MedSculp - Art Transforming Health
What we do:
MedSculp produces educational content featuring data driven visual artworks and designs that help people with diabetes who struggle with conventional explanations of how to treat and understand their disease. MedSculp works with diabetes centers, camps, and health and public organizations by providing scalable interactive content that demonstrates key diabetes concepts and personal health data. Through the creative combination of diabetes data visualization, infographic design, and customized artworks MedSculp engages patients to be inspired and empowered to take ownership of their health from day one.
How we do it:
The first MedSculp product is the Diabetes Data Sculpture, which transforms thousands of data points from Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) over a one month period into a concise digital visualization that can be viewed on any personal device or held as a 3D-printed object in the palm of your hand. Diabetes Data Sculptures show clinically relevant blood glucose trends through color, form, and texture so that patients can understand their health over time even if they are not yet able to grasp complicated charts and numbers.
Who we help:
MedSculp is a novel solution for the problem of vital but inaccessible information and concepts that prevents millions of people from taking ownership of their health. By transforming existing data sets from medical literature and HIPAA compliant health data platforms, MedSculp makes use of underutilized data and information as its raw material. While diabetes type 1 and type 2 is the first target for MedSculp, the process and utilization of health data are applicable to any chronic disease whether physical or mental requiring health monitoring and patient education.
Who we are:
Justus Harris - Founder
Artist and Technologist Justus Harris (type 1 diabetes for 12 years). See more about my story below.
Elizabeth Littlejohn, MD - Medical Adviser
Pediatric Endocrinologist & Researcher, Sparrow Medical Group (newly joined), Formerly with University of Chicago Medical Center’s Kovler Diabetes Center.
Eric Dolores Cuenca, PhD - Back-end Developer
Mathematician & Educator.
Background ( Story of a 'patient on a mission )
By Justus Harris
Chronic conditions like my type 1 diabetes never stop and despite advances in health monitoring, the medical community struggles to make it easier to comprehend the data.
During participation in artificial pancreas studies at the University of Chicago, led by collaborator Dr. Elizabeth Littlejohn, I was inspired by how the engineers used my health data to make concise algorithms. In response, utilizing my design and technology skills, I took this data and transformed it into 3D printed hand held objects, which are tangible calendars of health.
The sculptures simplify each month of vital metrics including insulin doses, blood glucose levels, and carbohydrates consumed, into objects with textures and shapes that vary based on changes in health felt sequentially as a timeline. This allows me to feel a sculpture and understand my condition better then I could have with ten years of data tracking and doctors visits.
As a sculptor who has created representational depictions of the body from metal and plaster materials, the challenge of working with a wholly new process 3D printing (PLA plastic biodegradable filament/ABS) excites me as an artist.
While my condition is at this point permanent my experience of it is now creative. I see sculptures that reflect the state of my body and gain insight into patterns I had not recognized from studying numbers in spreadsheets. When I rotate my hand around the days of the month (represented by spikes on my own sculptures) I feel a sharp pattern of high blood sugar on Mondays and low blood sugar on Wednesdays. I see a dioramic mountain range on the third week of January where my insulin had gone bad. My health is now the basis for a work of art that is dependent on me and which makes me want to know more about my own body.
My goal is to make the art and technology of Diabetes Data Sculptures accessible to anyone seeking greater awareness of their own health and wellness.
Events & News
-MedSculp in residence at mHUB, Chicago's premiere prototyping center.
-MedSculp wins Make/Work creative venture challenge at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
-Livongo Health Presentation on Diabetes Data Sculptures
-Interview on Diabetes Data Sculptures with Amy T for DiabetesMine
-Recent coverage from D-Data ExChange at Stanford
-Medscape Article on Diabetes Data Sculptures
Artist, Technologist, & Educator