Would you visit a Doctor while feeling healthy?

An Approach to Individual Health Prevention

Janosch Reiter
6 min readOct 13, 2023

Over 600,000 people in Germany die every year from cardiovascular diseases and cancer. For more than half of the patients, the disease is detected too late for proper healing chances. The healthcare system offers only generalized preventive examinations, but many people are not aware of these services either.

So how can we support the society to use the prevention services and even fill some gaps with additional offers? Two heads and two weeks to design a solution approach.

Health Promotion vs. Health Prevention

Our client already provides an App for Health Promotion (help to stay healthy). With health education and courses, they have a wide range of offerings for what people can do to stay healthy. But now, they wanted us to take a step back and build a Health Prevention Platform (Lowering the Risk of getting sick). Compared to the generalized health insurance services, it should address the individual prevention needs of a person.

How do people think about the topic?

Through interviews and an online survey (with 22 participants), we filtered out some important insights.

  • People generally don’t know which examinations are covered by their health insurance, but everyone would like to be reminded about the available offers.
  • Most people do not make use of health prevention services.
  • The majority of people track their health data for no particular reason.

Finding Patterns in the Jungle of Problems and Insights

The topic is a huge pile of restrictions, politics, assumptions, and new problems. But a good way to find out what you can do is to figure out what you can’t do in the first place. During clustering, we crystallized some topics that were worth digging deeper into. Examples include individual health data, self-testing, and the paid examinations covered by health insurances.

Status Quo — The Persona Healthy Howard

Howard Is living a healthy life. He feels like precaution examinations offers do not concern him. He dislikes going to the doctor when he is not feeling sick. The following journey map represents him being confronted with the topic of cancer in his family:

“Healthy Howard needs an individual health prevention service, because he generally feels healthy and does not think about serious diseases.”

Ideation — Solution Space

For a better focus on the respective step of the design process, you need a clear head. But since we are involved with the topic all the time, it is also quite normal that ideas arise all the time. The solution space (a separated area for Sticky notes on the wall) allows us to keep the ideas, not in our head but on the wall.

Ideation — How Might We

We had a lot of questions about how we might solve several parts of the topic. We chose the five most important ones and decided to focus on quantity first. So, we ideated until our heads were spinning — 80 ideas in total. Combined with 20 ideas from the Solution Space, we had a solid foundation to build a set of features and must-haves.

Lo-Fi/ Service Flow

I can allways hardly wait for that moment. The step where you bring all your ideas to paper, shape, and translate them into a frame initiates the building part of the design process. When creating wireframes, it describes the process within the app. However, this concept also involves a lot of actions outside the app, which is why we created a general map to illustrate the entire service flow. Combined with the lo-fi wireframes, we had a first draft good enough to test for the first time.

Concept Testing

Cut out some frames, lay one on top of the other, and see how people react. With a not so commonly known topic, we were facing the problem that people missed context. So, some explanations were required for people to understand what to do.

MidFi/ Information Architecture

With a draft of MidFi wireframes, we started arranging all the necessary information to be displayed. We also double-checked the features and must-haves to ensure that everything needed was included. We used the MidFi approach purely as an arrangement tool; nothing was specified yet. No fonts, no exact positions, no spacing, no icons, and of course, no colors.

Trustworthy, Healthy and Digital

The Visual appearance should be in the medical direction, but not look like being at the doctor. It should be not to playful regarding the serious topic, but also not to conservative. A survey showed the most used words to describe the mood-board — Trustworthy, Healthy and Digital.

A/B Testing

When several people have different design approaches and ideas to solve a problem or a situation, sometimes they just don’t come to the same conclusion. As a team of two people, we had this situation several times. The solution is simple: show both versions to other people and listen to their opinions. Most of the time, both versions had some good aspects, so we merged those parts together and had a proper solution in the end.

Preväntio:N — An Individual Health Prevention App

The concept is simple:

  1. First, collect as much personal medical data as possible.
  2. Then, make a risk assessment based on this data.
  3. Compare your personal disease risk with the prevention services offered by your health insurance.
  4. If necessary, add specialized yearly home testing.

The first step is to order a generalized self-testing kit to collect medical data.

Datapool

While waiting on the test results of the starter-kit, you are supposed to answer some questions about your health, your body and your medical background. Additionally you can improve the accuracy of your risk assumption by connecting a device, like for example and smartwatch containing health data.

Risk Analysis and Suggestions

The better the datapool is filled with medical information, the higher the accuracy of the risk analysis becomes. Based on the analysis and your personal data, the app searches for matching examinations and services offered by your health insurance. If there are none, it suggests home tests on a yearly basis. Additionally, a personal to-do list guides you seamlessly through the prevention process, step by step.

Major Learning

This project showed me that it’s important to be aware of how time-consuming certain steps can be. We planned some extra time to think about the concept — it was worth it. We spent some extra time setting up a system for the UI instead of working frame by frame — it was worth it. So, finding a balance of investing extra time in certain aspects and actually saving time because of that is crucial.

The Next Big Step

There was a huge list of features that could be developed in the future (digital vaccination book, family prevention, etc.), but the most important next step would be, guess what, testing! Validate the concept and dig deeper. Make assumptions become facts.

Thank You for Reading

If you enjoyed this case study, feel free to clap or leave a comment. For more articles and projects, follow me or take a look at my website.

↓ Please try the click prototype. ↓

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