Everyone should be able to adopt (lifesaving) health innovation

[Editor note: The following notes were made by @harrison during the “Everyone should be able to adopt (lifesaving) health innovation”, of OpenVillage Festival (19th October 2017). Quotes are not verbatim but summarize what was said. If you feel something is mis-represented, please tell us in a comment or with the “Flag → Something Else” feature and a mod will fix it. – @anu]

By Bernard Dugas + Fabio Balli

Some data about Respiratory Health:
Daily we breath the quantity of air of a Hot air balloon, 1/5 persons is affected with respiratory diseases Asthma is the most common for children and COPD is more with the adults.
One death over 6 is due to COPD, is one of the biggest disease in the UK

We propose a different approach to see death, disease and wellness.
If you see them connected in a line (see the image in the presentation), we right now just treat the disease instead we can invest in awareness education and growth, promotion and prevention.

There is also an opportunity on health innovation for example:
There are 165000 health apps available, the digital health industry is increasing
and also we can produce more and more tools and devices.

Breathing Games to treat Respiratory disorder.
We started with a video game Hackathon at Concordia
And we did that various time, we started calling them Health Game Jams, usually we have 20/30 people together splitted in team.
It was interesting to mix: Research team + Hardware team + Visual sound and programming + Game designer

Our goal was to treat disease but also to make people learn about respiratory diseases.

If we look at our story a key moment was when we decided to share and put all the contribute online.
This summer we did a residency in Milan (℅ We Make) and we develope our device, our “controller” for the games.

Right now we have a library of game prototype, which is open and free for everyone.

A thing that we discover with the residency was that in order to have a device that works well you have to test it regularly (in medical environment it’s a daily routine), so we decided to develop also the pump that could calibrate the device.
We add to the first device also other measurement (the first one was detecting just the pressure) but now we can detect different data (and on doing enrich the game experience): the flow, the pressure, the volume of the breath and if the flow in in or out.

The idea was to have a modular thing so we can test different sensors, all the 3d model are available and you can print it, and we builded a 3 liter pump calibration.

There were key element that the develop:

  1. Free software, that can be adapted and studied and shared. We used GitLab, Rocket.Chat to work online and discuss, Zotero for the research and Godot which is a videoGame engine, very similar to Unity.

  2. Copyfair licensing
    We used AGPL3 protects the software that is in services, we use hardware from the University of Geneva and CC and P2P production License, the advantage is that it doesn’t enable companies to take your product (not really proved in tribunals).

  3. Accessible documentation
    Chats for hosting, Wikimedia for databases, inclusion and Open Journal.

  4. Research.
    We tried to do participatory research, having a discussion with people and moving towards, it’s a cycle instead of a line. Personal commitment is the key. And another difference is that when you do medical research you don’t have an ethical commitment, in this case you want to share your results.

  5. Contribution System
    Economic part, we are thinking about creating tokens so you can make decision in the collective, and also the use of data that you collect with our games could be valuable.

The data are very valuable, that can inform the policy maker, we want to produce a collective common.

Problems that you see for your future?
One problem is how to involve more people, and ask them free time, and also we have some struggle with financing our self, right now we accessed research funding but the growing of the project is slow and steady.

Different suggestion arrives from the participant:
A mixed revenue system, imagine solution and games that could be available in the market, like designing a kit that could detect your breath and give you back data about you (also if you don’t have illness), there is a very active movement that is into breathing right now, also yoga and mindfulness.
Use the jams as a way to improve with big steps your development process (useful also for OpenVillage)
Design and commercialize pre-assembled kit available for people that suffer from respiratory disease