UXDI Project 1: The Making of MediMonitor
Have you ever faced the situation where you have monitor the health conditions of your loved ones in hospital, and at the same time, deal with the pressured to keep up with endless amount of work? Righteously, it would be more appropriate to put your work aside and tend to your loved ones. In real-life scenario however, it was found that individuals have a hard time putting their day-to-day work aside for long periods of time. Moreover, individuals tend to fret over the conditions of their loved ones while at work.
The possibilities seems endless for the Health Tech industry. A quick google search will show different ideas and solutions that has already been presented in the tech sphere. My goal however, was to come up with solution that meets the needs of the user in a hyper-local context.
In order to find out the real need of the users here and their pain points with current solution (if any), I used in-depth interview as my research method. Using convenience sampling, I picked out 3 main interviewees who were keen on Health Tech and another interviewee who previously claimed that he had issues with the current healthcare system. My interview was mainly unstructured in order to keep the interview conversational to ensure that the interviewee remains comfortable with the sharing of his thoughts and beliefs. Nonetheless, I had a set of structured questions on stand-by in the case where the interview “goes off track”.
The questions are:
- Describe the process of your journey or your loved ones’ journey in getting medical care
- How do you digest and keep track of the information or instructions given by the doctors
- How do you monitor the medical condition of your loved ones if they are unwell?
- How do you ensure that you meet the doctors instructions or requirements?
- How do you keep track of your medication intakes?
- Do you keep in touch with the Doctor? If so, how?
Interestingly, there seemed to be two distinct “subcategories” within the healthcare system. One was more focused towards the experience of healthcare provided by family clinic or neighbourhood general-practitioners while the other was more hospital centric. Among the two categories, I found that the issues concerning the healthcare experience of hospital to be more alarming and urgent.
I used affinity mapping to sieve out the key pain points that were experienced by my interviewees. Out of the key pain points, I picked the 3 memorable points that I empathise most with.
Here are the key points from the 3 interviewees:
- Difficulty in taking note and remembering instructions & details from the doctor
- Poor reporting and communication system
- Lack of time to monitor patient well-being
- Bad Information/communication process. Constantly communicating to the wrong point-of-contact (ie. “I had to constantly talk to someone who does not fully understand my wife’s condition”)
- Unsure of some information & details (ie. medical jargons)
- Inability to focus on the right information among the clutter of instructions & information
- Inability to attend to patient due to time and proximity constraints
- Uncertain about certain medical terms and instructions (ie. “I don’t know what gout is”)
- Details and instruction were too brief, lack in details (ie. “Stay off expensive seafood and meat-based food”)
Although their pain points vary in terms of context, I managed to draw some parallels between some of their comments and churned out some key insights that could help in the shaping of my idea.
The 3 main pain points are:
- Lack of time to track patient’s progress
- Inability to understand certain medical terms and jargons
- Poor information and communication relay system
With the 3 main pain points, I churned out my problem statement.
“Family Members of in-patients face a lack of time and an inability to digest the influx of information and medical jargons from doctors and nurses.”
The problem statement gave me clarity in my ideation process. Instead of creating many features as possible on my app, I decided to keep it lean and keep my features streamlined to solving the problems faced by users.
I spotted 3 key features in my ideation process. I realised that there was a need for:
- Real-time tracking of patient’s progress
- Access to doctors’ medication and instruction details
- A in-app system to communicate to relevant medical staffs
Hence, this brings me to my solution statement, “An integrated healthcare application for the family members of the patients to seamless track the patient’s hospital progress”.
The crafting of the product seemed straight forward for the user-end. However, I do need to address the fact that this system would only work with the support of the hospital and its staffs. The load of the system would rely heavily on the feedback and instructions set by the doctors and the nurses and therefore, I would need to dive deep into the “user-experience” of these staffs and understand whether they have the capacity to cater such instructions, informations and feedback to the end-user.
In addition, the feedback given by my UXDI batch did indicate that the app has far a lot more potential than just being an information-relay system. One mentioned that the data (ie. the information and instruction) could be kept in a cloud system and be pulled whenever the patient needs medical help anywhere around the world. This could prove to be useful since the patient’s dedicated doctors will not be physically present and attend to the patient all the time. Future iteration could include a cloud storage system as well as a more-secured login system, such as an OTP-login, to ensure that the privacy of the patients will not be compromised.
You can view the paper-prototype of MediMonitor through the following link:
Do comment on the prototype and give your inputs on how I can further improve the user experience of MediMonitor!