Last weekend, I was able to take a short trip back to Costa Rica with Michael and Dr. Richardson. As Michael explained in his post, the goal of this trip was to meet with potential end users of our DialOasis solution. The trip was very successful, and it gave me a new perspective and understanding of the impact that our project can potentially have.
These patients have all been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and need to undergo peritoneal dialysis. However, because they don’t have the infrastructure to have their treatments at home, they must go to the hospital. One man explained that he leaves his home for the hospital at 5am and returns at 10pm, 6 days a week. We met their wives and children, who now see them only late at night and on Sundays. Being in their homes and understanding what they’re going through showed us how important it is to find a way to allow these people to do their treatments at home. We could see the excitement on their faces when we described our project.
After returning from Costa Rica, the team got right back to work thinking about our next prototype. Many questions were answered during our trip that will allow us to implement specific design features that we know will work in users’ homes and that they told us would be helpful to them. We will soon begin building this next prototype, which will be the last one that our GMI team works on. The project will then be passed on to the next GMI cohort to get more user feedback and further improve on our design.
Working on the DialOasis project has certainly been challenging at times, but seeing its potential impact has made me very thankful for this opportunity from Rice and GMI.