**Due to confidentiality, the specific details of this project are not fully shown or described.
Assessing a certain population for medical care is a major issue not only for the health and quality of life of patients, but it is also a major burden on system costs. There are a lot of costs that are associated with the specific population, including the costs of hospitalization, and the countless hours that clinic and hospital staff need to spend aiding these individuals.
Currently, there are some early actions being taken to create a plan for proactive care. These actions can help the patient live a better quality of life, but it currently takes time, effort and dedication from a team of experts. This can be overwhelming for the healthcare professionals and the patients as it can take up to three hours to complete the assessments. This is not a very effective, nor efficient way of gathering the information and takes away important time from these experts. The costs and the time dedicated are continuing to be a hefty weight on the overall budget and the quality of life of the healthcare workers and the patients themselves.
The solution generated was to allow the patients to complete this assessment through a user friendly, scalable, and effective piece of technology. We decided to create a communication tool that can guide the user through numerous questions that will effortlessly provide a summary of the patient’s responses for the clinicians to analyze and assess the patient.
By working closely with experts, we curated use cases and workflows to better understand how this piece of technology would work with the current workflow. We worked with experts to make sure the questions being answered by the patients were useful and effective. User tests were executed using a high fidelity prototype to understand timing, accuracy of responses, and overall experience with the technology. Once iterations were completed based on feedback, we had a real piece to use with patients.
The technology is currently being tested with a test group and a control group. The test group is completing this assessment using technology, and the control group is following the original workflow. In this study, the time taken to complete the assessment, the accuracy of the information, and the patient’s experience are all being recorded.
In this study, I gained experience in the research process and how intricate and detailed you must be in every stage of the research process. The start of the project is super important when it comes to being direct and detailed in what needs to be done to collect detailed and accurate data. You also have to think ahead in order to plan and know you will have recorded and tracked in the end of the study to gather the correct data.
I learned that every person testing the product is important, and making sure you have different demographics testing because this will lead to differences in experiences. The individuals testing the assessment included members of the target population, healthcare professionals and individuals who will not use this product. In doing so, we gathered so much information that came from the target demographic, the experts needing the information gathered, and those who have no affiliation. With the different groups of individuals, we learned so many different elements of the initial design and it led to a more effective final design.
Another takeaway was that as a study progresses, sometimes adjustments need to be made. We initially wanted the patient’s to complete the assessment through text on their phones. Once we realized this was somewhat of a limitation in getting the assessment to patients, we explored a new medium, email. Once we embraced this new mode of communication, we were able to easily surpass the number of participants in the tech group. This was a limitation that was not expected, but once we lost the blockage, we were able to be successful.
**Mikata Health Research Project