At the end of August, Well and ustwo kicked off a 7 week project to explore opportunities in the digital healthcare space.
This is our first project together and we’re excited to be merging our digital expertise with Well’s industry and market knowledge.
What is the goal of this discovery project?
In a world where there’s a lot of disruption, innovation and change, we are looking to the future of digital healthcare and how Well can play a bigger role in this space.
To quote Dan’s first Well Digital blog post, “Looking to the future, we will look for areas where we can develop new digital healthcare services that fit with our values and our strengths.” We’ll be exploring ways consumer needs can be turned into digital propositions and opportunities for Well to take into the future.
Where are we?
We just wrapped up the first 2 weeks of the project — focused on research, understanding the landscape and insights. We’re now in week 3, initial proposition development. We’re still in early stages, but we’ve started to understand users’ needs and have taken a deeper look into the future of digital healthcare.
In the first 2 weeks, we took an ethnographic, in-context research approach to really understand the human behaviours and the needs that arise around health and wellbeing. Because we are looking at digital propositions, we aren’t geographically fixed to Well’s current locations. In this instance, we focused our first round of research in the greater London and greater Manchester areas.
Initial 3 week timeline
What have we done?
The first two weeks have been full of planning, gathering and understanding — coming at this project with a true “diverge and converge” mindset. We first kicked off with the Well team in Manchester and then quickly got started on recruiting for research participants.
In recruiting for research, we used the following guidelines:
- Ages: 27–45
- Gender mix
- Mostly home owners (some renters)
- Regular users of NHS and pharmacies
- Have used private healthcare services in the past (a range of services in the healthcare space and surrounding industries/areas)
- Very comfortable with digital (online retail, skype, social media, etc)
We ended up recruiting 6 pairs of people — 12 users total. We traveled to Sidcup, just outside of London first, followed by interviews in Stockport, just outside the city of Manchester. As part of our research toolkit, we created a set of interactive activities that aimed to go beyond question-answer interviews and start to extract richer insights from people’s anecdotes and stories. Some of the research activities included mapping a typical day to understand habitual points where health and technology came up and using cards as provocations to discuss different healthcare opportunities.
Example Research Activity
Our key pillars for research exploration were: Membership, Prescriptions, Access to services, and Resilience. In our interviews we aimed to understand not just how the users interact with health and wellbeing, but also how they interact with a range of technology day to day.One user pondered, “What if we could leverage a pharmacy skill on Alexa?”
In-context in users homes — in this home, their Amazon Echo was a kitchen centrepiece.
We learned a lot about the opportunities for design in the healthcare space and how much digital services can help alleviate some of the pains in the current system. Some insights we distilled were related to authority and trust, consistency vs. convenience, and validation and reassurance. Several users mentioned they “don’t know what the pharmacist does” and that “‘consistency is more important for chronic conditions — if it’s a one off, I don’t care who the doctor is.”
We are currently in the midst of developing initial digital propositions, rooted in our identified insights. These propositions will start with ‘sacrificial’ digital concepts in order to elicit more feedback and their purpose is to help us continue to converge to user-centred, viable directions. Next week, we will be testing these propositions with another set of users.
Stay tuned for our findings from testing!
ustwo* is a global studio who have designed a range of digital products — including our own award-winning game, Monument Valley, and a product with DeepMind to help prevent deaths from Acute Kidney Injury.*
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