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The Baobab Bar-Code Band

Demonstrating the ScanBand

Tracy generously volunteered to be my patient for the demonstration of the ScanBand arm and waist prototype during my thesis presentation for the end of this semester:

Fall 2007 Thesis Midterm Presentation

The thesis midterm went well, with great criticism from Marko, Sven, and Ted. I have attached my thesis presentation below as a PDF for all to enjoy.

Lots of work left to do, though. Hopefully, I'll be cranking out a new prototype, for straight linear measurements, within the week. It could be used for anything from height measurement to blood pressure.

Thesis Abstract, Fall Midterm

Right now, in Malawi, there is a need to bring patients' physical measurements into accurate, long-term records. My idea is to channel these measurements into their system digitally. Through a suite of simple technologies, I will enable technicians to record arm, waist, hip, and head circumference quickly and reliably. These data will then feed directly into a database via Baobab's thin-client terminal appliances. By doing this, fewer errors in measurement and transcription will arise. Health care providers will have access to cumulative, permanent patient histories.

Patients' physical measurements will be read via a device called ScanBand. ScanBand consists of a thin strip of paper or flexible plastic, the majority of which is covered with a series of bar codes. Each bar code is printed with a specific height, such as 5 mm, and encodes length of the strip from the bar code itself to a cutout “window” at the end of the strip. By making a loop with the paper, technicians with a ScanBand can rapidly and accurately measure the circumference of several parts of the patient’s body.

My methodology thus far has been twofold. I am producing a series of working prototypes, in quick succession, and testing them on subjects to evaluate their ease of use, accuracy, and overall look and feel. I am also discussing these prototypes with stakeholders and other interested parties in Malawi and the United States. With each revision, I have taken this test data and applied the lessons learned to a new version of the ScanBand. As an integral part of this thesis, I am also preparing more rigorous evaluation tools that will be given to testers of the ScanBand to determine their overall level of satisfaction with versions of the band I create throughout this project.

ScanBand v0.5 -- Now With Less Width!

This is the newest version of the ScanBand series of arm-measuring devices. This time around, I've made it as narrow as I think it can possibly get. The measuring numbers were turned 90 degrees and laid out side-by-side along the edge. The bar codes are the same size as version 0.4, but I think this is as small as I can make them while still allowing for them to be scanned.

Attached is the zip with the PDF and the SVG file. It's made available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License version 3.0, copyright 2007 Mike Edwards and Baobab Health Partnership.

ScanBand v0.5

ScanBand v0.5

Version 0.5 of ScanBand, with narrower width and smaller numbers.

ScanBand v0.4 is go!

At last, version 0.4 of my ScanBand prototype has rolled off the presses (or, at least, the printer in the lab.) This version tossed out the color strip, which turns out to be less useful than I had hoped. It is also significantly narrower, making it more like existing mid-upper arm circumference measuring devices. There is also a window alongside the scanning window that displays the millimeter measurement in numbers, so that the band is still useful in situations with computers or power.

Even more importantly, the version is able to be print two ScanBands completely on a single 8.5x14 inch sheet of paper, BUT can also (potentially) print out on a continuous roll from a 3-4 inch wide label printer. I'd really like to test this latter scenario in Malawi, since the good folks at Baobab have indicated that this might be a great way to print these out as needed.

Attached to this post is the zip file with the PDF of the most recent version.

ScanBand v0.4 Source Page

ScanBand v0.4 Source Page

This is the printable sheet for ScanBand v0.4.

ScanBand v0.4

ScanBand v0.4

This is a 11x17 inch sheet of paper that holds two copies of the ScanBand. They also will fit on an 8.5x14 legal sheet. The two strips you see cut out are cut further, folded, and glued together to make a completed ScanBand.

ScanBand v0.4 Top Section

ScanBand v0.4 Top Section

This is the top-most portion of the ScanBand. It is built with the small windowed piece, which is flipped over and turned 90 degrees over the band. Its flaps are then glued or taped around the back.

ScanBand v0.4 Assembled

ScanBand v0.4 Assembled

With all the pieces glued together, the ScanBand should look like this.

Copyright Mike Edwards 2006-2009. All content available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license, unless otherwise noted.

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