After much discussion, Charmaine and I decided to focus on the TCM practice as we felt that it was a gap that is being overlooked by the younger generation. However, we both saw the value in preserving this practice as our Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong noted that as our population ages, TCM will potentially be able to meet the healthcare needs of the elderly as they tend to fuse Western and Eastern medical care. Our Health Ministry has also allocated extra funding to develop and support the Traditional Chinese Medicine sector and this includes S$5 million over the next five years for the TCM Research Grant.
This also led us to think about how we can make TCM more appealing to the younger generation as Derrick had also pointed out that the younger generation generally only seeks TCM for sports injuries like sprains.
We designed a cultural probe and requested the help of
In addition, we provided an MRT map and stickers, asking him to mark out the area of his patients’ place where he has to travel to as well as the clinic that he practices in to see how much he had to travel.
Lastly, a pen was provided as well as a notepad for additional notes that he has with regards to his practice.
The pain points Dr Soh wrote was mainly for the house visits as he mentioned that generally practicing TCM in the clinic itself is conducive as everything is at reach. However, for house visits, due to limited bag space, he could only limit the tools to bring along based on patients’ description of their illnesses to him prior to their appointment through phone calls or Whatsapp. Because there is no standard TCM bag, it sometimes can be disorganized and troublesome to have so many tools contained in his personal bag pack with limited slots that are catered to TCM tools.
His bag was often heavy. He also talked about how certain treatments are limited such as the electrolysis machines stimulation due to difficulties in finding a power source that is of reach to the area where he carries out the treatment during house visits
He noted that his patients generally did not have any complaints about receiving treatment at home, and services like acupuncture and cupping
Our thoughts and findings:
We felt that there is definitely a gap that is overlooked for TCM practitioners. Photographers have special bags that are designed for their convenience and comfort, why do TCM practitioners not have that? This need was something that we can potentially meet if we could make a portable TCM studio for these TCM practitioners. Furthermore, in order to elevate the patient’s treatment experience, we wanted to not just increase their comfort during this treatment process, but rather create an environment that is something similar to a spa or massage experience to elevate the status of TCM as just