Launching a health-tech product as a UX Researcher and Designer

Updated: 4 days ago

Learnings building and launching a product to make health tech more accessible





Social Health Blueprint is a web app that guides Community Health Workers to easily record, visualize, and address gaps in members’ social support. You can check out the product here - https://socialnetworkmap.bubbleapps.io/





About me


I learned about PMDojo from someone I met at a virtual Product Camp conference and decided to join the program to gain practical experience and for networking opportunities. I joined the Industry track and was paired with a start-up in the health tech space. I decided on the Industry track because I wanted to work on an existing problem and for the opportunity to work with the founder.


Our team came from diverse backgrounds and industries which aided in the discussions throughout the program.



Problem Space


Social disconnectedness undermines health. Roughly equal to smoking 15 cigarettes per day, social isolation and loneliness increase the risk for dementia, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even premature death. Critically, current estimates suggest that approximately 60% of US adults experience isolation or loneliness. The prevalence is highest for Medicaid members, with 72% reporting loneliness.

https://www.cigna.com/static/www-cigna-com/docs/about-us/newsroom/studies-and-reports/combatting-loneliness/cigna-2020-loneliness-report.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557974/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/hsc.13301



Problem Statement


Community Health Workers (CHWs) lack the tools to identify and assess their members’ risk level for social disconnectedness. We are exploring this problem space for a startup called Gaja Health that we were matched up with as part of PMDojo's Industry Track.


Why does this matter?


The target customer is the CHW and by extension, the Medicaid member. Our product aims to help CHWs address the social needs of members. We hypothesize that even if basic needs are met, the member will falter if they lack a strong social support network. Research has shown that social disconnectedness results in a decline in overall health.



Business Goal


The goal of Gaja Health is to connect Medicaid members to CHWs that can assist with navigating the healthcare system and social support services, with the ultimate goal of reducing member health risks. While CHWs working with Gaja Health have the necessary tools to address the basic needs of members, our product aims to assist the CHWs with visualizing and addressing the gaps in social needs.

Critical to solving are:

  1. Identification and assessment of members’ network in terms of practical support and emotional support

  2. Easy to understand visuals and verbal summary of the member’s support network map

  3. Easy way to retrieve additional information like contact info and the current member needs to be addressed by their support contacts


Validated Wireframes


The CHWs we spoke with really liked the concept and felt that the tool would help them to have organized information. Some suggestions, which will be implemented in a future release, included showing the evolution of the member’s support system over time, as well as the ability to rank the member contacts in terms of reliability to serve as an alternate contact.





North Start Metrics

We identified the following supporting metrics to dive deeper into usage details & measure the value delivered to users:

  • Time saved in recording and analyzing the gaps

  • The decreased risk level of members with no or limited support

  • Increased confidence in supporting members


Use Cases:


For MVP Release:

  • Create a new member profile

  • Record member’s social support network for practical and emotional needs

  • Record member viewpoint/perspective on available support(general questions)

  • Visualize a member's support network map to identify gaps and know which contacts to leverage in a situation

  • Display the needs being met by the support network such as Food, Housing, Financial, Employment, Education and Transportation on one screen(like a summary)

For Future Consideration:

  • Ability to rank most reliable, alternative contact for member

  • Tagging the needs into bigger buckets such as Food, Housing, Employment etc.

  • Ability to generate support network map over time

User Stories


User Story 1- As a CHW, I want to create a new member profile


Acceptance Criteria:


1. When the user selects the "Create New Member Profile", the following input fields are required to be filled-

  • Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Gender

  • Email

  • Contact number

2. Clicking on "Create New Member Profile" creates a new profile.


User Story 2- As a CHW, I want to record answers to general questions to get member’s perspectives/viewpoint


Pre-condition- CHW has created the member profile successfully and landed on the General Questions screen


Acceptance Criteria:


1. CHW can easily enter the answers from the Members as the questions flow

2. CHW can take NOTES if there is a Notes textbox


User Story 3- As a CHW, I want to record practical and emotional needs

Pre-condition- CHW has created the member profile successfully and answered General Questions


Acceptance Criteria:

1. CHW can easily enter the answers from the Members as the questions flow

2. CHW can take NOTES if there is a Notes textbox

3. “Next” button takes the user to the “Emotional Needs” screen

4. “Submit” button on the “Emotional Needs” screen takes the user to the Results screen


User Story 4- As a CHW, I want visually see the practical and emotional needs on the Social network map

Pre-condition- CHW has recorded the answers to General Support and Practical and Emotional needs questions


Acceptance Criteria:

  1. Convert the answers for Frequency, closeness and stress into numbers/indexes at the backend.

  2. Plot Frequency on the X-axis, Closeness on Y axis, and stress as the size of the bubble.

  3. The tooltip should reflect the Name and relationship of the data point being hovered over.


Product Roadmap




MVP release plan

We identified key deliverables for phase 1 for the successful launch of the product:




Key Outcomes


Customer feedback from private beta launch:

  • Perceived opportunity for time savings (beta); actual time savings (long term)

  • Likelihood of adoption - Liked having the ability to share maps with members; actual use (long term)

  • Increased confidence in supporting members - initial feedback is positive, leading to a high likelihood of success for this metric (beta); Decreased risk level of members with no or limited support (long term)

Potential for other roles in healthcare to use tools for more comprehensive assessments of members/patients.

Initial feedback suggests the potential for use in primary care as well as fitness and coaching.


Key Learnings

  • People work differently

  • Effective communication is critical; assumptions about who did what or should do x can break things

  • Team members will withdraw if they feel they are not being heard


Conclusion

It was a challenging 10 weeks but I believe that I got a taste of what the Product Manager role entails. Being part of the Industry track showed us the challenges of solving problems in the healthcare space as well as working with stakeholders and trying to develop a solution that is unique. We experienced many challenges as a team that echo what can be found in a real work situation. I learned a lot about myself and how to deal with such challenges, and as a result, feel better prepared to succeed in a Product Manager role.





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