Together with a global US-based pharmaceutical company, we set out to connect people living with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) with their team of clinicians. After interviewing both patients and Health Care Professionals (HCPs) we applied design thinking methods and processes to design an interface that would create more transparency between a patient and an HCP.
Internal Concept Design
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
People living with PAH must visit their clinician regularly to assess symptoms through a defined process. For some patients, it meant a 3-hour drive for a 15-minute consultation and with COVID-19 striking across the globe, many patients were stuck at home. This led to fewer clinical visits and ultimately unrecognized disease escalation for numerous patients.
Our client approached us to help solve this dilemma. The result was an HCP platform connected with a patient-facing mobile app, that captured key information remotely, so that the HCP could act from a distance. Since the patient assessment followed rule-based guidelines, we knew what to capture and could lean on an objective method to calculate a patient's status. With native health kits, we were able to collect data points from a variety of Bluetooth devices, and with a GPS-based tracking test we could do a 6-minute walk remotely.
For leading pharmaceutical companies, there’s a direct link between helping patients live with chronic diseases and a financial benefit. Ultimately their incentive is to diagnose patients and escalate treatment as early as possible. With a remote interface and an automatically calculated risk score, based on guidelines defined by Key Opinion Leaders within the disease, this business objective was achieved.
Most patients already kept a physical notebook, where they logged a symptom diary to remember important information and track longitudinal trends when visiting their clinician. With our solution, they could keep this information in the CareConnect app with the bonus of dynamically syncing the data to the HCP interface. Beyond the increased transparency, patients were also able to perform tasks and measurements at home, saving them a drive or even a risk of contracting COVID-19.
The app needed to track 4 metrics at separate intervals and with different techniques. These included blood pressure, 6-minute walk test, blood work, and the WHO functional class to calculate a risk score. Since they needed to fit into an everyday schedule the key design criteria was an efficient flow with a low cognitive load.
The most valuable feature for both patients and HCPs was the ability to see trends in data points captured over time. For HCPs this feature served as a way of communicating needed changes in treatment to patients, while patients also felt more empowered by knowing their history.
The 6 Minute Walk Test feature logs the test results using the phones GPS and instructs users during the test with supporting text, large illustrations and animations. Additionally, the feature has an easy-to-understand interface with a large clock timer ticking down to easily see your progress. When the test is over, the user can either submit their data to their HCP or start over.