Pia Nyakairu: Designing a device to improve remote care for cancer patients

Ugandan-born industrial design graduate Pia Nyakairu has designed a device that helps physiotherapists and doctors offer distance care to cancer patients.

For her thesis project at Carleton University of Design, Ugandan industrial designer Pia Nyakairu created a device that helps physiotherapists and doctors monitor the rehabilitation of breast cancer sufferers. The wand-like tool is designed to help promote distance collaboration between healthcare providers and their patients. 

“It’s a rehabilitation tool that breast cancer patients can use while they’re at home to do their physiotherapy exercises and it relays that information about their progress and how they are doing to their physiotherapist, who can then contact them through an app and let them know how they are doing,” explains Nyakairu.

Nyakairu’s interest in healthcare design came from an internship she had completed at a medical device company. She carried out extensive research into how patients and doctors communicate across distance and tried to gain as much insight as she could into what patients really want and need.

“The role of a designer is to find out what the user wants, what they need and execute that in a smart and clever way,” says Nyakairu. Her priority as a designer is to create products that allow users to collaborate with each other and to better experience the world around them. 

Pia Nyakairu presented at Design Indaba Conference 2016 as one of our Global Design Graduates, watch her full conference talk now