Working in step with Curative, Gehl worked quickly to design the Covid-19 Testing Kiosk, a self-contained unit small enough to be deployed in a parking space wherever communities needed it most. Gehl collaborated with fabrication and information design consultants to quickly translate ideas into tangible and full scale working prototypes, each version improving upon the previous. This was paired with on-site user data collection to ensure a user-informed, iterative design process. Gehl deconstructed Curative’s test to analyze how its administration could be made more user-friendly for a variety of users in a public setting. The analysis reduced the instructions from 22 steps to six and enabled most steps to be completed with one hand, with the support of Gehl’s new test interface. This streamlining better enabled children, those with mobility or cognitive impairments, and anyone nervous about taking the test to have an easier testing experience.
Working in parallel, another Gehl team devised a deployment strategy and data-driven tool to help Curative and its public sector partners quickly identify the best sites to deploy testing kiosks where they were needed most. Using epidemiological data that conveyed which areas of cities had the highest transmission rates at a given time, Gehl created a multi-criteria decision GIS mapping model to prioritize deployment areas, fore-fronting epidemiology as a core input but also taking into account factors like existing test site gaps, population density, public transit accessibility, and potential to reach underserved groups. Gehl and Curative used this model in conversations with health departments in cities and states across the country to inform the creation of equitable deployment strategies.
The Covid-19 testing kiosks were deployed to more than 30 cities by the end of 2020 and increased the daily test-collection capacity across these cities by over one million tests per month. Pairing the kiosks with Gehl’s data-driven siting approach helped Curative have informed dialogues with clients to fill gaps in the existing testing system and provide a more evenly and equitably distributed testing network nationwide.