Many people who develop pregnancy-related hypertensive diseases are unprepared for, confused and stressed by their experience.
Coupled with errors in diagnosis and treatment, hundreds of thousands of preventable injuries and deaths occur globally, every year.
On top of extra prenatal costs and wrongful death lawsuits, the U.S. healthcare system spends $2.45 billion on affected adults and babies the first 12 months after birth.
Novi utilizes a smart watch blood pressure cuff and machine learning to predict gestational hypertension via user symptom and test logging, and provides disease monitoring and management by on-call specialists.
Testing participants reported that their pregnancy experiences would be improved by the app.
UX design collaboration with Ashley DesMarais
80 hour final school project over 4 weeks in May/June 2020
• Primary & Secondary Research • User Interviews • User Personas & Journey Mapping • Site Map & User Flows • Wireframes & Prototypes • User Testing
Our design process walked through four main steps:
Testing & Iterating
Gather information around the problem.
Distill information to define key problems.
Brainstorm solutions to the problems.
User test prototyped mock-ups and rework designs.
Then we spoke with five women about their experiences in semi-structured interviews, and learned how information, communication and support impacted their outcomes.
We heard things like:
First, we conducted an extensive literature review of medical journals, health sites, and news articles to establish a base of knowledge on the science of pregnancy-related hypertensive diseases.
Research - Gathering information
I knew about pre-eclampsia...I didn't know about HELLP Syndrome, though, not even when I got it. I found out about it when I got transferred by ambulance to a higher-level hospital.
Hey, if something feels off, you need to just trust your body and your gut and pursue it. It’s not worth the risk to you when a doctor brushes you off. It’s your life, and people die of this.
Synthesis - Defining key problems
Traumatic pregnancy and birth experiences
The logistical stress of increased appointments and repeated hospital admissions negatively affects patients’ mental and physical health
Patients feel betrayed by their bodies, isolated and grieved by the loss of a typical pregnancy and birthing experience
Poor communication between relevant parties
Feeling confused, ignored, and afraid of contacting providers too often causes many patients to turn elsewhere for information and support
Inaccurate reporting to governments and data sent to researchers impedes progress in maternal health, especially with life-saving standards and regulations
We used Erika Hall's Just Enough Research grouping guidelines to organize our interview stories, recognize commonalities across experiences and discover missed opportunities.
Improper medical treatment
Approximately 60% of deaths in the U.S. are preventable, due to lack of training on implicit bias and current treatment protocols
Disease onset can be rapid and unfelt; without regular testing, it can go unnoticed until emergency intervention is needed or it’s too late to avoid injury and/or death
Our design objectives:
1. Data logging and tracking features 2. Health-affirming action plan feature 3. Medical provider communication feature 4. Data-sharing feature
Using our findings, we mapped out a design approach with a two-pronged goal:
1. Produce and share data to predict disease and intervene quickly. 2. Inform, educate and support pregnant people to improve patient experiences.
Ideate - Designing potential solutions
With these goals and objectives in mind, we conducted a competitive analysis.
We analyzed features, articles and Google Play reviews for two Android apps with wearables that produce data, several pregnancy tracking apps, and one educational app dedicated to Preeclampsia.
We also took into consideration some key features and design elements of other apps like Google Home and Apple Health.
We ideated on subscription tiers.
We knew the app needed to provide value for customers and be a profitable business, so we strategized the features of free and cost-based plans.
We ideated on solutions that would alleviate patients’ stress and anxiety.
Designed the app to pair with a blood pressure cuff smartwatch so patients can self-test anytime, anywhere.
Created a data storage section for tracking test results and symptoms so that visualized health information is accessible and understandable in real time.
Implemented a calendar and reminder system to help patients stay on top of testing, appointments and symptom logging.
We ideated on solutions that would improve the quality, quantity and timeliness of information being shared.
Utilized information architecture to direct patients’ focus to their current health status, action plans and educational features.
Added floating action buttons to encourage test taking, symptom recording, health-promoting behaviors and communication with specialists.
Created outside app integration and sharing features so patients can keep providers and loved ones informed.
We ideated on solutions that would improve maternal health.
Provided access to Perinatal specialists as qualified resources and advocates for accurate diagnosis, treatment, record-keeping and accountability.
Created a more robust data-set for Deep Learning and researchers to analyze and report, in turn enhancing life-saving warning systems, training protocols and governmental standards and regulations.
Test & Iterate - Improving usability
We conducted remote user testing with five women
A sample of five women with current or previous pregnancy experience tested our mid-fi designs remotely via Maze.com while we moderated over Zoom. We asked them to complete a series of three tasks in the areas of onboarding, testing their blood pressure and accessing their data and action plan.
We iterated on the designs
Based on our user testing results, we made changes to improve usability by clarifying nomenclature, copy and data visualization.
Feedback and future iterations
The response we received on the app was enthusiastic, with many observations about how it would improve their pregnancy experiences.
I want to update branding and UI, add mental health support and design the caregiver's side of the app.