This week I worked mostly the web portion of the project; a dashboard for clinicians to assess patients' level of activity; but progress hasn't been lightning-fast.
In the last two weeks I've moved from the research and concept phase of my thesis into a prototyping phase. It's been a pretty quick turnaround and now I'm into the guts of building a useful rehabilitation tool based on the needs of patients and staff at Sloan-Kettering.
Right now my focus is on building a simple web application that will allow patients to get a sense of their physical activity and monitor modest goals, while giving clinicians some oversight. I'm building the application using Sinatra. I've had some great help from Steven Klise, and I am slowly - ever so slowly - making progress. I'm successfully pulling data in from the FitBit API and storing it against a local user record. This is all I really wanted to achieve in the first few weeks. I now need to move on and implement the more specific pieces of the puzzle - a persuasive feedback system that draws clinicians and patients together with positive effect.
As I work on this phase I've been getting drawing on the insight from the research phase to keep me on track, and I also had the pleasure of interviewing one of the hospital's patients this week. We talked about his treatment experience and about the challenge of maintaining physical condition, and he had some encouraging feedback on my project.
The next couple of weeks are really crucial; there's so much to do - but I am feeling pretty positive (if a tad overwhelmed).