Ep 117 -- Industrial Design and an Art Tram

English transcript here.

I read through my daily Google News Alert about stroke a couple months back and came across an article about the Mobile CT scanner. It's designed to mount in ambulances and aircraft. It helps the medical team confirm a stroke diagnosis and start treatment even before the patient gets to the hospital.

I reached out to one of the designers and that ushered me into the fascinating world of Drs. Nyein Chan Aung and Thinn Thinn Khine.


Drs. Nyein and Thin Thin Khine cuddle together in front of a tram decorated with an image of Thinn Thinn drinking tea.Photo by James HH Morgan

Dr. Nyein Chan Aung sit in an office space smiling at the camera.

Nyein is an industrial designer, design researcher and artist. He has given himself a mission to "Make Cool Stuff", and has been following that mission since 2005. As a result, he's won several major design awards for products in aerospace, healthcare and camping. He's currently a senior design researcher at Monash University's Design Health Collab, where he oversees the design of high-impact healthcare services and products.

Dr. Thinn Thinn Khine stands in front of a white picket fence with a stethoscope draped over her neck.

Thinn Thinn is an endocrinologist specializing in geriatrics endocrinology. She's been practicing medicine since 2006, and has worked in Myanmar, Jamaica, the US and Australia. She received multiple scholarships and travelling fellowships to be trained as a physician-scientist in the field of the endocrinology in ageing.

Thinn Thinn is also a visual artist. She's exhibited her work in multiple solo art exhibitions in Victoria, and raised funds to support geriatric medicine, aged care mental health and palliative care departments in Monash Health and Barwon Health.

Mobile CT Scanner

The mobile CT Scanner, developed by Monash University and Micro-X mounts in an ambulance, aircraft, or other vehicle. When the EMTs suspect a stroke, they can bring the patient to the vehicle, do the scan, and start heading to the hospital.

While they're on the way, they can transmit those image on ahead so the hospital staff knows what's happening and can stage the appropriate resources. A remote neurologist could even instruct the EMTs to begin the appropriate treatment.

You can read more about the system here: https://www.monash.edu/mada/news/2020/new-ct-scanner-speeds-up-stroke-diagnosis

Palliative Care Unit

The death of Thinn Thinn's mother from stroke inspired the couple to make things easier for others going through these circumstances.

The design the Palliative Care Unit. It's a piece of furniture that can be rolled into a patient's room so family members can sleep there when the COVID-19 situation  is under  control. In the interim, it's a place to support video conferencing and personal items from the patient's home.

You can see more in this video:


Art Tram Project

Melbourne invited artists to submit work to be featured on trams (street cars) that travel around the city in 2019. It was the perfect project for Nyein to submit the portrait he did of Thinn Thinn sipping tea at the Supper Inn Chinese Restaurant.

You can see Thinn Thinn's face zipping around the city larger than life in this video:



Nyein referenced a couple book in our conversation.

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator who's written a book about how to negotiate in everyday life.

amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "currentlybill-20";
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon";
amzn_assoc_region = "US";
amzn_assoc_design = "enhanced_links";
amzn_assoc_asins = "0062407805";
amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit";
amzn_assoc_linkid = "08f7668ad61d3230d3cd077558f74830";


Walter Isaacson is a historian who wrote about Leonardo da Vinci and The Last Supper.

amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "currentlybill-20";
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon";
amzn_assoc_region = "US";
amzn_assoc_design = "enhanced_links";
amzn_assoc_asins = "1501139169";
amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit";
amzn_assoc_linkid = "4b1b3286bbe651d6fef62f67df0d890d";


(Affiliate links)

Hack of the Week

Thinn Thinn's recommendation is to consider the whole person. Regardless of the condition leading to disability, we are all, first and foremost, people with lives, history, families (genetic or chosen), and dreams. It's easy to get caught up in the specific medical details of a brain injury, but focusing exclusively on that misses the core needs of the person. Whether the medical situation is recovery oriented or palliatively oriented, the whole person is what matters.


Where do we go from here?

  • Check out Nyein and Thinn Thinn's website to learn more about this power couple.
  • For more books and gadgets, check out the Strokecast Gift Guide at http://Strokecast.com/GiftGuide.
  • Don't get best…get better.


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

No comments: