Link

Helping Patients and Doctors Connect Better

Role: Designer (UX + Visual)

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Challenge

Design a more connected experience between doctors and patients with depression.

In rural St. Louis, care for mental health is sparse and difficult to access. Working with the institution BJC Behavioral Health, we envisioned a future product to help better connect depressed patients and doctors in between appointments, which often are spread out by a matter of months.


The initial prototype of LINK aims to better connect depressed patients and doctors, collect data in between appointments, and ultimately expedite recovery. 

User Research

Understanding user needs and exploring through interviews, research, and data

We conducted a session to interview patients who have had interactions with BJC Behavioral Health to better understand their pain points.

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User research allowed us to narrow in on a few key themes for product exploration.

  • How might we better connect patients and doctors in-between appointments in order to better facilitate treatment?
    Features including the 'Mood Tracker', which allows patients to track their levels over time, and the 'Chat' feature, an Instant Messaging service between doctors and patients, are two ways LINK posed solutions to this challenge.

  • How might we expedite the treatment process?
    We built intake questions, normally reserved for the first in-patient appointment, into the onboarding portion of the app so that the first in-care appointment was focused on a treatment plan instead.

  • How might we use technology advances to personalize treatment?
    We proposed using Artifical Intelligence to inform the push notifications sent to the patient. For example, if a patient recorded in the mood tracker high happiness levels while creating art, a push notification would pop up suggesting that activity when the patient later reported low mood levels. 

    This way, coping mechanisms for individuals would be noted and added to his/her individual treatment plan.

Early Sketches

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Product Features

LINK Features

Based on our research and user interviews we focused on these features for the initial vision of the LINK App:

— AI informed push notifications

— Mood Tracker

— Resources 

— Reminders

— Chat

Using AI to inform Push Notifications

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Based on the Mood Tracker, LINK would get smart about how the patient was feeling and provide data-based suggestions for activities to increase subjective well-being.

Moodtracker

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Because not all doctors were allowed to use smartphones for security reasons when we developed this vision for BJC, we focused on the desktop view for the Doctor Interface.

This information could be printed for in-patient appointments to have more informed conversations.

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Relevant resources, in the form of articles or videos, would be uploaded to a patient's portal so that the patient could be armed with helpful content along their journey of recovery.

Reminders:

Resources:

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Both doctors and patients could set reminders, keeping care on track.

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Patients would receive reminders to their own personal phones via the app and could record completion of the task, tracking progress.

Takeaway

Last thoughts

The mental health landscape is very cold and confusing for people dealing with depression. With LINK, we hoped to envision better patient-doctor relationships as well as provide a human-like technology-driven support system.