My name is Alfred and I am a rising junior, majoring in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. On campus, I am involved in Matriculate, a non-profit organization providing college advising support to high-achieving low-income high school students, staff Princeton Model United Nations Conferences for both high schoolers and college students, and play the Princeton University Chapel Pipe Organ.
Part of what excites me about this summer opportunity with the Sextant Foundation is the opportunity to work on high impact projects that serve the community. As a Reimagining Volunteer, I have spent my summer focusing on developing a product development pathway for ideas generated during Reimagining Workshops to be implemented in hospitals and communities to improve the way healthcare is delivered. Part of this has involved me creating a method of prototyping virtually so that workshop participants can collaborate virtually and share innovative ideas that can shape the future of healthcare. I am excited to see this pathway rolled out for future workshops and deliver key solutions from ideation to implementation.
What is the task that excites you the most? Why?
The task that most excites me is building the prototypes, whether it be using 3D modeling software or using index cards to create low-fidelity prototypes. Part of the excitement comes from the fact that I finally get to take the idea that has been floating around in my mind and the thoughts of previous workshop participants and bring it to life. It also makes for an excellent shareable to get feedback from my fellow volunteers rather than discussing hypotheticals.
Is there a proposal from a previous workshop that you find particularly interesting to develop?
While this wasn’t an idea that was fully developed during the workshop, one of the workshop groups came up with an initial idea of a vitals monitoring bracelet, something that many companies have begun work on as well. It’s truly an innovative solution to the massive equipment that currently occupies the patient room and allows for the integration of technology to simplify hospital stays. Just imagine if all the monitors that currently occupy the hospital bedsides could be reduced to a simple bracelet that is monitored with your phone and a tablet.
What is the most challenging task so far?
The most challenging task has been learning a variety of new programs to virtually prototype. A lot of this has involved identifying programs, like Invision, Miro, Adobe XD, and much more, and then learning how to use each one. Once I learn how to use the program, I figure out how useful it is to the purpose of prototyping virtually as well as the particular idea/solution that needs to be prototyped. A key consideration is also how user-friendly the program is so that workshop participants in the future can utilize such programs to collaborate at workshops.
What are your considerations when defining a product development pathway?
A lot of this comes down to fleshing out the finer details of developing a particular solution. For example, if a workshop group comes up with the idea of developing a registration kiosk, the product development pathway has to involve various phases that incorporate human centered design, while also focusing on the more physical aspects of the registration kiosk. On the flip side, if a workshop group comes up with a design change to the layout of the surgical theater, a different process needs to be identified.
How do you see your work relevant to your academic goals/other volunteering activities?
Much of the work surrounding prototyping and product development relates nicely with my interests in engineering. While a lot of the focus has been on early stage development of products, I’m excited to see where the project moves to in the future.