Suzanne Choi, Laura Rodriguez-Eng, Dahye Chung, Grace Cha
Research, Concept development, UX/UI Design, Visual Design
7 months, 2018-2019
“One third of patients with a chronic disease finds it hard to understand their own condition and the advice they receive from their doctor or health visitor.”
(Friss, Karina, et al. 2016)
Due to the complexity of chronic diseases and degrading cognitive ability with aging, elderly chronic disease patients often experience difficulty understanding and implementing post-acute care treatment plans given by their physicians. As a result, many of them come back to the hospital with even worsened conditions. Medicare alone spends $528 million a year due to the high readmission rate of chronic disease patients.
The purpose of this project was to explore the relationship and communication between physicians, patients, and caregivers, and reexamine the implementation strategies for post-acute care treatment plans. Our goal was to understand the difficulties that elderly patients with chronic conditions face to design an intervention that would help them to better understand, implement, and manage their chronic conditions at home.
“How might we empower elderly chronic patients to better understand and manage their treatment plan at home?”
During the research, we found that the effectiveness of communication and individualized planning greatly influence a patient’s motivation and ability to adhere to their treatment plans at home. However, due to the limited appointment time and infrequent interactions, healthcare providers struggle to gain a holistic understanding of their patients resulting in treatments and care that can feel impersonal. Through the research and multiple design iterations with elderly chronic disease patients, we discovered that improving patient’s at-home adherence starts by enhancing the patient-physician relationship through patient-centric services and systems that allow greater autonomy in their treatment plans, health, and lifestyles.
Our project, Care Clinic, is a reimagining of the primary care clinic check-in process and waiting room experience. With digital touch points and a welcoming environment, Care Clinic provides an opportunity to gain a holistic picture of the patient, while encouraging positive and supportive social interactions, with the ultimate goal of improving the patient’s receptiveness, attitude and impression of their overall care.
How it works
Care Clinic consists of seven touchpoints that consecutively builds up, within and outside of the clinic environment.
Touch point 01: The CareText deals with easing the administrative process for the patients. With CareText, patients can schedule appointments and arrange transportation. In addition, CareText collects the patient’s emotional status on the date of their appointment to personalize the Care Clinic experience.
Touch point 02: The CareBus provides transportation support for the patient. Based on the information from the patient profile, such as address and special needs, CareBus provides a personalized, safe ride to their local Care Clinic.
Touch point 03: Once the patient arrives, a CareStaff aid welcomes them and begins the check-in process by measuring their vitals and handing out the CarePad.
Touch point 04: Patients can then use the CarePad to share their living context and appointment needs with their healthcare providers before the appointment begins. A CareStaff aid floats around the waiting area to provide assistance to any patients that may need help.
Touch point 05: The CareWall provides emotional support to the patient by serving as a supportive patient community within the Care Clinic environment. Patients can add their own stories or read stories from other patients. These shared stories help build empathy and act as a resource to learn, share advice, and support others.
Touch point 06: The physician side of the CarePad summarizes the information collected from the patient. With visual aids and suggested discussion points, the physicians and nurses can have a targeted discussion about a patient’s progress, appointment needs, and outside influences.
Touch point 07: After their appointment, the patient receives an appointment summary based on the conversation that occured between the patient and medical providers. In addition, they receive continuous support through service suggestions between their appointments throughout the year based on their patient profile.
01: Care Text & Care Bus
Easing the administrative process
Many elderly patients struggle to manage administrative tasks on their own. The CareText is our first touchpoint to set a positive tone for the patient experience by simplifying the administrative process, such as arranging transportation and scheduling appointments, with a simple text interaction. It learns about the patient’s preferences and behaviors to streamline the process, instead of asking too many questions. Based on the contextual information in the patient profile, such as home address and special needs, CareText automatically schedules the right transportation option for the patient. By providing a convenient way to reschedule or confirm the appointment, CareText can also reduce the frequency of missing appointments, making both physicians and patients happy.
The CareText utilizes Apple business chat to allow elderly patients to conveniently accomplish their tasks within regular iMessage without having to download a separate application. Text messaging is an interaction that the elderly are familiar with performing, making the CareText accessible to a range of ages. For Android users, we imagine the text comes in regular SMS Messages feature without Apple specific functionalities, such as option picker and map kit.
02: Care Text
Importance of mental health
A patient’s emotional state heavily influences their receptiveness to the physician’s recommendations during appointment discussions. By collecting their emotional data beforehand with the CareText, it enables the clinic staff and healthcare providers to tailor their approach in engaging with the patient and adjust the appointments as needed. Depending on the selected feelings, patients get different responses from the CareText that portrays empathy and care for each patient.
Streamlining the journey
The nurse plays an important role in gaining insight into the patient’s medical and social history, and this is normally done through conversations while she is checking the patient’s vitals. For Care Clinic, we rearranged the patient journey to utilize check-in time more efficiently to allow more time for patient-nurse discussion. By moving the diagnostic process to the waiting room, the nurse gains more time to have uninterrupted conversations with the patient once the appointment begins. As for the check-in station arrangement, we imagine a built-in weight scale on the floor, height scan sensors inside the side wall, and ECG/temperature reading finger pad on the check in table, so the patients can have their biometrics and vitals checked all in one stand.
4A: Living context and support system
Gaining a holistic picture of the patient
A patient’s living and social context are important factors to consider when diagnosing and planning their treatment. Home visit programs are ideal in providing an opportunity to examine the patient’s environmental context, such as proximity to a grocery, to personalize the behavioral treatment plan and maximize the probability of actual implementation. However, home visit programs are often not available to everyone and can be burdensome for physicians due to extensive travel time. In the traditional office visit scenario, acquiring this information is even more challenging due to the limited time physicians have with the patient and the amount of information they must go through together.
By utilizing the wait time to allow patients to share their living and social context, the CarePad can better inform physicians and nurses allowing for more personalized treatment plans. Physicians and patients can collaboratively design a treatment plan based on their individual capability and resource availability to increase motivation and treatment adherence. Personalized service recommendations also enable greater autonomy for patients in managing their conditions at home.
4B: Expectations and concerns
Surfacing patient expectation and concerns
Although each patient comes to their appointment with different needs, the 15 minute discussion in the examination room is often generalized to the appointment type, making the patient feel directed and unanswered.
The CarePad provides patients an opportunity to voice their expectations and priorities for their appointment, as well as their personal concerns outside of the medical context. Based on this information, physicians can efficiently utilize the limited appointment time to have focused discussion, and address the lifestyle burdens that may be mentally weighing on the patients.
By allowing patients to share personal concerns with the physician, the CarePad enables physicians to build a trustful relationship with patients by showing empathy, making more informed medical decisions, such as choosing the right medication in affordable price range, and suggesting additional services or specialists tailored to the patient’s needs.
A patient’s cognitive abilities and health literacy influences their perception of healthcare and their treatment plan, but physicians currently have no means to determine these aspects quickly and easily. The built-in camera in the CarePad tracks the patient’s eye movement during the process to identify the phrases and words they struggle with, and records the completion time to determine the patient’s cognitive ability.
Sharing is caring
When looking at holistic care, the emotional state of the patient is important to address because it heavily influences their motivation to take care of themselves. Many times when patients feel alone and scared, they seek out to connect with others, such as on online patient forums or in community centers.
The Carewall is a resource to help build a supportive patient community within the Care Clinic environment to share resources and build empathy. Patients can share their personal stories on the CareWall to express their feelings and experiences living as a patient. Patients can also search stories by keyword if they have specific questions or needs.
The purpose of these stories is to provide an emotional support by helping other patients see that they are not alone in this journey, and there are many others who understand what they are going through. By sharing their own experiences, the patient can feel that their voice is being heard. Since the CareWall is situated in the Care Clinic setting, it also provides additional insights to healthcare providers and helps them understand what their patients are experiencing.
Once the patient shares their story, it will appear on the CareWall with a time delay of 15 minutes. This anonymous, time-delayed display invites patients to comfortably share their feelings and experiences, without worrying about being identified.
06: Physician side CarePad
Making invisible, visible
Although patient’s motivation is heavily influenced by the tangible results and positive reinforcement, chronic patients experience difficulty understanding their progress because it is not readily visible to them. By providing visual aids that the physician can use to review progress and patterns with the patients, CarePad enables physicians to make the patient’s at home actions more concrete to the them.
Focus on targeted conversations
Meaningful conversations between the physician and patient is crucial in developing and maintaining a trustful relationship. The physician side of the CarePad provides personalized discussion guides and resources to enable physicians to quickly understand the needs and worries of their patients, allowing for more personalized, targeted discussions. By prioritizing appointments based on patient indicated needs and by addressing personal concerns, physicians can make the patients feel that they are cared for and that their voice is valued.
Leading patients to support systems that work for them
By taking into consideration the patient’s living situation and resource availability, physicians can determine which behavioral plan would work best for the patient, and design a behavioral treatment plan collaboratively with the patients to maximize treatment adherence. The physician can additionally discuss support services and resources suggested by the CarePad to encourage patients to find an appropriate support system with benefits.
Help with documentation
While the physician and patient are discussing in the examination room, the physician side of the CarePad silently takes notes of their conversation in the background to prepare an appointment summary for the patient. Physicians can edit the records generated by the AI agent, select parts of the notes to send to the patient, or add a personal message for encouragement.
With the emergence of electronic health records (EHR), physicians often struggle to focus their attention on the patient during the discussion due to the overwhelming documentation needs. The AI agent, utilizing voice recognition and natural language processing technology, transcribes and translates the physician-patient conversation in S.O.A.P (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) format to help physicians get a head start on their documentation.
07: Appointment summary
Information on hand
Most of the time, the treatment management process heavily relies on the patient’s memory retention rate. Even if they receive discharge papers, it is often generalized to disease type and does not reflect the conversation that occurred between the patient and the physician.
The Care Clinic’s discharge instruction is delivered through the CareText, so they can access it anytime. It summarizes the actual discussion from the appointment, in an understandable language, based on patient’s cognitive ability and health literacy levels.
08: Service suggestions
Elderly patients struggle to find both health-related and support services on their own due to limited technical literacy. While the elderly is familiar with searching online, they struggle to filter through all the information that is generated by these online searches and worry about if the information they are reading is accurate.
The CareText continuously provides support between appointments through personalized recommendations based on the information from the patient’s profile. The patient is comforted to know that the information they are receiving is accurate and fits within their current living situation.
09: Waiting room space design
How the environment looks, feels, and smells also plays an essential role in influencing the patient’s overall experience. We designed the Care Clinic as a welcoming space that promotes social interactions and positive attitude within the patient. Using uplifting colors and natural light, patients enter a calming space that relaxes them before they meet with their physicians.
As for the arrangement, we centralized the social elements in the center to facilitate the participation. Since we are addressing a primary clinic, we designed the furniture to be accessible and inclusive to a wide range of individuals from the elderly to children. Patients are provided with a variety of private and communal seatings, which they can choose based on their preference, making them feel in control of their waiting room experience.
If you are interested in seeing the full document:
How we got here?
01: Understanding the problem space
We conducted a literature review to gain an understanding of the topic area and medical landscape that we would be investigating. It was important to gain a general understanding of heart disease, as well as the healthcare system’s current workflows, solutions, and problems. This knowledge acted as a basis for the development of our territory and stakeholder map, and our interview questions/guidelines.
We looked into the following nine topics through an extensive compilation of 51+ articles and case studies. In addition, we utilized public online patient forums as a resource to gain an insight into the patient experience.
Cardiovascular Disease Symptoms, Risk and Prevention
Discharge Planning and Coordination
Post-acute Care Treatment and Management
Post-acute Care and Readmission Rates
Current Disease Management Solutions
Patient Psychological and Emotional Factors
Perception of Aging and the Effects on Health Behaviors
Relationship between Cost, Insurance, and Readmission
Defining territory & stakeholders involved
We focused on four main categories for our territory map: (1) Methods, (2) Environments, (3) Tools, and (4) Finance. We were interested in understanding the different areas and elements that patients interact with, as well as the different ways they achieve these interactions. For example, we looked at the methods of communication, both remote and in-person, that are currently available to patients. This territory map provided us with an overview and starting point to understand the many aspects and complexity of the system that patients have to deal with throughout the patient journey.
We used our stakeholder map as a exercise to gain an understanding of the roles that different stakeholders played during a patient’s health management process. Focusing on direct influence on patient behavior, we found that a patient’s personal relationships with family, caregivers, neighbors, and friends plays an equally important role as their medical interactions with their physicians and nurses. This is a result of the frequency and length of interactions that a patient’s personal relationships have in comparison to the short and staggered interactions with their medical providers. The social engagement and emotional support that a patient’s personal relationships provide demonstrates the importance of a well developed support system outside of the hospital setting, which can boost motivation to encourage the patient to actively combat their disease.
For our market research, we focused on exploring the alternative care models that are trying to intervene within the current healthcare space, and compare the alternative care models to the common care model to gain an understanding of the pros and cons to both systems.
We looked into 32 market examples and discovered four main types of alternative models: (1) Telehealth, (2) Micro Hospitals, (3) Home Visits, and (4) Internet-based care. We found that these four alternative models were each targeted to intervene within one main section of the common care model, which we divided into four phases: (1) Discovery, (2) Diagnose & Admission; (3) Follow Up; and (4) Maintenance.
We conducted 16 one-on-one in-depth interviews with patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and subject matter experts. The patients we spoke with were 55 yrs+ and had been living with a chronic disease for varied amounts of time. The caregivers were individuals who helped care for family members who had chronic diseases. The medical professionals ranged from general practitioners, nurses, to cardiologists.
From the interviews, we were able to have a better understanding of a typical journey that the patient would go through from once they admitted to the hospital to their daily disease maintenance at home. With the journey map exercise, we tried to surface their emotions, thoughts, point of interactions, aiding tools, and role of different individuals they interact with to identify design opportunities.
Following our research, we synthesized our findings by transferring our interview notes to post-it notes and clustering common experiences and themes. We color coded our affinity diagram: patient (yellow), caregiver (green), medical professional (pink). We further synthesised our findings and identified 7 sub-categories, which we used to develop our insights.
02: Defining direction and concept generation
Storyboarding & Speed dating
With these initial concepts, we performed eight speed dating sessions with elderly individuals, 56 and older, with a variety of chronic conditions. The nature of speed dating, through quickly explaining and probing, helped us identify the essence and limitations of each concept, focus on specific scenario, and brainstorm alternative solutions with the participants. From the speed dating feedback, we were able to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each concept and narrow our focus for further development.
In general, participants were positive about socialization, both in-person and digitally, convenient access to resources, such as food and expert advice, and having autonomy in selecting what they want. The participants were opposed to managing multiple aspects simultaneously, such as diet, exercise, medication, and socialization all together in the value-based roadmapping subscription box concept, and having one-way communication via auto-generated notifications. From the speed datings, we realized that we need to consider patient’s short term and long term motivations to encourage continuous engagement. The feedback we received further emphasized the need to focus on the incorporation of the principles of humanistic and streamlined because they are aspects that elderly patients desired.
Vintage user testing + co-design session
We further refined 3 concept directions, which we user tested with elderly individuals at Vintage, a community center for seniors. For these sessions, we developed storyboards, mockups of the digital elements and props to help the participants better understand our concepts and the different elements they would interact with.
Key takeaways from Vintage user testing + co-design session
Overall the session at Vintage provided further insight into what elderly individuals desire in their healthcare experience, as well as their priorities and perceptions of health and its value to them. The following are key takeaways we took with us into our next phase of concept development:
Importance of doctor relationship
The elderly desire and emphasized the importance of face-to-face communication with their doctors. While they appreciated the convenience of remote and video appointments, they still hold the personal relationship with their doctors as an important element of their healthcare experience.
Difficulties and stress from administrative complexity
The elderly find is extremely stressful when they have difficulties performing tasks which should be simple. Whether refilling prescriptions or booking appointments, the roadblocks they encounter performing these types of tasks really stick with them and shape their perceptions of their healthcare experience.
Hard to find and filter
The elderly are familiar with technology and prefer simple use cases for it. Complex processes and interactions are undesirable and can be uncomfortable and confusing. They see the benefit of technology acting as a resource for finding information and see it as a convenient option to questions they many have. However they struggle to filter through the information overload that is associated with online searching, which can cause them unnecessary stress.
Power of communication and support
The elderly see the positive power of communication and support. They emphasized the need to build connections with others as a method to spread awareness and promote motivation in themselves and others. Many times these outside support systems act as a surrogate family to them. They shared stories, advice, and generally look out for one another.
Shifting from behavior change to holistic understanding of who the patient is
From the Vintage visit, we realized that we were focusing on providing resources to help patients with behavior change and lost the value of perception from our initial research. Although lifestyle change is an essential part of the treatment plan that critically influences the patient’s long term psychological and physiological well being, having more resources is not adequate to influence a patient's motivation to change long-established habits and behaviors.
When addressing behavior change, we found that the patient’s perception of their treatment and their capability to implement it is crucial to address. This can be affected by the communication and relationship between the patient and physician, which the elderly see as very important element to their health and care. Therefore, we decided to shift our focus to help physicians gain a holistic understand of the patient, including their contextual, emotional, and perceptual information, within the office environment. By obtaining a holistic understanding, it enables physicians to personalize an achievable and desirable treatment plan to each individual patient and build an empathetic patient-physician relationship.
Much of the value of our design proposition lies in the way we design the interactions around collecting meaningful data from the patients. The point of time and method of data transfer allows the physician to gain a better sense of who the patient is at the right time, to personalize the communication approach and treatment plan. Moreover, the cumulative data collection helps build a comprehensive patient profile to support them within and outside of the clinic environment to increase their autonomy in managing their conditions.
Value 01: Tailored engagement
In human to human interaction, communication details-such as nuance, language tone, and gestures- influence how the person perceives the interaction quality. By tailoring approaches in engaging with the patients based on their emotional status, the clinic staff and healthcare providers can set a positive tone for their visits, and influence the patient’s receptiveness and satisfaction.
Value 02: Personalized treatment
Every patient is unique and has different goals, values, and needs. By helping the physicians understand the patient’s outside influences—such as living and social context, or personal concerns—the physicians can personalize treatment plans based on individual capabilities and needs to increase the chance of successful implementation.
Value 03: Service recommendation
By understanding the patient’s living context and support needs, the clinic can provide personalized service and resource recommendations so patients can use these resources to manage their conditions.
Value 04: Efficient discussion
Information about the patient’s health literacy levels, personal concerns, and appointment needs can better inform physicians to personalize their communication with the patient to utilize limited appointment time more efficiently. By having vitals pre-checked that the start of the appointment, healthcare providers can focus on meaningful discussion.
Value 05: Patient comprehension
Patient comprehension of their treatment plan is crucial in their ability to retain and implement suggestions from their physicians. By collecting data about the patient’s cognitive ability and health literacy levels, the clinic and healthcare providers can personalize the language they use to increase patient comprehension.
Value 06: Awareness and empathy
Although we are focusing on chronic elderly patients, it is important to prevent the disease by implementing good health behaviors within the younger generations. Patient’s personal stories can inform other patients (in primary care clinic from kids to adults) understand the importance of lifestyle habits, and allow physicians to build a proper understanding of their patients.
After rapid prototyping with foam core models and wireframes, we performed five user testings sessions with two subject matter experts and three design students to test usability and feasibility of our concept direction. We incorporated the previous user testing information from the Vintage session, including usability for the elderly, and applied it to the new concept and prototype. From these testings, we made four major refinements.
01. Content language
With the limited written content that informed the patient of the purpose of each task presented, we initially utilized clear content that leaned toward conversational but clinically sounding. We focused on using words that would be understandable to the patient, such as goals and concerns. However, after our testing session, we learned that the language we perceived as clear, actually is misleading and confusing for patients. Dr. Hardgraves from Mayo Clinic spoke about how words like “goals” and “concerns” can have very different meanings for different people, especially when paired with the selection options we included which ranged from specific tasks to more abstract unknown discussions. He suggested we focus on developing content that was simple and leaned toward conversational, because it allows the patient to perceive the questions based on their own understandings verse what we determine should be their understanding. Based on this feedback, we revisited our written content developing instructions that were more general but informed the patient that they should complete the task presented to them. For ex. “Do you have any other specific concerns today?” changed to “Is there anything else you want to discuss with Dr. Brodsky?”
In addition, we revisited the emotional representations. Initially we used general sounding feelings/phases, which stayed away from specific emotions. We found that this approach was confusing because it was too open to perception by the patient, which would be difficult for the clinical staff to understand. Based on this insight, we focused on using a specific and logical progression of emotions, such as happy and sad, which would be understandable to many different users. We also separated them into physical and mental health categories allowing patients to address the complex feelings they may be experiencing.
02. Interaction pattern
Usability testing helped us refine the interaction patterns as well. For example, we initially imagined to gather the living context information via text bot, but we learned that sharing pictures of the private environment may be uncomfortable for patients. We then identified a few living and social context information that would help the physician make more informed decisions on the behavioral plan, and decided to gather the information at the clinic context during the waiting time.
In the following user testing session, we utilized a mile representation as a mean to help patients describe their neighborhood. From the testing, we learned that the patients might not recognize the exact distance to their support systems, so we revised the interaction pattern to include major landmarks and have them drag and drop different building blocks according to location. From then on, we realized the drag and drop interaction might physically be challenging for patients with mobility impairments, such as arthritis, and what is essential is the indication of support systems that are near them, not the exact locations. Therefore, we changed the interaction pattern to simple tapping and removed all unnecessary requirements.
03. Space atmosphere and arrangement
When designing the space, we initially utilized research from Steelcase about healthcare space and furniture design as a starting point for the first iteration of our new waiting room. We incorporated principles from this research, such as providing multiple options of seating (private and communal) allowing patients to choose based on their preferences.
After our testing session, we learned that while we were focusing on practical elements, such as furniture placement and type, which is important, we were overlooking elements that addressed the atmosphere of the space. Sensory elements, such as lighting quality, sounds, and smell, impact the atmosphere of a space greatly and can be influencing elements to patient emotions and attitude. Based on this, we iterated on our waiting room design looking at incorporating more atmospheric elements, such as natural light and nature features (ex. living wall and potted plants).
Refinement 04: Consistent visual style
The concept testings also helped us identify the visual voice and tone we wanted to portray with our space and interface designs. We aim to delineate a caring and encouraging tone to positively influence the patient’s psychological and physical well being. We looked into various inspiration on interface design, branding, environment, and content voice and tone.
From then on, we generated three mood boards and the respective style options to quickly prototype various visual themes. We chose an organic theme to portray the humanistic nature of healthcare and the bright pastel color scheme to influence the positive and uplifting feelings. We named our project Care Clinic to emphasize the core values of medicine, care and compassion for a person.
03: Fine-tuning design intervention
To better explain how a typical user would experience our concept touchpoints, we developed a persona and a storyline.
Lauren is a 68 year old patient, who has chronic heart disease. She normally visits the Care Clinic every 3 months to check her on-going process and to discuss adjustments to future treatment plans. Not long after she and her husband moved to Pittsburgh, her husband passed away, and she now lives alone with her dog, Daisy. Following the death of her husband, Lauren felt lost and did not keep up with her healthcare as actively and missed her past routine appointment. While still suffering from grief, she is started to become more focused in addressing her health, as well as trying to make new friends to stay active and healthy. However, she is not very familiar with her neighborhood and unaware of the available resources and services she could be using. A few days ago, she experienced sudden chest pains and made an appointment to check with her doctor.
touch point 01: care text & care bus
The day before the appointment, Lauren receives a text message from the Care Clinic, asking whether she needs help rescheduling or getting to her appointment. She confirms her appointment and schedules a pickup. She feels relieved that she doesn’t have to worry about calling a cab tomorrow since she doesn’t own car.
touch point 02: care text (emotional states)
On the day of the appointment, Lauren receives another text message from the CareText, asking how she is feeling that day, both emotionally and physically. She shares how she feels, and is glad that the Care Clinic cares not only about her physical wellbeing, but also about her emotional wellbeing.
touch point 03: check-in
Once Lauren arrives to the Care Clinic, a CareStaff aid welcomes her and begins the check in process by helping her measure her vitals. Lauren scans her Care Clinic ID card to bring up her patient profile. She confirms her personal information and has her biometrics and vitals checked, all within the check-in station. She appreciates the friendly staff helping her throughout the process, as well as seeing her physiological improvements since her last visit.
touch point 04A: carepad (living context & support system)
After Lauren completes her check-in, a CareStaff aid hands over the CarePad and explains that she has to update her living context information because it has been six months since her last appointment. Lauren finds a comfortable seat in the waiting area by the window. She likes the calm and welcoming atmosphere of the Care Clinic waiting room because she tends to get a little nervous before seeing her doctor. She begins to input her living and social context information on the CarePad. After she finishes, she sees recommendations that match her needs. She feels empowered and wants to learn more about these services and resources that fit with her current financial and contextual situation.
touch point 04B: carepad (expectation and concern)
Continuing on the CarePad, Lauren shares her appointment needs and personal concerns while waiting. She appreciates that she is able to voice her opinion and have a say in how she would like to use her appointment time at the Care Clinic. Before she joined the Care Clinic, she felt her concerns and priorities were not always addressed when she visited other clinics in the area.
touch point 05: carewall
After completing the check-in process with the CarePad, Lauren still has ten more minutes before she sees her doctor. She decides to read stories on the CareWall while waiting. She reads a story from another heart disease patient who has recently suffered the loss of a loved one and Lauren is moved by their story. This small connection reminds her that she is not alone in her experience of loss and she must be strong and that her grief will pass. She reads another story that has suggestions about eating health and decides to try them out when she gets home.
touchpoint 06: discussion and treatment
Once in the examination room, Lauren discusses her progress, appointment needs, and outside influences with her physician to collaboratively come up with a treatment plan that works for her. Her physician reviews the information she previously input via the CarePad before the appointment began to prioritize the discussion, so Lauren feels that her time is valued. Lauren appreciates that her physician remembers small details, such as her dog’s name and daughter Sarah, and not just knowing her by the medical information on her chart.
touchpoint 07A: appointment summary
On her way home, Lauren receives an appointment summary from the CareText. She is glad that she does not have to memorize all the things she discussed with her doctor today. She reads through the appointment summary and appreciates her doctor’s personal encouragement message.
touchpoint 07B: Service suggestion
Few days later, Lauren receives a group yoga class suggestion from the CareText. She remembers that she had discussed with her doctor how she wanted to make new friends who could help motivate her to stay active and healthy. She appreciates that the suggestion fits with her needs and is excited to try out yoga and meet new people.
For future studies, we believe it will be worth further looking into below 4 major areas.
Future study 01: AI and Personalization
For our design concept, we briefly touched on the artificial intelligence (AI) for analyzing personal needs and providing matching service recommendations. We believe the AI can be further utilized in the personalization process, especially with its ability to process high-dimensional data to distill useful knowledge and representations. By examining and extracting meaningful findings from enormous patient's personal and medical records, AI can provide insights into the patient's psychological and physiological influences to help physicians find an appropriate treatment for differential diagnosis.
Future study 02: Automation and Documentation
In the physician side of the CarePad, we imagined advance transcribing and translating capabilities, taking into consideration the weak signals that point to the current trajectory for the future development and application of this technology. We believe the speech recognition and natural language processing can be further developed and utilized to aid physician’s documentation needs to enable them to fully focus on the patient during the examination.
Future study 03: Staffing and training
Human to human interaction significantly influences the patient’s overall experience and perception towards the healthcare service they receive. We believe appropriate staffing and training should be designed and given to the healthcare staff and practitioners, to allow patients to receive proper and positive experiences when treatmented.
Future study 04: Voice user interfaces
In the medical context, especially for the interaction with elderly patients, natural and simple interactions are crucial to set a positive tone for the patient experience. We believe voice interfaces can be utilized to naturally collect patient information and provide guidance to patients within and outside of the hospital context. The natural data collection through casual conversation can help the patient comfortably open up and share their inner feelings and concerns. The collected data can be used to provide additional psychological and behavioral insights to healthcare providers and help patients better understand and reflect on their behaviors.
As designers interested in the healthcare industry, this project provided a joyful opportunity to examine the healthcare domain and learn how to work with restricting factors. By working with time-restricted medical stakeholders, we learned to prioritize our design process and communication behaviors to maximize work efficiency. Interactions with elderly patients helped us get a better sense of the medical landscape and in company shortcomings with their honest stories. The healthcare field, with high privacy and security, was challenging to work within, but was worth battling to explore inner worlds of patients and medical stakeholders to design around fostering care, and have a small but meaningful footprint in health, design, and people.