HelpingHand: Collaborative Healthcare App
A Collaborative Healthcare Solution
There is a pressing need for home healthcare. But in Home Healthcare, the main caregiver for the elderly is overwhelmed and burdened by the daily activities and medication. And even though Family and friend rally to support her and ease her burden, coordinating and utilizing these people effectively is troublesome and sometimes more trouble than it’s worth.
The HelpingHand is a home healthcare application for streamlining communication, supporter role optimization, recording health progression, and energizing emotional connection for caring dementia patients. “The HelpingHand. You don’t have to do it alone.”
From UX research to mobile design
CMU Interaction Design Studio
Exploring the Ecosystem
Collaborative healthcare is not a familiar domain to the majority of us. So instead of performing interview immediately, our design team first explored our domain knowledge. Then, we designed secondary and primary research plans based on it.
To gain more knowledge of dementia healthcare, we planned both secondary research and primary guerrilla research. In our secondary research, we would like to learn about medical facts of dementia, including the symptom, the diagnosis, and patient's mental states. Also, we were interested in the way dementia patients being cared.
In our primary research, we interviewed 5 people who used to take care of dementia people. Most of them reported that during this long process, both caregivers and patients can be really irritated and frustrated because they do not understand what each other is doing or thinking. And that is part of the reason that people feel embarrassed to ask other people to help look after the patients, they do not want to take advantage of others and cause such a heavy burden. As a result, people ask supporters for help only if there is an emergency, they usually do not ask supporters to visit routinely. Another thing that many people addressed was dementia people refuse to be cared by less intimate people, which means that the supporters can only be the close relatives or close friends who have direct relationship with the patient.
Synthesis & Iteration
According to the research findings, we defined several core modules or functions of HelpingHand. It should be able to keep a daily visit schedule and assign tasks (posted by main caregiver) to each supporter. To minimize the mental workload of supporter, we integrated an instruction checklist in the app, so supporters can easily know if they need to check the groceries, the patient's daily activities, and their mental states. To strengthen the emotional bond between supporter and patient's family, they can record the status of patient's, or post their visits in timeline. Last, the app will log the data for the purpose of better further diagnosis.
After generating these design concepts, we worked out 20 exploratary scenarios:
As we pitched these concepts to the audience, we gradually realized that our direction of reframing the problem was wrong. The collaborative solution should be supporter-oriented, rather than prioritizing the main caregivers. In this peer to peer model, although main caregiver is in a dilemma, it is actually the supporter that creates value, because the supporter solves the problems exactly, and is needed by the main caregiver. We should look at supporters' end goals, and make them contribute at their convenience.
Therefore, we pivoted our idea to prioritize supporter's needs:
We never force the supporters to do a favor, nor let them pay full attention to the caring.
The reason that supporters want to help is that they feel satisfied when kindly helping their intimate family or friends. Emphasizing on emotional bonding could be an effective way to facilitate contribution. Meanwhile, we used various sensors on the mobile phone to integrate favors into supporter's daily life. For example, the supporter may see the favor of buying a new milk when they are around a supermarket. In this way, contributing to caring the one you love have never been more pleasant.
In our new model, the value flow is justified as follows:
The Task Flow - Low Fidelity Prototype
We first figured out a rough navigation map and corresponding wireframes.
Navigation: Supporter Side
As is demonstrated in our design, the supporter should be able to do the following things with ease:
- Pick a favor: the app suggests the best favor to the supporter by using their schedule and geographic data.
- Do a favor: the app shows the detail of a favor and thanks the supporter after finishing that.
- Visit: the entrance when you start a visit. Finish the favor and quickly update the status.
- Timeline: show how the patient is doing, share the feelings with the family.
Navigation: Main Caregiver Side
As is demonstrated in our design, the main caregiver should be able to do the following things:
- Dashboard: all information at a glance. Who is going to visit, who has visited, and the current status.
- Favor List: manage all favors, and see people who took them.
- Timeline: thank the supporters, share the feelings with the family.
- Status: see how the dementia progresses so as to get better diagnosis.
Final Design - High-Fidelity Screens
In final screens we added animations to show more information on a limited size screen, as well as provide better affordance for all users.
For click-through prototype please see https://invis.io/H999Z1TVE#/203994655_Favor_List_Supporter, and https://invis.io/7399XQ1CT#/203987359_Favor_List