by Kori Skeffington

CommuniCare is a re-imagined approach to the design of medical communication boards to humanize communication and to help patients regain control of their lives. Annually, 2.7 million patients in the United States hospitalized in intensive care units are not able to speak because of artificial airway and assisted ventilation breathing devices. Current methods of care provider-patient communication—such as laminated medical communication boards—are limited in the range of words and phrases a double-sided sheet sheet can offer. Further to this, language barriers are problematic with more than 48% of hospitals in the US encountering patients with limited English skills daily. Patients are often reduced to rudimentary physical gestures, resulting in miscommunication and misinterpretation. According to the American Journal of Critical Care, 37.7% of communication exchanges between nurses and non-vocal ICU patients about pain are unsuccessful.

Physical limitations and verbal impairment is equally problematic where it is estimated that 33% of conscious patients in intensive care units are unable to use the conventional nurse call systems to initiate communication of basic needs. More than 671,440 communication related adverse events occur on average every year, and researchers have found that estimated $6.8 billion could be saved annually by reducing communication barriers that could lead to an adverse event.

To address these problems, CommuniCare is a tablet application which has been designed to allow patients in a critical care setting to properly communicate with their practitioners, reducing the feelings of fear, frustration, anxiety, and anger that can come with medical miscommunication. By harnessing the power of design and technology, CommuniCare offers a voice to the voiceless, and allows the most vulnerable among us to express how they feel—physically and emotionally.


Gold in Digital Tools and Utilities 2021, Student

Silver in Innovative Use of Mobile Technology 2021, Student

Bronze in Mobile App 2021, Student

Bronze in Mobile Interaction & Experience 2021, Student

Created by:

Lead Designer

Kori Skeffington

Project Website

click here

Design Team

Amanda Perez