A health-tracking app which allows family members to monitor a distant elderly relative's health status while providing remote support and care using an Apple Watch and smartphone.
MOBILE AND SMARTWATCH
Upper-Level Course Project
June - July 2018 (6 weeks)
PLEASE UNMUTE THE VIDEO FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE
People who live away from their parents have a hard time keeping an eye on their parents' health status and providing care remotely. Similarly, seniors living without their family face many difficulties maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
With most of our team comprising of international students, we could relate to the struggle of living away from family and not being able to take stay updated on and take care of our parents and grandparents' health.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS
“Nearly 90% of people over age 65 want to stay at home for as long as possible. But, research indicates that a staggering number of seniors who should be receiving assisted living care are still living at home — in many cases, alone.”
Our target demographic was made of two parts - caregivers and care receivers.
Remote relative who wishes to stay up-to-date with their elderly relative's health status while helping them take better care of themselves.
The person whose health status is being monitored by one or more caregivers.
To better understand Medilog's user demographic, I created personas for both the caregiver and care receiver based on the user research we had gathered from preliminary personal interviews with our family and friends.
One of the main takeaways I got from the persona research was to keep the process of signing up for and using Medilog easy for the caregiver and especially the care receiver. Based on the two personas I created, we were able to transfer our key audience's goals and needs into features while keeping the pain points they had in mind to fine-tune our proposal.
We explored easy ways for the care receiver to monitor and take care of their health while satisfying the caregiver's need of staying informed. One of our constraints for Medilog was that the technology used should be efficient and easy-to-use, especially for the elderly. We rejected smartphones since they do not quite support health-monitoring systems as well as other devices. Fitness trackers were considered, but they weren't ideal for communicating with the caregiver.
We decided to use an Apple Watch since it has both health-tracking and communication capabilities. The existence of the Health app on the smartwatch and phone was also a key determining factor for us to go ahead with this decision. We wanted to utilize the existing touchpoint to help connect the caregiver's health data to their care receiver's phone. My teammate also spoke with an expert on Apple products and I visited a store to test out the Apple Watch's capabilities and features myself to make sure we were not overestimating our product.
OPPORTUNITY + FIRST PROTOTYPE
I tried to pair the goals of our persona with the technology available to us in order to think of features that would be desirable for our audience.
FEEDBACK + USER TESTING
Our course instructor Paul Brokenshire arranged for select teams to meet with UX Designers from SAP to receive feedback on our working prototype. While our proposal was well-received by our SAP mentors, they also felt it was too clinical and not personal enough for the caregiver and care receiver to feel connected. Additionally, they did not buy our idea of presenting real-time health data on its own.
“Data by itself is not valuable. What data means is more important. Does a heart rate of 99 bpm mean normal?”
SAP UX DESIGNER
The caregivers are not medical experts and our app should not treat them as such. Instead, we needed to think from their perspective and simplify the information we provide – whether it was the data synthesis in the report, or the real-time data itself – to deliver a meaningful experience to them. The tone and style needed to the be less clinical and more conversational. It was a case of formality vs. empathy; we wanted to go with empathy.
PRE AND POST-TEST QUESTIONNAIRES
After receiving this feedback, I created semi-structured questionnaires, user tests, and A/B testing variants to test our revised design hypothesis with participants who either fell under the care receiver or caregiver category. This helped us fix elements from our first iteration to produce a better final product.
The pre-test questionnaire allowed us to gain an understanding of the participant and their lifestyle surrounding health and technology. In the post-test questionnaires, we asked our participants to provide a general opinion of Medilog, including what they liked best and what they might want to change.
One of the main forms of testing I conducted was think-aloud, which included having the participant go over the caregiver or care receiver side of the app. While going through each section, the participant would demonstrate their process, understanding, pain points, and suggestions for us to fix.
A handful of points were common between participants, so I noted them down to consider for the next revision. Mentioned below are a few of them.
A more positive greeting, such as "Hi, good morning!" should be included
Medical appointments should show doctor's information on smartwatch
Graphs are irrelevant and/or confusing for users
Most participants didn't read/want to read the report
Difficult to differentiate between task and suggestion in schedule
A/B TESTING - TONE
I wanted to get the tone right for Medilog, because it is very important to provide comfort and empathy to both the caregiver and care receiver, especially when it comes to health-related situations. I created two variants to test with our participants.
Your average heart rate of 102 beats per minute (bpm) is abnormally high. Elevated heart rates, especially over a prolonged period of time, can be a potential sign of a serious illness. See our Care Suggestions below.
Your 3,000 steps per day activity rate is lower than average. In particular, data from Feb 12 - 20 show abnormally low performances.
Sleep performance results show strong, healthy behaviour! Great work!
Hey Mary! It looks like your heart rate was pretty high this month. Having a high heart rate is not a healthy sign and we have given a few care suggestions below for you to improve this.
It seems like you haven’t been very active lately either. Which is understandable, it’s really hard. But maybe you can start taking smaller steps at first to reach a healthier lifestyle.
But, you seem to be having really great sleep patterns, which is amazing. John is super proud of you! Great work!
Almost every participant preferred Version 2.
Using colourful and explanatory illustrations to captivate the user's attention, we introduce Medilog's key features and tools.
Medilog allows the user to create a profile either for themselves or for their care receiver.
One of my key roles was to design the sign up process in connection with Settings. This made me realize the importance of error states and how they are vital in any app to direct the user of your app to the correct place without inconvenience.
We replaced our 'Data' page with a brand new 'Home' page to encapsulate all relevant health data in one place for the care receiver to digest. Taking the feedback we received from our SAP mentors and user tests, we included the ability to learn more about the data displayed by tapping on the cards. This provides a better understanding of the care receiver's health status. We employed a more empathetic tone, using "Mom" instead of the care receiver's full name and adding a personal greeting.
The Location Viewing feature was added to both correspond with the care receiver's Medical Emergency state and also to constantly keep caregivers updated on their distant relative's status, especially in cases of dementia.
The health report now includes cards relating to heart rate, exercise, sleep and more, providing a synthesized summary of each aspect of the care receiver's health. Using easily understandable language and avoiding medical jargon, we help the caregiver stay informed. Each summary is paired with a care suggestion with the intent to maintain or improve the care receiver's health through relevant activities.
Previously, the Report page was very lengthy, making it hard to digest, and did not facilitate switching between weekly and monthly view. We redesigned it to be easily consumable with icons and keywords and added the feature of flipping to relevant care suggestions.
Care suggestions are healthy activities and tips included in the Report for the care receiver to choose to partake in to improve their health. A care suggestion might be signing up for a session of yoga. These are suggested by Medilog based on the care receiver's weekly or monthly health activity. Tapping 'Add to Schedule' integrates with the Schedule section, where the caregiver can set a reminder.
Care Suggestions are colour coded orange in Schedule and can be created by tapping "Add a Care Suggestion", which lets you fill a name, description, date, and note for self.
Medilog's Schedule feature lets you create three types of reminders for your care receiver.
Care tasks are important and necessary actions a care receiver must complete, such as taking their pills on time. Remotely booking medical appointments allows caregivers to play a more active role in the care receiver's life. By searching for nearby clinics or connecting with their family doctor, caregiver's can set up routine check-ups.
Under Settings, Medilog allows the caregiver to manage their care receivers and set preferences and filters for data and reports. The circumstances under which to 'Call 911' can also be selected, along with the viewing, editing, and creation of profiles.
The Apple Watch displays Data, Upcoming Reminders, Completed Tasks, and Reminders for Tomorrow in the landing screen. Care receivers can also view real-time data collected by Apple Health.
The option to complete or snooze for later is provided for care tasks. For care suggestions, the care receiver can elect to complete or not complete.
In case of an emergency, Medilog will alert the care receiver and nearby paramedics. Emergency states can be set to monitor when a heart rate falls below a certain number, for example.
If the care receiver gets injured due to other reasons, such as falling down stairs, they can manually send the emergency alert by pressing the red bell icon.
REFLECTION + FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
With Medilog, our two goals were to keep in mind not to overwhelm either user with medical terminology and to ensure we never offer medical treatments or solutions to the problems care receivers were facing. What we provide should always be health suggestions. It was interesting to move forward in our project from the first stage of selecting a domain to tackle to designing the final prototype keeping these in mind.
One of our main struggles upon receiving feedback was finding a way to pivot from our original iteration to the next. In future projects, I kept this in mind and made sure we were always designing for the user's needs and not losing focus of the main idea. Working with the Apple Watch dimensions and interface was one such case. As a team, we needed to keep the data both legible and understandable.
Working on Medilog taught me a lot about how to design empathetic user interfaces, from using error states to changing the tone of the entire app to match our personas' needs.
If the opportunity for future development presents itself, I would like to explore how Voice Assistants such as Google Home can help provide a more seamless experience for the care receiver when using Medilog. It was one of the options we considered, but due to a lack of time for completion and polish, we decided to focus on the existing features.