understanding the core issues plaguing neonatal healthcare amongst the urban sector in India. An attempt has been made to go deeper into the practical problems being faced by the various stakeholders - Mother and family (father, mother-in-law, and maternal members), Doctor and support staff (nurses, attendants), Public health officer/NGO and support staff (Aanganvadi and Community level health workers), and Baby products shopkeepers. The research takes into account the demographic breakup, socio-economic and cultural environments and emotional needs of the stakeholders. Extensive field visits, strong qualitative interviews in naturalistic environments, multiple contextual inquiries and innovative analytics post that have led to strong insights that point to interesting design directions. Extensive video, photo and audio documentation was done to rebuild the scenarios during the analysis phase. The entire research was converged and distilled into 2 point of views that suggest a definitive direction in solving the problems in neonatal healthcare with product/service technology intervention. Download Full Research Paper | View Presentation
Improving Engineering Education Using ICT: A New Framework
Author: Prerak Mehta
Published and presented at ICED 2011, Denmark by The Design Society

ABSTRACT: Given the current scenario of engineering education in India, there is a dire need of improvement in the way engineering education is structured and the guidelines it follows. With Information and Communication Technology (ICT) having become accessible and widespread, it is bound to play a vital role in enhancing the state of engineering education. The existing structure and framework of engineering education and its surrounding ecosystem have been studied in great depth. The paper proposes a new framework for engineering education using ICT. A generic level component breakup for engineering will be made, followed by detailed description of each component, again on a generic level. Each detailed description has been followed by ways of executing them based on different branches of engineering. The entire engineering education scene needs to move towards a self-learning environment which is totally lacking in today’s faculty dependent model. The new framework components along with the guidelines will pave the way for a self-learning environment based model for engineering education. It will be a founding stone for ICT based initiatives in engineering education in India. Download Full Research Paper | View Presentation


‘MedAlert’ Mobile App & System Design on Epidemic Alert
Published at Mobile Plus 2011 under the patronage of UNESCO

ABSTRACT: MedAlert is a mobile application that helps alert individuals to get localized and country wide data in advance on the rise of an epidemic. It captures data from pharmacists billing system and compares it against a pre-set threshold on the sale of particular medical drugs and artifacts to determine wether an epidemic is on the rise. Download Poster
‘What are the challenges in carrying out design research?' - a short essay
Author: Prerak Mehta
Winner of Essay Competition. Presented at ICORD 2011 endorsed by Design Research Society and The Design Society

Statement: For doing design research, a person needs to be proficient in understanding the emotional needs of the user, the surrounding socio-economic environment and the culture of the place. The ability to identify various stakeholders involved and categorizing them based on income groups and socio-economic backgrounds is a prime key towards establishing a strong foundation for the research. Download Complete Essay | View Presentation
‘Traid Raid’ and ‘Eazo’ projects published in Kyoorius magazine
Published in Kyoorius Magazine Issue 7 (pages 118 to 121).

ABSTRACT: ‘TradeRaid‘ is a deck of 66 cards and 56 tokens with which 4 different games can be played for various age groups. I am a joint copyright holder for the game, it will soon be in the market (bought by a leading game manufacturer through an auction at IIT Bombay). ‘Eazo’ was a group project which involved conceptualizing and designing a sensory based interactive toy to remove the fear of darkness from children so that they have a good night’s sleep. A corresponding device for guardian enhances the communication channel with child.