A major medical device manufacturer (client under NDA) asked The Nerdery to produce a “blue sky” design concept for a web-based application to help medical professionals use aggregate patient data to improve care strategies, staffing models and device recommendations.
Medical professionals who care for patients with implanted cardiac devices are inundated with data. Pacemakers and defibrillators collect hundreds of metrics that physicians check on a regular basis to see if any device adjustments are necessary. While this process works for individual patients, physicians have no good way to look at the big picture of large patient populations.
We worked with our client’s Human Factors team to develop a research plan centered around contextual inquiries at clinics, where we could see doctors and nurses in action at various points in the patient care journey. We observed nurses as they checked patients both in-person and remotely, collaborated with doctors, and we even got to look in on a device implantation surgery.
Our research questions mostly centered around the nurse/physician workflows and how technology fits into them. We quickly realized that a tool that makes use of aggregate patient data would be difficult for many medical professionals to find time to adopt—the vast majority of their extremely busy days were spent caring for patients at the individual level, and not taking time to look at the “big picture.”
However, we uncovered several things that would incentivize them to do so. Nurses and physicians were passionate about making better device decisions (most patients do not research particular devices or manufacturers), and they also identified a clear need to make strong cases to their administrators when they need more resources or staff. Enabling these outcomes became central design goals for our concept.
Finally my team presented the design concept to business stakeholders along with a variety of supplemental documentation including a research report/insights document, static wireframes of important pieces of the system, and multiple potential visual design directions in the form of style tiles.
Though major technical hurdles of privacy and data manipulation remain before beginning development is a real possibility, we succeeding in showing the potential to make use of the incredible amounts of data generated by our client’s devices.
This project helped open the door to what is now a very exciting ongoing partnership between The Nerdery and this client.