LEAP APP
UT Austin's Dell Medical School
(currently in process)
Project Background
Process
Competitive Analysis
Generative Research
Story Mapping
Design
Project
Background

Problem

Despite a significant increase in the adaptation of electronic health care records by hospitals nationwide, patients have limited control over accessing their health data and contributing their health data to medical care research.

There is also lack of focus on user centered design in healthcare products and apps. Most of these products (like patient portals or insurance websites) are built without the patients in mind, and therefore patients have a hard time navigating and using these products.

Solution

The LEAP app aims to connect patients with their health data, giving them more access to their health care information and more control over who can get access to their information as well. The app hopes to accomplish this by rolling out two main features: a "my patient records" section and an "app storefront" section. The "my patient records" section would pull patient information from the "Health Information Exchange" which is a database that stores basic patient information. It would be our job to research and design the LEAP app to include the patient record section, the storefront, and a sample app in the storefront called StudyApp (a clinical trial app that would connect researchers to potential patients that qualify for their research studies).

My Patient Records

  • allow patients access to their healthcare information
  • allow patients to view and sort through their healthcare information in a useful way
  • allow patients more control over their healthcare information

App Storefront

  • provide patients an app storefront where they can browse and download health-related apps
  • provide 3rd party healthcare app developers a storefront platform to advertise their app
  • connect patients and 3rd party apps, where patients can authorize access to their clinical data to selected apps that provide patients with different services

Clinical Trial App (StudyApp)

  • connect researchers to potential patients that qualify for research studies
  • a sample app within the LEAP app storefront that patients can download if they are interested

ROLE

UX/UI designer

TEAM

Isabel Georges (UX/UI designer)
Eric Nordquist (UX project manager)
Julie Zhu (UX designer)
Saebom Lee (UX designer)
Anjum Khurshid, M.D. (Director)
Eliel Oliveira (Developer)
Vishal Abrol (Developer)
Monique Vasquez (Coordinator)
Carmen Valdez, Ph.D (Coordinator)

METHODS

Competitive Analysis, User Surveys, Focus Groups, Story Mapping, Sketching, Lo-fidelity iterating

TIMELINE

September 2020 - Present

TOOLS

Figma, Miro

Process

This project is still in the works, but from September until now we have completed the client kickoff, competitive analysis, generative research, story map, and initial low-fidelity designs. We are in the process of creating the high-fidelity mockups, evaluating these mockups with 1x1 user testing, analyzing the data from the user testing, re-designing based off of the feedback, and presenting the final designs to the team.

Competitive Analysis

Conducting a proper competitive analysis for a patient portal app was a challenge. In order to access these types of apps to conduct the competitive analysis, you typically need an account. Fortunately, my father is an Army Veteran and he granted me access to his MyHealtheVet account. My best friend also happened to have an account with One Medical and she granted me access to her account as well. I was then able to analyze the information architecture of these apps (specifically looking for what kind of healthcare information was being displayed), and look at different features these apps provided.

OneMedical

My HealtheVet

Key Competitive Analysis Insights

From conducting the comparative analysis of other patient portal apps, I drew multiple key findings, opportunities for our app, and questions that needed to be answered.

View Health Records
  • Possible categories include lab results, vitals & trends, past visits, vaccines, health screenings, current medications, allergies, medical images.
  • Vitals & trends can be shown using graphical representation
  • What kind of information is shown in the Health Information Exchange? 
  • Would patients be able to revise this information in the app, or would it be 'view only'?
Message Providers
  • Afford patients the opportunity to communicate with their healthcare team through text messaging.
  • Allow practitioners to explain lab results in detail through text messaging feature.
  • Allow patients to download attachments in text messages (lab results for example).
  • Is messaging providers within the scope of the app?
Get Care
  • Allow patients to schedule or cancel appointments through the app.
  • Allow patients to videochat with their healthcare team, affording more convenience to patients.
  • Afford patients opportunity to handle pharmacy tasks such as requesting prescription renewals, etc.
  • Is interacting with healthcare facilities (scheduling appointments, etc.) within scope?
Download & Share Records
  • Afford patients opportunity to download select medical records from the app in pdf form
  • When selecting medical information, allow ability to filter by date range and type of information.
  • Allow patients to share this medical information with people of their choosing.
  • Is downloading and sharing records within the scope of the app?
Generative Research

User Surveys

The first piece of generative research involved distributing user surveys in order to better understand the type of app we should be designing. We created a 20 question survey which was distributed to the participants of the focus group, there were a total of 8 responses. The following goals were established in the creation of the survey:

Understand 'tech savviness'

  • How tech savvy are our primary user population?
  • How often do they use a phone? What are they doing on a phone?
  • Are they using other healthcare apps already?

Understand primary screen size

  • Are users typically using their computer, tablet, or a phone to look at health information?

Understand login preferences

  • Do patients like logging into apps with a login/password? Biometrics? Social media?

Key User Survey Insights

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

75%
of respondents have and use a smartphone
100%
of respondents have and use a laptop
50%
of respondents spend 6-8 hours a day looking at their phones. The other 50% spend more than 8 hours a day.
75%
have used digital products to view their medical records. Of the 75%, 50% use a smartphone to view the medical records
100%
of users felt positive emotions (excited/confidant) around using technology to access and manage their healthcare information
50%
of users prefer a username/password and the other 25% prefer biomedical login (fingerprint/face recognition)

Focus Group User Interviews

The second piece of generative research involved two focus groups, the first group contained 5 participants and the second group contained 7 participants. The participants were screened and recruited by the coordinators, Monique and Carmen. The went into the focus group interviews hoping to get a better understanding of what users would want or expect out of an app like this. We therefore created an interview script asking open-ended & generative questions around the following ideas:

How would you hear about an app like this?
When you think of healthcare records, what are the most important things that you would expect to see in your records?
How would you want to browse and find information within this app?
How could this app help you prepare for a doctors visit so you can easily and quickly share the relevant information with the doctor?
How would an app present your medical data in a way that you or loved ones can understand it, but also be at the detail doctors will need?
How could the app be designed so that you could share information with others if you wanted to share?
What would you like the app to look or feel like? (more professional or more fun)
If an app was advertised to provide access to your healthcare records, what would your expectation be about the length of history those records would contain?

Affinity Mapping

Because the participant comments we were collecting was more qualitative, we decided to use Miro to complete an affinity diagramming exercise as a team. We recorded the observations onto the Figma sticky notes and grouped common themes into sections. As we grouped comments together, multiple themes emerged from the data. Below are a few selected screenshots from the affinity diagram.

Key Focus Group Interview Insights

The affinity diagram allowed us to see patterns of information emerge from the data, with 8 key themes mentioned below.               

Users expected to see categories such as lab results, diagnoses, medications, trends (cholesterol, A1C, C4 count), allergies, and shot records.
I would like a list of my medications so I can present the list to my doctor in case he forgets.
Users find convenience in health apps that allow interaction with medical facilities (scheduling appointments, messaging providers, apt reminders).
I use MyChart currently for myself and my children. I can compare test results, schedule appointments, request prescription refills.
Users want to be able to understand and interpret medical values (if a value is within a safe or risky range for example).
Doctors forget I don't know their language. I want to know if a value is high or low and what to do about it.
Date was mentioned several times as a way to browse through medical information. Other suggestions included color and tabs for different categories.
I would want to see by date. I would want the last test result first and then backtrack after that.
Printing or emailing the doctor beforehand was suggested as ways people could share their relevant health care information with the doctor.
If seeing a specific doctor, I would want to email him the information so he can look at it ahead of time and get feedback they received it.
Use charts and short descriptions to present complex terms, but allow users ability to click for more information.
It would be useful to have a chart and narrative of result in layman's terms.
Most people support sharing their medical information with people these choose.
I know enough to be comfortable that my data is secure.
Users suggested using a limited time access code to share their data with other people. They also suggested an option to share everything or select data.
To share, I would like an option to share everything or just certain parts.
Story Map

One of the biggest challenges during this stage of the project was properly advocating for our users while staying within the scope of the business and technical constraints. During the focus group interviews, users were clearly requesting features that we weren't sure were within the scope of this University funded project. We needed to find a way to ensure that the finished product matched the desired business outcomes (stayed on timeline), had impact with the users, and was also technically feasible.

Creating a user story map was the best way to tie our detailed knowledge from research into a familiar development framework. We could still map a user's journey through experience, but we would do it from a software point of view, using the language of agile methodology. This method was great during our stakeholder presentation because it allowed us all to get on the same page and the dev team/stakeholders could give us feedback on areas that were not technically or strategically feasible.

Evolution of the Story Map

I created the first draft of the story map and briefed the purpose and structure of the story map to the Dell Medical Team. The story map was structured to give an overall plot of the LEAP app with the narrative flowing from left to right. The pink post-its represents goals (major milestones from the user-point-of-view). The row of yellow post-its underneath represent the backbone of tasks that users need to complete to move through the app. Underneath each yellow task post-it are sub-tasks that users need to complete to get the task done. I also organized the story map using colored borders. The red border was what we knew from previous stakeholder comments was out of scope of the app. A yellow border represented the 'Study App' that would be inside the app storefront. A black border represented competitive analyses for quick comparison. A green border represented scenarios that users could encounter while having to use the app.

The stakeholder presentation was very useful because we were then able to remove aspects of the app that were not within the scope (didn't have funding, didn't fall under the IRB approval, or wasn't technically feasible). Swipe right to see all the sections that were removed as a result of the stakeholder meeting.

Stakeholder Meeting Insights & Refined Goals

As a result of the stakeholder meeting, we learned new key information that would be important when starting the initial designs of the app. We presented the team an 'ideal app' that included competitive analysis & user interview insights. Now we had to ground ourselves in reality and ensure the app took the business, user, and dev requirements into consideration.

Features Out of Scope:

Interact With Health System
  • Users will not be able to use the LEAP app to interact with healthcare providers, this is outside the scope of the app.
  • Users will not be able to use the LEAP app to interact with healthcare facilities, this is outside the scope of the app.
Download & Share Records
  • The IRB has not been approved for sharing patient records with other people, therefore this feature is also outside the scope of the app.
Edit Health Records
  • We would not be able to alter information from the Health Information Exchange, only view it. This means patients would not be able to add medical data to the app.
Interpret Health Information
  • Users will not be able to view interpretations of their health information because every hospital uses different protocols and systems, making it risky for an app to try and interpret lab results for every patient.

Features Within Scope:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

View Health Records
  • The Health Information Exchange will only allow us to pull patient categories like lab results, medications, vitals, encounters, procedures, diagnoses.
  • The Health Information Exchange does not have access to categories like allergies, vaccines, billing information, etc. so this would not be included in the app.
Filter Health Records
  • Filter health records by things like date or type of specialty
    Understand Health Records
    • A small description of the medical term with the option to click to learn more details (at least for basic medical terms) is still within scope.
    Design

    Using the interview insights, competitive analysis insights, and stakeholder feedback we began designing the LEAP app. Myself and my teammate Saebom drafted designs of the 'My Health Record' portion of the app. I also designed the home screen as well. We approached the design process with the model seen below, making sure to iterate designs as we continued the ux process and new insights were developed:

    Sketches

    I started sketching my ideas on paper instead of on figma or any other program, allowing me to quickly iterate and focus more on the content of my designs rather than styling.

    Low-Fidelity Designs

    After completing the sketching iteration exercise, I mocked up the low-fidelity designs in figma so I could present them internally to our UX team and also to the stakeholders for feedback and revisions.

    Our UX team put together a presentation for the Dell Med Team with the goal of updating them on the work we had completed so far and getting feedback. We walked them through the latest updates, data analysis after the focus groups, concepts for different features (logging in, notifications, patient records), branding, and next steps. My slides are from slide 21 - slide 29.

    To view the presentation,

    click here

    High-Fidelity Designs

    We are currently in the process of creating the high-fidelity designs based off of the stakeholder feedback. Check back later for updates!