The initial default solution to many disaster relief situations is to fly in bottled water provisions. This proves to be logistically difficult and expensive as bulk or bottled water solutions are extremely heavy to airlift.

To help in the first wave of disaster response, Hydration Technology Innovations (HTI) and Eastman Chemical developed the HydroPack: a single use water filtration pouch that is light, compact, easy to use and can provide a clean drink from nearly any water source.

Modern Edge collaborated with HTI and Eastman to improve the usability, design, packaging and user comprehension of the HTI HydroPack.

In order for the HydroPack to live up to its potential as a life-saving tool in disaster relief scenarios, the design needs to ensure that anyone, anywhere could use it correctly and without additional instructions. The HydroPack technology is extremely efficient at filtering microbes, viruses, and other toxins from the water, but only if it is used correctly. If the usage instructions are misunderstood, individual users are in danger of illness or death, and entire communities are potentially at risk from communicable diseases.

Modern Edge and HTI conducted an in-depth pilot including a 90-household research and usage study in the Budalangi and Turkana regions of Kenya, and involved the Red Cross, Kenyan Water for Health Organization, Unicef and the Kenyan Government.

This consisted of in-depth interviews and observation of 11 of the 90 general survey households and additional 10 in-depth interview sessions in the Turkana outback.

The research insights were used to inform a new generation of packaging, instructional icons, and training programs which will help save lives in future disasters.