Designing For a Healthier Future

4 min readOct 29, 2020


Vega Durban South Africa -Microsoft Design | Expo 2020

This year could have not served as a more fitting time for Microsoft to set a brief that considered how the design world looks at the future of healthcare going into the future. The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged the way the world considers healthcare practices and systematic behaviours related to wellbeing.

As a group, we identified the evergrowing stress levels experienced by healthcare workers and society as a whole. To gain further empathy towards the situation we went about issuing surveys to the most accessible healthcare workers, in the effort to better understand their pain points. It became clear that excessive paperwork and overwhelming circumstances contributed to the extraordinarily high levels of stress experienced by healthcare workers. As for the general public, we identified that uncertainty presented by the pandemic raised stress levels on top of the existing stress proved by everyday life.

To tackle the negative effects of a modern bureaucratic healthcare system our aim was to streamline the paperwork process to something that would reduce the time spent on admin. This would shorten waiting times and information backlogs. Additionally, we also wanted to create a digital space that would make assist those who suffer from mental health-related illnesses.

This led us to a two-part solution that comes in the form of an app-based software, to which we called MicroMed.

MicroMed forms part of a synchronised database that allows healthcare workers to access patients information via their digital medical file. This reduces the time taken to report, capture and analyse patient data. The mobile app also supports medication orders, medical aid transactions, health games and most importantly an AI mental health assistant called Maya.

We believe that AI technology of this nature is only a few years away so we felt it was necessary to propose a concept of this nature. In the primitive stages of AI, we believe that Maya could be used more conservatively rather than as a fully functioning virtual psychologist. For now, she can serve as a companion-like figure who has the patients best interests at heart whilst learning about their daily routine and offering suggestions that can mitigate high volumes of stress.

The second phase of MicroMed comes in the form of the pioneering Smart Fob Watch. If you’re unfamiliar with what a fob watch actually is, this may help;

Fob watches, have so much more purposes than just an accessory used to tell time. They are extremely useful and essential to effectively carry out daily work-related activities. Nurses also use fob watches for the purpose of keeping bacteria off their wrists in prevent transfering germs across to patients.

In the case of MicroMed, healthcare workers will be able to use their Smart Fob Watches to sync patients medical history, track bedside data, receive reminders, be paged by patients in need of assistance through haptic vibrations, measure heart rates and be able to call on Maya for hands-free assistance.

Once again, all in the effort of streamlining the process and reducing the stress levels experience in the healthcare system.

In summary, this concept serves as an innovative solution in the form of a user-friendly app and smart fob watch that rebuilds trust and confidence in the healthcare sector.

We would like to thank Vega School of Brand Leadership for your guidance along the way as well as Microsoft for presenting us with a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Students involved:

Ryan Schutte-

Rachel Hopley-

Gina Hooper-

Lecturers involved:

Alex Suidheim

Richard Grossi




A dexterous thinker dedicated to making the world better through new ways of thinking and innovative concepts. 📍 Durban, South Africa