Hello, Doc is a native iOS mobile app I created to address the problem of patient's delaying to seek medical care, which is a prevalent behavior among users of the American healthcare system.
UX research, UX design, visual design & illustrations, prototyping, information architecture, usability testing.
American healthcare is in a crisis
Where do we begin...
Our healthcare system continues to have skyrocketing costs, causing countless Americans to file for bankruptcy yearly and without any improvement in patient outcomes.
Proliferation of Chronic Conditions
Ever Increasing Costs
Part of the reason for these rising costs is because American's delay seeking care until their health is severely deteriorated.
This delay in care leads to long hospital stays and the emergence of new chronic conditions. This in turn places a drain on personal income, either from lost wages from sick days, and/or the cost of managing these new conditions.
Why do patienTs delay seeking care?
My original assumption: Patients delay seeking care due to the cost of service and long wait times to see a doctor.
Let's looks at the Research....
- Men & Women
- age of 25-50
- working professionals
- with or without insurance
- Many generational studies show that this age range (Generation X through Millennials) tend to be more comfortable with technology than older generations.
- On average this age range does not tend to be very sick. By this, I mean the presence of chronic conditions, which are life long medically managed conditions which usually require a specialists care. Examples: Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, COPD, arthritis, etc. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0389.htm
of users report delaying care because of poor past experiences
PAST Reasons why USERS have delayed Seeking care
Users reported that not knowing the cost of visits or treatment is a barrier to seeking care.
Past experiences: "Surprise bills from when insurance didn’t cover a procedure," 50% didn't want to “Waste money" unnecessarily on something that “is probably just nothing.”
The process takes too much time
Users were daunted by wait times and the loss of work/productive time involved with seeing a doctor in a traditional setting (ER, urgent care, or clinic).
Past experiences: "Making an appointment, then waiting to get in for an appointment", "Taking time off to see a provider, driving to the facility, losing a half a days work to a doctor's appointment."
Lack of information
Users reported not knowing where they should go based on their symptoms (triage), was enough to deter them from going to the Doctor.
Past experiences: "I just don't want to go to one place and then be sent to another, or go to the ER and be made to feel like i should have waited and gone to the clinic."
Healthcare is IMPERSONAL
Users felt like they were "just another number." 67% did not have a provider they felt loyal to.
I HATE MAKING APPOINTMENTS
Users felt the current process for making an appointment was a hassle. "I wish it could be done for me."
2/3 of women interviewed, and 100% of women with children, mentioned not having childcare was a barrier to getting prompt care.
I created two different personas to try to capture the different pain points addressed. Not surprisingly there were some gender differences seen in the research, especially when it came to barriers to seeking care
CHANGING THE RELATIONSHIP
Currently, healthcare is predominantly a one-sided relationship, where initiating contact for services is primarily the responsibility of the patient. If the patient doesn't ask for help, no help will be offered.
This has people all over the country falling through the cracks.
But... What would it look like if healthcare was a two-sided relationship?
I hypothesize if the patient / provider relationship were two-sided we would see improvements in patient delay of care, and overall improvements in health. Healthcare would certainly be less impersonal, and doctors would catch early symptoms before they progressed into chronic conditions.
Many current preventative care models primarily attempt to accomplish early symptom detection in order to prevent flare-ups (or exacerbations) of preexisting chronic conditions. However, my goal would be to prevent diagnoses of chronic conditions by addressing "little ignorable symptoms" that overtime lead to the progression of illness.
In a real relationship
There is no monetary penalty for communicating with the other party.
There is Ioss of time for communication, but the amount of time is a modifiable variable.
HOW MIGHT WE
Create… a new healthcare platform
For… busy people on the go
In Order to… provide fast, easy, and affordable access to a healthcare provider
And Improve… healthcare delivery and patient’s long term health
Why an iPhone APP?
A device that always travels with the user decreases excuses for time delay. (ex:“I don’t have my tablet" or “I’m not in front of my desktop right now.”)
Research consisted of analyzing conventional care delivery as well as four digital platforms where patients can receive some type of virtual care.
- Average time once in the door,
- Convenience / Accessibility
- Ease of use
- What can improve?
Digital Platforms: Although there are other platforms that offer video visits with providers, none of the platforms have a rating system where you can read feedback about various providers prior to selecting. One platform offers a text option with a provider, but it is not affordable and it involved waiting for an answer, up to 24 hours. None of the platforms offer to initiate 1st contact with the patient.
Traditional route: All involved variable / unknown costs and unknown wait times. The care is more personal, but you will definitely pay for it with time and money.
FEATURE PRIORITIZATION / MVP
TEXT A PROVIDER
Free service that allows the user to text questions to an online provider and get answers for triage based purposes or for general medical inquiries.
PROVIDER VIDEO VISITS
Video appointment with an online healthcare practitioner. Includes online provider list with info on background and experience, and user reviews. Users can rate and review the provider visit once it is finished.
PROVIDER CHECK-IN SERVICE
This preventative care feature provides opportunity for the user to be contacted twice monthly or with decrease in activity, as measured by a connected health device or the iPhone's health app. This is a text feature. The user can log questions at anytime in their health profile and these will be addressed by the provider during their next "Check-in."
- Set up Caregiver “Check-in” to ask about specific user goals: weight loss, fitness goal, nutrition goals, etc.
- Save a list of your favorite caregivers.
- Search provider by rating.
- A location based triage map that could route the user to emergency care, urgent care in their area. Bonus feature: wait times for those facilities appear on the map.
- Want to see a local MD? Make a local appointment in app.
The goal was a simple user flow, avoiding anything confusing or too complicated that could be a barrier to care delivery and potentially lead to delays in care.
Open Card Sort: using Optimal Sort
Synthesis More than 80% of the time users expected providers to be in a category by themselves. As far as site hierarchy goes, users expected a provider to be at the top, and below would be the option of how to connect with the provider, either via text or video.
Pivot I originally did not plan to have direct navigation to the online provider list. If a user selected a video visit, they would have been directed to the online provider list. Post card sort, the navigation was changed to include an online provider list, as a selection in itself.
Sketches for early usability tests.
wireframes & Prototype
I created the wireframes in Illustrator and Sketch, and the low fidelity prototype in InVision. Usability testing showed the need for onboarding, as well as an abbreviated sign-up process with an improvement in user education.
The onboarding was added post usability testing as a way to develop trust prior to the sign-up process and to aid users in their first steps toward behavior change.
- Highlight the benefits of using video platform to see a provider.
- Explain the benefit of the “Check In” feature.
- Provide education about the free text feature..
A major challenge of this app was the sign-up process, due to the amount of information needed from the user.
Iterations post usability testing
- Breaking up the sign-up screen into a step wise card format, instead of long scrolling document.
- Splitting up the ask for information. Since the text feature is a free feature, I modified the billing and insurance information to be an optional entry upfront. The plan being to prompt the user for the information later, should they want to have a video visit.
- Prior to each section, there is now a screen quickly explaining why we need the information we are asking for.
Hello, Doc is still in the development Process
Please check back later to see updates... or feel free to contact me if you're interested, have feedback or questions.