Osler

An app that assist parents through their child’s asthma care journey by providing proactive, personalized care, in-the-moment decision support and integrating of health records.

 
 
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Design Challenge

How might we help parents find and manage long-term asthma care for their child?


Asthma is the most common chronic conditions among children in the United states. In Washington state, 11% of the children were diagnosed with Asthma and for 50% of them the asthma was ‘weakly controlled’.

 
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Our response - Osler

Osler focuses on reducing asthma-related emergency care visits among children by helping parents better manage their child’s asthma.

 

Personalized actionable information
Powered by electronic health records, Osler provides accurate, actionable and relevant information when the parents need it the most.

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Appointment management
Seamlessly schedule and manage all asthma related appointments through the app.

 

Triggers in the area
Location-based trigger monitoring keeps parents ready to deal with flare ups providing information on how they can be prevented.

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 Research

 
 

Semi-structured Interviews

"Most of the time, when I got an attack I had to go to the ER because I didn’t carry my nebulizer.” - Participant 5

We interviewed a mix of adults and parents of children with asthma to understand the asthma care journey. We focused on their diagnosis, treatment plan, behaviors around medications and flare ups.

 
 
 

Cultural Probes

We started with an assumption that parent-child communication is integral for finding the right care for the child and deployed a cultural probe to validate this.

 
 

Competition Analysis

An Asthma action plan is recommended by all US medical associations to prevent flare-ups and emergency visits but is difficult to parse and unutilized by majority of our participants.

Existing apps for Asthma management are difficult to navigate, require extensive user input and are provide generic advice.

 
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Key takeaways 

Taking asthma medicines as prescribed over the long term can help prevent severe asthma flare-ups and the need for emergency care.

 

The design response should assist in the parent-child communication during flare-ups.

 

Asthma action plan used to manage treatment plan and prevent flare-ups and ER visits is poorly designed and difficult to parse.

 
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Synthesis

 

Asthma Care Journey

We mapped the asthma care journey to identify key decision points that would help manage long-term asthma, prevent flare-ups and reduce ER visits.

 
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 Ideation

 

Brainstorming

Motivated to address the different challenges faced by parents during their child’s care journey, we developed 90 ideas through a series of timed ideation exercises like 2x2, braiding, and crazy 8’s. For down-selecting, we started with six thinking hats exercise which assisted in evaluating the ideas from multiple perspectives. We then used Pugh’s decision matrix method to rank our ideas.

We chose to go ahead with with 3 ideas - developing a better care plan, easy scheduling of appointments and notifying ambient asthma triggers.

 
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The final idea

We decided to build a a long-term care manager platform for parents of asthmatic children. It would empower parents to take control of their child’s condition by connecting parents to pertinent information at the right time in the care process.

 

Low-fi Prototyping

We started with low-fidelity paper prototypes to quickly iterate on our user flow, assess feature desirability and understand what information to prioritize. We tested this prototype and got feedback from two of our participants and other teams in the class.

 
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Key takeaways

Information shown to the users needed to be concise and relevant. It should also be glanceable and easy to grasp. Failing to do so led to a lot of confusion.

 

Users preferred the proactive nature of the app alerts and found it desirable to know what’s to come ahead in the treatment journey.

 
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 Implementation

 

System map and user flows

While refining our concept, we narrowed our focus on 3 keypaths that were the most important to our users - check and manage medications, schedule appointments and receive reminders, and get notified for ambient triggers.

We started with creating the overall map of the app followed by the user flows to structure and organize the content that would allow the users to complete these 3 tasks with ease.

Osler’s system map

Osler’s system map

Osler’s care plan flow

Osler’s care plan flow

Osler’s appointments flow

Osler’s appointments flow

 
 

High fidelity prototype

Using the information architecture of the system and the feedback on our existing prototypes, we developed our high fidelity prototype that allowed users to quickly check and manage medications, schedule appointments and receive reminders, and get notified for ambient triggers.

 

Visual system - manage care plan

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Visual system - schedule appointments

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Reflections

Scoping the problem space

We initially started with redesigning the care journey for a disease-agnostic chronic condition but struggled to come up with opportunities that could be well addressed. Narrowing the scope to focus on Asthma helped us identify a strong problem space and come up with a framework that can be extended to other chronic conditions like diabetes.

 
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