Mobile Prototyping + Community Support
Project Timeline: 3 weeks
A mobile platform that encourages a healthier lifestyle for sleep apnea patients by providing access to relevant data, support from a community, and rewarding compliance.
Modeling of Journey
Visual Design (Profile)
How might we support sleep apnea patients and improve the compliance of ResMed devices?
Sleep apnea patients struggle with getting a restful night’s sleep and the main treatment is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. These masks are uncomfortable and a hassle to wear; therefore, compliance is one of the biggest issues. Without compliance, insurance companies are unwilling to pay and patients are not able to get better quality sleep.
Sleep apnea patients struggle with consistent compliance with CPAP treatment which hinders their quality of sleep.
Encourage a healthier lifestyle for sleep apnea patients by providing access to relevant data, support from a community, and rewarding compliance.
Patients often do use the CPAP machine; however, it is the consistency that is an issue. Patients use the CPAP machine only in reaction to their symptoms and forget the value until they need it again. How do we remind patients of the value wearing the mask to encourage consistent use of the device?
Individuals keep track of how they feel after waking up and how that is affected by mask usage. If data collected from the mask and phone sensors are below average, the system will automatically suggest ways for the patient to improve their experience with advice from the community.
Reminding them of the positives
Notifications are timed to positively reinforce the use of the CPAP mask. Additionally, they are rewarded when they take action and improve aspects like their mask seal.
Giving back to the community
Sleep apnea patients often feel that no one understands their problem; however, 1 in 5 people in the United States have mild obstructive sleep apnea.
By posting questions, responding to questions or simply up voting, they will receive ZCoins that can be used to redeem discounts and rewards.
Patients can earn ZCoins through improving compliance, being active in the community, going to doctor check-ups and by using rewards.
This encourages patients to use the application regularly and be rewarded for consistency. As individuals are getting better, they feel more empathetic towards others that are where they once were.
As patients are getting better, it is encouraging to see progression. Furthermore, they are able to see how close they are to unlocking the next tier of rewards and their contributions to the community. General statistics from the mask are important for patients to allow them to be able to quickly diagnose any issues.
Staying in the loop
From the interviews, we realized that the patients only use the CPAP mask as a reaction to a poor night’s sleep. It’s difficult for patients to see the value to consistently use the mask if it doesn’t actually cure sleep apnea. Data is not that enticing, and they often feel alone in this journey. We created a variation of the customer journey map to illustrate the two loops that a patient experiences.
Research and Scope Definition
Who are the key stakeholders?
To first understand the domain of this space, we conducted secondary research. The secondary research was synthesized into research documents and translated into a stakeholder diagram to understand all the players in this space. This artifact allowed us to identify the leverage points and how value flowed between stakeholders.
What is it really like to live with sleep apnea?
We conducted semi-structured interviews with sleep apnea patients who are using ResMed devices to try and better understand the intricate relationships between people and their CPAP treatment. This was a sensitive topic for many users which required being aware of the questions we asked.
You can tell who has being using a CPAP machine by looking at if people have lines underneath their eyes in the morning
- Fun fact from ResMed user
Consistency is problematic
It’s difficult to be consistent with wearing the mask due to discomfort and effort. Furthermore, patients don’t go to their regular check ups.
Data alone isn’t enough
The data alone isn’t enough to encourage users to use the mask because it doesn’t reflect how they actually feel.
Traveling is a hassle
Wearing the mask at home is already a lot of effort. Traveling with a mask is even more of a hassle and patients opt to not bring them along.
Effecting loved ones
Patients not only have to think about themselves but how it affects the people around them. It affects significant others and can result in the sleeping of separate beds that make users feel guilty.
Ideating with reverse assumptions
There were many opportunities and it was difficult to ideate how we could help patients in a profound way. Therefore, we selected using reverse assumptions that would help broaden our horizons. From the activity, we prioritized three groups of ideas that had the most potential.
What does the experience look like?
We realized that there were certain constraints in this project due to the medical component of it. For example, we ruled out any solutions that would modify the CPAP machines themselves as the process of approval is lengthy and complicated. Eventually we focused on building a community-focused direction to help users stay in the preferred loop.
From the data gathered from the interviews, we modeled the journey our users experienced and identified two loops that they alternate between.
Preferred loop: Users wear the CPAP machine and feel rested and energetic the next morning.
Unpreferred loop: Users have low-quality sleep and wake up feeling tired.
The critical point of this journey was the decision they make before going to bed...should I wear the mask tonight?
Figuring out the flow
We did a series of quick sketches and questions that helped us initially identify the key components as profile, check-up, map and social. This translated into a sitemap and sketching out an example journey of the users. Eventually, we were able to prioritize the screens to build for low fi testing.
Increasing fidelity and adjusting the features
As we rapidly moved from low fidelity to mid-fidelity mockups, due to time constraints we internally held critiques to evaluate our designs. We centered our changes around the insights we discovered in our interviews with ResMed users and ensuring that the application provides the support and encouragement they need.
High fidelity screens
We laid out the screens in order to map out how users would use this application. We considered different paths that users could experience but simplified it into four main paths (Logging emotions, Checking on statistics, Engaging with the community, Redeeming offers). Below are some of the highlighted high fidelity screens in these flows.
The combination of the sensitive domain and medical component of this project proposed new challenges and constraints. For example, to have an impact we wanted to avoid altering any technical components of the device as we did not have enough knowledge to make feasible changes. Furthermore, the limitations on natural points of contact (eg: right before a user sleeps or when they first wake up) meant that the solution had to be impactful despite few touchpoints. Ultimately, it was vital to understand how to make the users feel like they have the support they need and provide a potential pathway to live without the burden of sleep apnea.
Identify the point of most impact
Solutions affect not only the user but the people around them
Empower the users to improve their own conditions and provide support through a community