Responsum: Informing and Empowering Patients
Our master's capstone project team worked with a startup for seven months to help them envision a platform that could help patients with chronic illnesses.
Patients with chronic diseases who self-manage and understand their health achieve better health outcomes than patients who do not. Unfortunately patients are often on their own to understand and evaluate information about their health as they research online. Responsum is a startup dedicated to more effectively informing and empowering patients. They worked with our capstone project team to kickstart their company and to better understand the people who they would be serving.
Our team began researching with a foundational literature review and a competitive analysis to orient ourselves in the health and business spaces that Responsum wanted to operate. Moving forward our team took a ’T’ approach to our research dividing it into two phases: a broad research phase across many different kinds of disease and patients, and a narrow research phase focused on a single disease and patient group. This approach equipped us to design a solution for a specific disease while maintaining an understanding of how the solution might generalize to other disease groups.
Building from our literature review and competitive analysis we began conducting semi-structured interviews with subject-matter experts, doctors, caregivers, and patients. The team also conducted contextual inquiries to observe patients’ day-to-day lives and how they seek information about their condition.
After evaluating available resources and discussing with our clients, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) was chosen as our disease of focus for our second phase. Online ethnographies and diary studies provided intimate insights into the lives of IPF patients and their caregivers.
Synthesis & Insights
Throughout several months of research the team continually synthesized the data we were gathering. We began to build, discuss, test, and revise models of the patient journey and experience. These models provided a framework of discussion and understanding of the design context and design constraints both within the team and with our clients.
Visioning & Prototyping
After five months of research and analysis the team began to brainstorm solutions and ideas for how Responsum could better inform and empower patients. After weeks of ideation the team began to narrow down, combine, and refine solutions with four core ideas that we speed dated for rapid feedback. Finally unifying around a single solution the team began prototyping. We progressed from low-fidelity to high-fidelity prototypes testing and validating our designs with patients every iteration.
With each iteration we saw patients becoming more and more excited about what we were designing.
With each iteration we saw patients becoming more and more excited about what we were designing. Our clients were also excited as they saw their vision for informing and empowering patients take real form in our solution. After seven months we began to finalize our prototype and prepare for the end of our capstone project. I focused on developing a transition document that would guide and prepare our client for moving forward at the conclusion of our project.