boo-boo buddy (design for america)


Design for America is a national organization that focuses on using engineering skills to build solutions to local problems. At the MIT chapter, this involves teams of 4-5 students that focus on a particular problem space over the course of a school year. My team wanted to create something to improve the “patient experience” after personal observations about the inefficiencies in healthcare systems.


 After a semester of ideation and prototyping three different ideas in the same problem space, we eventually focused in on children. My team created Boo Boo Buddy, a pediatric pain assessment doll designed for non-verbal patients and children between the ages of 5-8. Boo Boo Buddy is a friendly and comforting doll in the shape of a person. It comes with a sticker set that correlates color with the Wong-Baker pain scale. The child places these stickers on the doll, and the parents use an accompanying mobile application to track the location and progress of pain over time. This allows parents to provide more accurate data for healthcare professionals who can then better gauge the condition of the patient.

My role

During the ideation phase, I visited Brigham and Women's Hospital to speak with doctors to understand more about our problem space. I sewed a few of the Boo-Boo Buddy prototypes and user tested with children and parents from a local daycare center. As our project came to a close, I took product photos and assisted in the production of our video (below). 

Skills practiced

User interviews, market research, human-centered design, prototyping, product testing, idea pitching, toy development