Announcing Our New Mobile App Redesign — What’s New and Why
Over the next several weeks, we are releasing two updates to our mobile app that provide a refreshed look, more intuitive navigation, and new features that make it easier to take care of yourself.
Over the last two years, we have introduced an updated app about every 12 months, our latest redesign coming in March, 2022. While we know that change may be disruptive, we have continued to take a user-centered approach and drive improvements to the experience to better help people be healthy and interact with our system.
Why We Adopted a Mobile-First Strategy
We continue to believe that health care needs to be based around people, wherever they are, extremely personalized, and always on. These beliefs have led us to create experiences based upon people’s most personal and portable devices — mobile phones. While we continue to use our EHR partner in meaningful ways to support our core transactions, our user research has led us to knit together different technologies and services in a seamless experience. We also see contextual data living outside of the EHR, and we plan on leveraging our partnership with Amazon Web Services to develop out Health Lake and Pinpoint to create deeply personal experiences for our users.
We will move to bring our mobile experience to the web over the next two years. We carefully chose our framework to enable portability to the web, and this will support people who use mobile web browsers instead of apps, or those who prefer to use a full desktop or laptop set up.
We have made several improvements to the layout and design.
Firstly, common activities are placed up front. The most common activities that our users check are appointments, messages, and results (see below), and so we brought these up to the main page. Appointments are now displayed in cards at the top, making it easy to know what is next on your calendar, to know when check-in is available, to reschedule the appointment, or to start a video visit, should it be a telehealth appointment.
We have also created a notification center at the top, for quick access to any reminders or notifications that users may have recently received. Tapping on a topic will bring up the most recent message.
Scheduling & Finding Care
And as we have expanded our care offerings, including virtual care on-demand and new same-day care offerings, we have created an activity called “Find Care” that enables users to schedule instantly.
Within our scheduling, we have also added the ability for people to schedule appointments with their own doctor, schedule laboratory appointments for blood draws at convenient times and locations, and also still to use our symptom checker, powered by Buoy.
In-App Personalized Messaging
We have also created a framework for in-app messaging and push notifications to keep our users abreast of tasks, tips, and opportunities tailored to them.
Preventive Care Plans
One of the experiences that we are most excited about is Preventive Care. We know that sometimes preventive screenings may be deferred because it’s hard to get into the doctor’s office, not clear what is needed or recommended, or annoying to schedule. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, we have seen a gap in the number of screenings that people should be receiving, likely from deferred care.
We also know that a head to toe physical examination is not necessary for most people every year, and has also been considered a form of ‘low value care’ by the American Board of Internal Medicine. What is valuable is the trusted relationship, guidance, and having evidence-based screenings and follow-up actions.
How would we make it easy for patients? We followed the Design Sprint process to kick start our design effort. The Sprint process was created by Inception friend John Zeratsky and his colleague Jake Knapp when they worked at Google Ventures. We conducted a multidisciplinary weeklong session with patient experience, population health, and Inception Health.
The team spent time really understanding the problem of arranging preventive care services outside of a scheduled visit, and then they identified good experiences across other industries and applications.
After mapping out the process, we took to prototyping and tested a design with real patients to learn.
We learned that users wanted to be guided, and have their clinician’s input and advice — we had expected to offer some options (e.g. colonoscopy, FIT-DNA testing, or CT colonography) that patients could choose based on preferences, but most people wanted to be able to go straight to what their clinician recommended. We incorporated these learnings into our work to mirror the recommendations and care plan adjustments made by clinicians in the EHR, while also providing a standard set of recommendations for most average-risk people based on our clinically integrated network’s guidelines.
The net result? Our app will soon feature a personalized care plan for routine care to complement the relationship with our primary care teams. We use the Epic record and the health maintenance plans to sync with the app, ensuring that patients and clinicians see the same view of what screenings need to be completed that year.
We are enabling more services to be self-scheduled, such that they may be able to be reviewed during an annual visit rather than ordered during the annual visit.
We are excited to be rolling out our next releases out to patients over the next several weeks. As always, feedback is welcome! Please leave any comments here to continue the discussion!