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Can you redesign healthcare in 5 days?

Whilst we know that Australia’s system is one of the best in the world, we recognise that a number of challenges stand in its way.

Published on
August 24, 2017

At CEC, we’re passionate about healthcare.

Whilst we know that Australia’s system is one of the best in the world, we recognise that a number of challenges stand in its way for providing effective, timely, coordinated healthcare. In order to challenge ourselves, develop our skills and continue exploring opportunities in the healthcare space we conducted a five day design challenge.

Edric - Design lead

Bella - Digital design

Sean - Service design

Kelly - Research specialist

Tony - Business specialist

Laurence - Challenge coordinator

Our challenge

Create a service experience that:

  1. Uses human behaviour to solve a problem, or create a new opportunity within the healthcare industry
  2. Understands current and future political, societal, economic climates to design for them
  3. Is exciting for us, the healthcare industry and end users

Day one: Ideation

Abstracting and defining

Using the CEC design methodology and a range of tools we are able to quickly understand, map and articulate the current state and speculate on what the future may hold. Using the double diamond allowed us to continually progress our concepts, redefine our solutions and always keep improving.

We started by:

  • Developing an ecosystem map to understand all the players
  • Future-casting trends against disruptions to anticipate where the industry is ...heading and what will affect it in the future.
  • Look at other initiatives through a competitor analysis

Core problem

Over the past decade there has been an influx of new tools entering the health industry aimed at individuals take a greater role in their personal health care. These solutions have commonly relied on eco-system wide adoption and as a result have failed to achieve the impact they intended.

Day two: research

Qualitative research uncovers the functional and emotional needs of individuals at different stages of their journey

Given we only had a day, we had to get creative about how to execute our research. We called on friends, family and colleagues to recount their experiences. Through our conversations, we heard a variety of patient stories, ranging from leg breaks to chronic pain and even flesh eating bugs. We also heard our fair share of horror stories from doctors, nurses and specialists. Working together to share the stories of those interviewed we were able to build a holistic journey map and understand some of the key challenges facing the industry.

These journey maps allow us to look at the same process through a range of perspectives and start to understand the needs of the individuals both receiving and delivering health care.

Pain points, moments of truth and hidden journeys were all uncovered during the creation of a holistic journey map. It became clear that there was a key issue with the patient handover process as it relied on the injured person to be a competent case manager.

How can we improve continuity of care?

Key insight - Framing the problem

Adoption of eHealth solutions has been hindered by overburdened physicians coupled with a lack of governance leading to poor accountability.

Day three: abstraction - Reframing the problem space to innovate in the solution space

Once a particular problem statement or insight has been defined it’s important that you don't jump to the first solution. Critical to the development of creative solutions is the process of abstraction. At CEC we do this through a number of ways; in the design challenge we brainstormed areas or themes that a solution could relate to and built these out in lo-fidelity, sharing ideas and taking the best elements of each as we distilled down the possible solutions.

Thinking broadly to come up with more innovative solutions

Coming up with many solutions allowed us to take the most interesting elements from each and focus our efforts on three concepts

Concept one

Streamlining the booking and handover process to provide a tool for people to pre-fill health information.

Concept two

Using voice memo’s to help a patient recall doctors orders

Concept three

Gamifying the session to change the patient doctor relationship

What if we designed a way to empower patients to become their own case manager and take back control and understanding of their health?

Day four: Build and test - Bringing the solution to life

Always keeping the people using it at the centre of the project we started building our digital solution. Our multi-disciplinary team clustered together, allowing us to follow our own streams as we built, tested and iterated in a continuous learning loop. Using storyboards, prior research, best practice and all the Adobe design programs in

beautiful harmony to bring our ideas to life.

Validating the design solution

Customer testing is a tool used to gain insights into the way people think and validates design logic against the expectations of end users. When validating a design don’t be afraid to be proven wrong, you learn more in failure than you do in success. Validating your point of view with the people who will be using your product on a day to day basis ensures that you move toward a design that actually fulfils a customer need.

Day five: Iterate and communicate - Refining and communicating the solution

Once testing had been conducted we went to iterating the solution to make sure that user expectations were upheld in the design. We iterated quickly and were able to place focus on the communication of the idea. Research identified that a major barrier to adoption was the lack of incentive in previous initiatives. As we built the tool we thought about the story surrounding it and how we could craft an engaging and relatable story to drive understanding and adoption.

What we learnt

Five days is not a lot of time. Spending only one day each on research, definition, ideation, testing and refinement you need to have a structured methodology to progress your idea. Synthesis on the go is key. Design sprints benefit from collaborative, multi-disciplinary thinking and having the right tools and processes meant that the team was able to uncover insights, interpret meaning and design accordingly. All in real time. This solution was developed through a constructive design process whereby research is conducted through making prototypes and collaborative exercises. As the market moves toward more agile business models that encourage the exploration and distillation of many ideas, challenges like these are crucial to ensuring that our methodology and our team are ready for any challenge that may be thrown our way.

What’s next for healthcare?

The bigger the problem the more impactful the solution.and in terms of impact, it doesn't get much bigger than healthcare. A worldwide industry worth billions of dollars, it is a space that deeply affects humans emotionally and a space we are passionate about.

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