An assistive app to facilitate the process of decision making in prescription management by offering comparable alternatives
HCID 511 A Au 18: Ideation Studio
Competitive Analysis and Market Research
Sketching and Wireframing
Oct 2018 — Dec 2018
Premera Blue Cross was our sponsor for the Ideation Studio. As our sponsor, they defined our problem space by asking us to improve the pharmacy experience for caregivers.
Given the initial prompt, we had to narrow down our problem space. Therefore, we conducted secondary research, market research, and did brainstorming to grasp the existing issues of the pharmacy experience from the caregiver's perspective.
Through our research, we found out that today there are over 46.2 million adults aged 65 and older in the United States and by 2060, that number is expected to double to 98 million. Nearly 92% of these older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 77% have at least two. Therefore, we decided to investigate this issue by conducting formative research around the responsibilities of the the caregivers of the elderly.
As a result, we decided to focus on the caregivers for the elderly (ages 65+)
Before starting the research process, we defined our initial assumptions and desired outcomes.
- Caregivers do not trust medication information given by pharmacists and practitioners.
- People don’t actively seek medication information even if the information is available.
- There is a lack of constant access to medication information.
- There is a lack of knowledge about caregiver’s rights, options for medication, and policies.
- To proactively provide personalized medical information.
- To provide reliable information through transparent communication between pharmacies and caregivers.
- To simplify and facilitate the process of finding alternatives to prescribed drugs.
- To help authorized caregivers track prescriptions, changes in medication and refills.
GET TO KNOW JUNE!
Before discussing the insights and findings, we introduce June to better understand experience of caregivers with pharmacy and prescription management.
Today, there are 40.4 million unpaid caregivers like June, who take care of adults ages 65 and older.
Therefore, we decided to respond to this issue by focusing on the following problem space:
Providing access to insurance coverage information and create awareness about alternatives to prescribed medication
To gain a better understanding of the existing products in the market, I conducted competitive analysis and market research.
We evaluated different products that are used by patients and caregivers to facilitate the process of decision making in prescription management.
the following products were two of the most popular products used by patients and caregivers to improve their experience with the pharmacies.
“ I feel like the worst daughter. Lately, as the idea sets in that she could not function alone in her home, I feel depressed and cry suddenly.. ”
- A daughter taking care of her mom who is suffering from Alzheimer
Caregivers believe that providing efficient information about changes in the medications and policies by the insurance companies, help develop a better understanding of the medication management process.
Caregivers think that the insurance company could play a more important role in providing easy and effective access to the medication.
Many of the caregivers that take care of their senior loved ones with severe illnesses feel mentally and physically drained.
We designed 3 engaging cultural probes to gain more information about caregivers life, their struggles, and pain points.
As one of our probes, I created a booklet with activities and questions designed to understand the emotions that caregivers go through. Caregivers were asked to draw themselves and their loved one (1). We also asked the following questions: “I care because…” (2), “It is sometimes frustrating for me to…” (3), and “I wish I had more…” (4). Lastly, we asked participants to pick three wishes from a set of cards (4).
My goal was to allow caregivers to think of their loved ones and remember how that makes them feel while answering the questions. I wanted to gain a sense of their emotional needs.
Emoj(ack) in the box
We handed caregivers a box containing three strips of paper, each with a different emoji. They were asked to pick one based on how they were feeling that day. Our goal was to capture the caregiver’s current state of mind by giving them an opportunity to share how they felt at that moment.
A day in your life
Caregivers were given a calendar to describe their daily activities. Our goal was to get a better understanding of the caregiver’s daily life. We wanted to see how much time caregivers spend on themselves vs. caring for their loved ones.
We were able to gather inspirational data about our target users’ lives, values, and thoughts through our research methods. The insights that were derived from the probes enabled us to better understand the emotional needs and pain points of the caregivers of the older adults. Based on the combination of our previous insights and our findings from the design probes, I formed the following three main design principles specifically for our challenge and design.
Simplify the pharmacy experience for caregivers. Do not add complexity to the process because they are already dealing with a lot of stress.
Caregivers and seniors should be able to interact with the design response easily.
Present the information in a transparent and credible fashion.
Customers are not aware that they have more affordable options or alternatives to the medicines they have been prescribed.
Customers are not aware that different pharmacies have different pricing structures for the same medication.
Customers are not aware of which medicines are covered by their insurance till they reach the pharmacy.
Once we gained a mutual understanding about our problem space and the insights, we were able to start linking our desired outcomes to our findings through ideation.
We applied the Crazy Eights and 2x2 methods to come up with 90 concepts. Then we organized the concepts by grouping complementary and/or similar concepts, and categorized them under mobile apps, web apps, wearables, high-tech, low-tech, non-tech, and static.
After demonstrating the concepts to the Premera representatives, we evaluated the feasibility of the concepts, as well as how the concepts addressed our desired outcomes.
To further narrow down our concepts, we used the six thinking hats activity and a decision matrix.
In order to organize these activities, I used strings to connect complementary concepts together and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
Based on the results of the six thinking hats activity and the decision matrix, we narrowed down our concepts to the following 3 concepts that best met our desired outcome:
1. Pharmacy Chatbot
2. Premera Kiosk
3. Custom Prescriptions
As part of the down-selection process, our team reviewed the desired outcomes to select the concept that better meets our objectives and responds to our challenge statement. According to the following selection criteria that was derived from the desired outcomes by me, the concept of Custom Prescriptions was chosen as the final concept.
Does it provide reliable information?
Is the information easy to consume and understand?
Does it provide better alternatives and options? Does it provide personalized coverage information?
Does it give access to caregivers?
We are addressing the scenario generics are allowed by the PCP. In this case the pharmacist is permitted to switch brand name to the FDA approved generic.
We are limiting suggested medicine alternatives to address patient’s personal needs and to reduce the pressure of making the right choice for the caregivers.
Before designing the low-fi prototypes, I designed information architecture of the system to better define the technical requirements of the system. Moreover, the information architecture of the system and the user flows helped us create seamless experiences for the caregivers.
To make sure that that our proposed solution meets the desired outcomes, I designed the user flows for different use cases. In addition to designing smooth flows, I designed the data flow in order to accurately design the architecture of the system.
Add a New Caregiver
Refill a Medicine
After selecting the 'costume prescriptions' as our final concept, we designed low-fi prototypes to test and modify this concept. We took the low-fi prototype to the UW Medicine and asked 7 caregivers and patients to test our concept.
- Assess the desirability of the prototyped idea
- Evaluate ease of use and learnability of the three key paths
- Check for missing steps in flow
- Seek feedback from participants about areas that can be improved
“ Pretty straight forward and seamless.
Definitely better than the phone call. ”
- A 22 year-old caregiver
Almost all participants found the flows easy to follow and straightforward.
However, through testing the following improvements that needed to be made were identified:
- We needed to provide comparable information about the alternative drugs that are displayed.
- We had to use the generic names of the drugs for easy identification.
- Existing information about the previous pharmacies they have used should be easily available to use for subsequent refills.
The mood-board was created by me with the goal of empowering caregivers and reassuring them that they can make smart choices.
I designed the color palette to trigger the following emotions:
For high-fi prototyping, we used a modular design to control the complexity of the app by dividing it into different modules. Furthermore, to provide the needed flexibility in order to deliver the needed functionalities and components we developed a layered architecture.
Introduction to the app and what it does.
First-time experience for new users.
Add a Caregiver
Patients can send their caregiver a request to join the app and give them access to their medical information.
Caregivers can add their loved one’s as well.
Doctor’s prescription allows for for alternatives.
View alternatives to prescribed medication that are not covered by your insurance.
Certain medicine brands aren’t covered by patient’s insurance but doctor’s prescription allows for alternatives or generic drugs.
The app remembers your preferred pharmacy but it will tell you when you can save more by buying your medication from somewhere else.
Once you have placed an order for pickup, a QR code is provided and can be used to collect medicines from your pharmacy.
Pharmacies located near patient or caregiver’s location/preferred pharmacy have a better price.
We presented the final product to our sponsors and received multiple of positive feedback about the concept and its architecture.
However, after the final presentation I decided to redesign the interface in order to make it more engaging, fun, and modern for our target audience.
Moreover, I wanted to challenge myself by redesigning the "cards" and creating a new interface that can more strongly follow our visual system and information architecture. For future, I would like to do more rounds of testing to evaluate this newly designed interface.
THE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS BROKEN!
With more than 318k healthcare applications, the traditional healthcare system has not been able to effectively follow the fast pace of technology to address the current needs of its target audience.
The relationship between caregivers, pharmacies, and doctors can be improved by establishing a transparent means of communication and advocating mutual support between each of these three groups.
Caregivers are underprepared to on-demand decision making and require insurance coverage information and medication options to make educated choices that meets the patient’s needs.
As a designer who was working in the tech industry before joining the MHCI+D program, I enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of design projects in academia.
This project improved my skills and enabled me to effectively confront unexpected changes and risks in a design process. I learned how to evaluate the findings more effectively and make changes that support business goals.
Sharing my knowledge about business and project management, as well as explaining the technical requirements of the project improved my communication skills and allowed me to easily work with a team of diverse professionals with different backgrounds and skill sets.