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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

WuQing Hipsh

WuQing is an interdisciplinary design researcher driven by a passion to discover human-centred design solutions for social change. She synthesises data from many fields, ideates, prototypes, and implements solutions. She began her career as an artist and teacher working in diverse institutions, from schools serving underprivileged students, to adoptee support groups for interracial, transnational adoptees. She went to graduate school to learn how to make systemic change as a designer.

Her artwork has been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and was featured in the New York Times, Art and Design Section. She was also a guest on an episode of Project Runway, in which her design inspired the winning garment. WeAlign has been accepted into stages 1 & 2 of the We Innovate (Women Entrepreneurs) programme; part of Imperial Enterprise Lab.





Degree Details

School of Design

Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Our vestibular system is essential for balance, and as we age this system tends to degrade, affecting an estimated 53-93 million people in the US and Europe. WeAlign is a platform that helps user’s improve their balance by playing games. WeAlign improves users’ balance from the comfort of home, allowing users to track their progress, while playing a game. WeAlign will make painful exercises enjoyable, for better health and independence.

A leading treatment for Vestibular dysfunction is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). Access to VRT is limited to online videos and expensive in-person therapy. Patients must continue their exercises at home without feedback, data, or engaging incentives to continue with the painful exercises.

WeAlign gamefies gaze stabilization, a core exercise in VRT. Building upon decades of research, WeAlign brings Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) into the 21st century using tracking technology from the user’s laptop. The gamification and access to data should increase adherence to treatment plans.

We are currently testing our prototype with users. Please contact me for more information:


WeAlign Animation

Mock ups from the website

User Journey — Users only need a computer with a webcam. WeAlign uses gamified exercises for increased adherence to at-home physiotherapy. WeAlign gives the user access to their qualitative data to see how they are doing over time.

When patients login to our platform, they will take a placement assessment to determine their entry level, and then unlock daily games. The games are controlled by the patient’s head movements and eye movements. WeAlign uses face and gaze tracking technology and game design principles to enable patients to improve their vestibular health.

A working prototype of one level of the game is available upon request. Please contact me to learn more:

Vestibular Christa Diagram 01

User Research — After interviewing more than 70 people, I was able to identify common coping mechanisms that help people with vestibular dysfunction.

Human-centered design has been central to the development of WeAlign. The project began after witnessing my mother struggle with vestibular dysfunction for the past 13 years. To further learn about the condition, I conducted surveys with more than 70 people.
To deepen my research, I interviewed six people about their diagnosis and journeys, treatment plans, and coping mechanisms. I forged connections in order to interview patients, as well as medical professionals. After months of rigorous research, I began co-creating solutions, and running a series of rapid experiments to test potential solutions. I experimented with many interventions to help people with their vestibular issues, including the neurological application of vibrations, and the redesigning of walking assistants and physical supports.
When Covid 19 occurred, it became clear that a reliable digital solution to vestibular rehabilitation was necessary. Patients wanted a solution that would help them heal, decrease their risk of falling, and provide emotional support.

Gaze Stabilisation — Gaze stabilisation is a proven Vestibular Rehabilitation technique. WeAlign allows people to practice this exercise at home and monitor their improvement.

Increased Risk Of Falls

Competative Landcape — We are currently the only vestibular rehabilitation game that can offer quantitative and qualitative data with simple hardware.

On To A Winner

A prototype of one level of the game is currently being tested with users.
If you would like to see the game please contact me here:

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