Soumitri in 2016

Design is vehicle for change. A Design Project can be a campaign. In a furiously online world I see design projects as either a first step towards a business venture or a campaign that changes the way people think. Design innovations can change the way we deal with ageing and death. Design projects can change the way the world thinks about issues. Design projects can be about improving the lives of ordinary and marginalised people. Below are some of the areas I am currently interested in/ excited about:
  1. How to die well
  2. Ways of dealing with obesity
  3. Imagining a Future beyond Medicine
  4. Ways of Journalling Pregnancy
  5. Design for people with Locked-in syndrome
  6. Proposing a Bio-Dome (a personal diagnostic ecosystem)
  7. Design for living longer
I live and work in Melbourne. In Melbourne there is a lot of energy these days around imagining a healthy future. I engage with this energy.
  1. My design approach focuses upon proposing a future that contains preferred/ visionary products and services.
  2. I am excited by design projects that focus on the small and big challenges facing humanity.
  3. I see design projects as campaigns and so have developed, and therefore teach, the abilities required to prototype design projects within communities.
  4. My current interest is in innovations in healthcare services, where I focus upon de-medicalising and re-contextualizing normal practices to develop new traditions and artefacts in the areas of:
    1. Mental health
    2. Obesity
    3. Ageing
    4. Death
    5. Diabetes
    6. Maternal health
    7. Hearing loss
    8. (Defines the design theme or discourse)

Rudd warns of massive hikes in health costs

Rudd warns of massive hikes in health costs – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

New Treasury figures predict health spending on Australians over 65 will be seven times higher than current levels in 40 years’ time.

Indian Health Minister Calls On Country To Legalize Homosexuality

Indian Health Minister Calls On Country To Legalize Homosexuality To Improve Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Following his recent efforts to legalize homosexuality in India, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the country should recognize the increasing acceptance of homosexuality worldwide because such tolerance would ensure “an effective fight against AIDS,” IANS/Thaindian News reports (IANS/Thaindian News, 9/29).

Under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code — which was established under British rule in 1860 — homosexuality is a crime that carries a punishment of life in prison. The Delhi High Court had been holding daily hearings on a petition that sought to legalize homosexuality, which was supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare but opposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to the Centre Party, legalizing homosexuality would have adverse health effects, and the party asked the court to ignore Ramadoss’ position on legalizing homosexuality. The health ministry wants to make homosexuality nonpunishable particularly because of the latest figures from the National AIDS Control Organisation that estimate there are 22 million men who have sex with men in the country.

Smart DNA

Smart DNA: Programming the Molecule of Life for Work and Play: Scientific American

  • DNA molecules can act as elementary logic gates analogous to the silicon-based gates of ordinary computers. Short strands of DNA serve as the gates’ inputs and outputs.
  • Ultimately, such gates could serve as dissolved “doctors”—sensing molecules such as markers on cells and jointly choosing how to respond.
  • Automata built from these DNA gates demonstrate the system’s computational abilities by playing an unbeatable game of tic-tac-toe.

Logic gates made of DNA could one day operate in your bloodstream, collectively making medical decisions and taking action. For now, they play a mean game of in vitro tic-tac-toe

Implants Tap the Thinking Brain

Putting Thoughts into Action: Implants Tap the Thinking Brain: Scientific American

# Surgeons have implanted a novel neural prosthesis into a paralyzed patient’s brain. The high-tech device enables the patient to communicate his thoughts to a computer, which translates them into spoken words.
# Nine people so far have received brain-implanted prostheses. In the past, patients have used these devices to spell words on a computer, pilot a wheelchair or flex a mechanical hand.
# One day implants may enable paralyzed people to move robotic arms or even bypass damaged parts of the nervous system to reanimate unresponsive limbs. In the meantime, the quest to develop implanted neural prostheses is revealing details of how the brain orchestrates movement.

Where there is no doctor


About the online Book:

This handbook has been written primarily for those who live far from medical centers, in places where there is no doctor. But even where there are doctors, people can and should take the lead in their own health care. So this book is for everyone who cares. It has been written in the belief that:

1. Health care is not only everyone’s right, but everyone’s responsibility.

2. Informed self-care should be the main goal of any health program or activity.

3. Ordinary people provided with clear, simple information can prevent and treat most common health problems in their own homes—earlier, cheaper, and often better than can doctors.

4. Medical knowledge should not be the guarded secret of a select few, but should be freely shared by everyone.

5. People with little formal education can be trusted as much as those with a lot. And they are just as smart.

6. Basic health care should not be delivered, but encouraged.


Patient Centered Care

“The paradigm in health care seems to be shifting toward a cultural belief in personal responsibility for one’s health and away from the attitude that physicians can use pharmaceutical therapy, advanced surgical techniques, or modern technology to ‘‘fix’’ any health problems that arise. Consumers and physicians alike will need to espouse a partnership model rather than the passive, submissive patient model of the past, where patients depend upon physicians to repair their health much as they depend upon mechanics to repair their cars.”

Full article at Consumer-driven, patient-centered health care in the age of electronic information