BRCA I Process Design
Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Production Date: 2010

Cooperation Partners
Institut für Humangenetik
Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel

Gwendolyn Billig
Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie Berlin, DE
Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, DE
Medical Design Master Program

Presented In
Kieler Nachrichten


Process design for predictive genetic testing for the breast cancer genes

Breast and ovarian cancer are two of the most common types of cancer of our age. In some families the terrible diseases affect members in every generation. In these kinds of families the cancer might be linked to a mutation of certain genes. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that belong to a class of genes known as tumor suppressors. In normal cells, these genes ensure the stability of the DNA and help prevent uncontrolled cell growth. Mutation of these genes has been linked to the development of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The names BRCA1 and BRCA2 stand for breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 and breast cancer susceptibility gene 2, respectively.

Inherited BRCA gene mutations are responsible for about 5 percent of breast cancers and about 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancers. The BRCA gene test uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes in either one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes. In Germany the gene test is only offered to people who are likely to have an inherited mutation, based on personal or family history, or who have specific types of breast cancer. The test is connected to a counseling program and the whole process might take up to half a year. This whole time might be very psychologically stressful to some patients as the result does not only effect the person containing the possible mutation but also the person’s children and blood relatives. When you work in Medical Design, you realize that it is often not only the product, which you create that makes a difference, but the whole process your product is used in. The prettiest ultrasound device won’t be noticed in a process full of insecurity and bad information management. In my Master Thesis, I worked on the topic of genetic testing and created a process design for BRCA gene tests. Main aspect of the redesign was the creation of a patient-centered information management.

The Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Kiel and their BRCA counseling program have been great partners throughout the whole design process.


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Research within development process


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Research within development process


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Research within development process


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Research within development process


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Test results do always affect the whole family


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Re-Naming the service program


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Example product: All relevant info within one folder


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Example product: All relevant info within one folder


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Example product: Combining contact info with pictures provides guidance for patients


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Giving patients already an accurate date when the results of the genetic testing would be due instead of a time estimation, doesn’t shorten the analysis process itself, but narrows it down for the patients.
Such simple adjustments within the counseling program often have tremendous effects on the patients and can easily be implemented.


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Gaining genetic material


Anette Stroeh, Anette Ströh, BRCA, BRCA counseling program, BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, breast cancer gene, Brustkrebs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Design, DNA, Eierstockkrebs, gene test, Gentest, Gwendolyn Billig, gynecological check-up, Healthcare, Institut für Humangenetik, MA Medical Design, Medical Design, Medical Design Master, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, ovarian cancer, patient-centered, Process Design, Product Design, specula, user-centered

Data check via RFID


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