Brazil Trip

Semester Blog Seven

Alright! Sorry for the delay, the last three weeks have been a whirlwind of travel between Brazil and vacation and getting ready for jobs after graduation. Two weeks ago, I went to Brazil to test my device, get the mobile and web-side translated, and discuss the business aspects of the projects. It was a very product, very promising trip, and I am incredibly grateful and proud of what the Barretos Cancer Hospital has accomplished. I highly recommend, if you have any interest in either my project or the hospital in general you see this website:

http://www.hcancerbarretos.com.br/en/

They do some amazing work, have caring and passionate employees, and are some of the most welcoming people I have ever met. If you have a chance to look over some of their work and the history of the hospital (interesting in and of itself) I highly recommend it.

I had three main objectives with my visit:

  1. Translate and modify as necessary the RedCAP website to determine the optimal balance between time to input data and requirement of important data
  2. Test the app and the mechanical prototype with physicians and nurses to determine areas for improvement
  3. Discuss a potential business model for the mechanical device.

All of these objectives were successfully met (though as always, there is more work to be done!) and between the Barretos Dermatology team and myself we drafted a plan for moving forward. An itsy bitsy flowchart of this plan can be seen at the bottom of this blog. For the rest of this blog I want to talk a bit of what I learned by prepping for this travel and during the travel itself:

  1. Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. A pretty common phrase but it’s true! We were communication for my travel (GMI and Barretos) for a number of weeks before the travel, organizing who needs to be at what meeting, and what needs to be accomplished. This, and having a detailed personal schedule, helped the trip be very productive.
  2. Have someone who it both fluent in the native language and who understand your project. It is much easier to communicate to others how a device works and obtain honest feedback on the device when you have someone fluent in the native language. People are more open to discussing problems and dislikes in their own language.
  3. Document everything. Have a notebook and write down everything from what people say to how they react to things. Not all feedback is verbal, some in body language or subtle movements or struggles that are not voiced. These clues are just as important as what is said.

Overall the trip was amazing both in its productivity and hospitality. Also, Brazilian cheese bread (Pão de Queijo) is mind-blowing. Find some, you won’t regret it. It’s gluten-free! Not for the lactose intolerant though…

Next up is Michael who will be traveling (again!) to Costa Rica to do some prototype testing of our design.

That’s it from me! Until next time,

Jeannette

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