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Shintaro Monden

Astoria, NY, United States

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Design Brief

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    My mission is to prevent patients with limited health literacy from misreading medical information by providing easy-to-understand healthcare material.

    Key findings

    What is the health literacy?

    Health literacy is the ability to obtain, understand, and effectively use health-related information. 90 million adults may lack the needed literacy skills to effectively use the U.S. health care system. Approximately 36 percent of New York City adults would not be able to identify the name of a hospital in a short article; an additional 27 percent would not be able to fill out a standard health insurance form.

    What are the consequences of low literacy?

    Patients with limited health literacy are more likely to have troubles with health care including: Lack of knowledge of basic self-care Lack of awareness of preventive health measures Inability to read the labels of prescription and over-the-counter medications Misunderstanding of medical information (informed consent, patient history, and health insurance applications appointment slips etc) Uncertainty over how to use the health care system effectively Higher rate of using emergency rooms and experiencing longer hospital stays Lower levels of overall patient satisfaction

    Target audience

    Who are the people affected by the problem I am addressing?

    >Adults over the age of 65 have more limited literacy proficiency than younger, working adults. >Individuals without a high school diploma or GED have lower levels of literacy pr...

  • Questionnaire/Survey

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    Here is my questionnaire/survey results and findings

  • Mapping Exercise

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    Here is my revised matrix map

  • By numbers

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    1 The researchers found that some 12 percent or 23 million of U.S. adults are estimated to have skills in the lowest level (Level 1) on the HALS, while an additional 7 percent or 13.4 million are not able to perform even simple health literacy tasks with a high degree of proficiency (below Level 1). Those performing below Level 1 are about evenly divided between U.S.-born and foreign-born adults. HALS is a 0 to 500 scale that reflects a progression of health-related literacy skills from Level (low) 1 to Level 5(high),

    Information source: Center for Global Assessment Policy Information Center Research and Development Educational Testing Service.

    2 Many individuals receiving care from the U.S health-care system have limited English proficiency. The 2000 census indicates that the foreign-born population in the United States is 31 million. More than 300 different languages are spoken in the United States, and 47 million citizens and non-citizens speak a language other than English at home. English is not the primary language spoken in the homes of 41 percent of Hispanics, 34 percent of Koreans, 29 percent of Vietnamese, and 20 percent of Chinese.

    Information source: Lynn Nielsen-Bohlman, Health literacy: a prescription to end confusion. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005


  • Mapping Matrix

    Well-being, Industrial Design


    4 cycles (yellow, green, orange, blue) represent people or organizations which my thesis project is deeply involved with. Words around those cycles are the concepts or activities that I have to take into consideration in designing my products.

  • Thesis Statement

    Well-being, Industrial Design


    In the United State, people with limited literacy, mainly the poor, the elderly, and the members of minority and immigrant communities, tend to have difficulties understanding medical instructions and are more likely to suffer poor health, use the emergency room, and experience longer hospital stays. My Mission statement is to bridge the communication gap between doctors and patients with low literacy.

  • Existing Products Research

    Well-being, Industrial Design


    This is the new medicine bottle design by Deborah Adler. This new design has a couple of new features to make it easier to get the correct medical information from the bottle. 1. The bottle is flat-sided so all information is easily readable and comes with a little magnifying glass behind the patient information for those who have vision problems. 2. The name of medicine is typed in large typeface on the end of the bottle and the bottle comes with color-coded rings so each member of the family can have their own color and easily tell which medicines belong to them. 3. The bottle comes with a syringe to accurately measure each dose. 4. An envelope on the back of the bottle holds the drug’s patient information sheet which usually stapled to the bag by pharmacist and trashed when you open the bag. Leaving you the envelop reduces the confusion of medicine information. I found all those features are efficiently designed to give patients clearer understanding of medical information regardless of the degree of literacy.

    I was watching the Beijing Olympic on TV this summer. Those pictograms intended to identify games caught my attention. I think Pictogram in general can be very powerful tool when designers are not able to use verbal communications. My target populations who have only limited literacy about health matters could benefit a lot from this design system.

  • Street Observation

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    1. What did you observe in the physical space? My observation area was between 13th Street and the corner of 5th Ave. On the north side of the street, there is 72 Fifth Ave Building where a renovation construction is currently taking place. At the ground floor is a small coffee shop. On the south side of the street, there is 66 Fifth Ave Building (Parsons building). It has the entrance and a series of large glass windows facing 13th Street. Between both buildings are sideways and the roadway.

    2. What did you observe in the social space/interactions? The first thing that I noticed was the fact that Parsons students tend to crowd in front of the entrance. The cause of the crowd is because there is no other outside place where they can enjoy fresh air (or smoking) on their break time. I saw many people hanging out and smoking leaning against the wall of the building. The other cause is that the entrance is where there is most traffic in the building. Students have more chances to run into friends and start a casual conversation standing on the street. Since we conducted this observation around lunchtime, there are a lot of people who were going to get their lunch or were eating lunch on the street. At the coffee shop cross the school entrance, a couple of people were waiting on line on the street. Some people remained in front of the shop after buying their lunch and were eating a quick lunch. Next to the coffee shop, there are a couple of construction workers on the lunch break. Th...

  • Design criteria

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    Form: 1.Form should be intuitive enough for users to understanding how it works without complicated instructions. 2. Products should be designed based on ergonomic form study to provide a comfortable physical experience of products. 3. Since form is the first contact to consumers when products are released in the market, form should be intriguing enough to stand out among others and to draw peoples’ eye.

    Function: Function of products should be considered in the first place, because products are supposed to provide functions in some forms. They can be a physical functions (furniture etc) or intangible system (computer programs etc). Whatever forms they take, functions are the goal that designers have to achieve through products.

    Materials: So many innovative products has derived from innovative materials over the design history. Notice how Eames designed a series of great chairs using cutting –edge technologies and materials at that time. Some of his works couldn’t have come true without new materials and technologies. To me, the exploration of new materials is one of the most important design processes. With a global concern with ecology, materials should have as less impact on the environment as possible.

    Production: Designers should consider how much impact on environment they have in a production phase and try to reduce it as much as possible. In this sense, designing products does not mean dealing with end products. It has to involves material choice, producti...

  • Bibliography

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    Christina Zarcadoolas, Andrew F. Pleasant, David S Greer. Advancing health literacy: a framework for understanding and action. :Jossey-Bass, 2006

    Joanne G Schwartzberg, Jonathan VanGeest, Claire Wang. Understanding health literacy: implications for medicine and public health. :American Medical Association, 2005

    Helen Osborne. Health literacy from A to Z: practical ways to communicate your health. : Jones and Bartlett, 2005

    Nancy D Berkman., RTI International-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center., United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Literacy and health outcomes. :Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2004

    The Harvard School of Public Health: Health Literacy Studies Web Site. June 2007. Harvard School of Public Health. 29 Sep. 2008 <>.

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design