Sponsored by: Premera Blue Cross
An assistive app to facilitate the process of decision making in prescription management.
In the design phase, I created wireframes, high-fidelity prototypes, and conducted prototype testing.
During the research phase, I designed cultural probes, conducted secondary research, tapped into online forums, moderated expert interviews, and semi-structured interviews.
Timeline: 10 weeks
Team: Augustus Arthur, Sayena Majlesein and Surabhi Wadhwa
Tools: Sketch, Figma, Illustrator, and InVision
Caregivers & Pharmacy
How might we improve access to insurance information and provide more awareness about available options for prescribed medication?
A Gap in Healthcare Provision
In the Fall of 2018, Premera Blue Cross, the third-largest health insurance company in the state of Washington, sponsored a quarter-long project focused on the pharmacy and the responsibility of caregiving. Caregiving is often an underserved and critically important aspect of providing healthcare to those in need. In our secondary research, we found that there are about 40 million unpaid caregivers, typically, family members who take care of adults ages 65 and older.
We created SmartRx, a smartphone application that gives caregivers and patients, access to personal digital prescriptions and medication history. SmartRx recommends alternatives to prescribed medicine based on personal preferences and location information.
ADD A CAREGIVER
Patients can send their caregiver a request to join the app and give them access to their medical information. Caregivers can add their
loved ones as well.
Use case: Doctor’s prescription allows for alternatives
View alternatives to prescribed medication that are not covered by your insurance.
Use case: Certain medicine brands aren’t covered by a patient’s insurance but doctor’s prescription
allows for alternatives or generic drugs.
The app remembers your preferred pharmacy and will tell you when you can save more by buying your medication elsewhere. Once you have placed an order for pickup, a QR code is provided and can be used to collect medicines from your pharmacy.
Use case: Pharmacies located near-patient or caregiver’s location/preferred pharmacy have a better price.
The app tracks your medication stock and will tell you when you need to refill depleted medication.
Use case: Information is provided in a timely manner to ensure emergencies from depleted stock rarely happens
Through market research, we investigated two existing applications that are designed to make the process of medication management easier.
This service offers medication delivery, automatic refills, access to loved one’s billing information and medication info as well as the ability to add multiple caregivers.
GoodRx provides real-time pricing services, personalized savings alerts, the ability to find drugs based on the personal condition as well as making it positive to find pharmacies by location
Incoporating Ideas & Adding Value
During our competitive analysis, we saw that a majority of pharmacy apps from large companies such as Walgreens and CVS offer services such as the ability to 'order for pickup' and personalized prescriptions. Smaller start-ups such as Pill Pack and GoodRx, we also found, provide more customizable methods for managing prescriptions. We learned a lot from this experience and integrated saw immense value in providing new services that incorporate the backing of Premera for a more integrated and cohesive service; something these services cannot provide.
Lots to Learn from Online Communities
We asked family caregivers of seniors about their experiences with pharmacies on AgingCare 16 and Caregiver Action Network 17 forums and received seven responses.
Caregivers believe that providing efficient information about changes in the medications and policies by the insurance companies, help develop a better understanding of the medication management process
Caregivers think that the insurance company could play a more important role in providing easy and effective access to the medication.
Many of the caregivers that take care of their senior loved ones with severe illnesses feel mentally and physically drained.
“I feel like the worst daughter. Lately, as the idea sets in that she could not function alone in her home, I feel depressed and cry suddenly..”
- Forum contributor
We created a booklet with activities and questions designed to understand the emotions that caregivers go through.
Our goal was to get caregivers to visually think of their loved ones and how that makes them feel while answering the questions. We wanted to gain a sense of their emotional needs as caregivers.
The top three things caregivers asked for are – time for themselves, reliable medical information and a trustworthy doctor. Three out of six participants said they wished for more patience.
We came up with 90 ideas within our team and downselected these ideas to a list of 20 ideas using various methods such as conducting various prototype evaluations, talking to stakeholders, using a decision matrix and 'Six thinking hats' activity. Our goal was to whittle these ideas down to 3 final responses.
We created mockups of a mobile application that allows patients to customize their prescriptions by providing alternatives to prescribed medication.
Prototype testing helped us:
Assess the desirability of the prototyped idea
Evaluate the ease of use and learnability of the three key paths and check for missing steps in the flow
Seek feedback from participants about areas that can be improved
Before setting off to test, we worked on outlining the final concept contained in our main prototype features.
See what is covered by your insurance. Look for alternatives if needed.
Main Prototype Features
The app shows personalized insurance coverage information and suggests affordable medicine alternatives (and their side effects).
Allows the user to customize prescriptions and send his doctor approval requests.
Helps the user go through the prescription refill process and proactively offers reminders when any medication runs low.
Points out nearby pharmacies where the cheapest options for prescriptions are available.
Choose an alternative that is cheaper or covered by your insurance, and then add it to your prescription.
Questions for Prototype Testing
Is the information provided useful?
Does the navigation make sense?
Does the product design match its purpose?
How do you think this product would fit into your life?
What would make you want to use this product frequently?
The SmartRx mood board was created to
convey the look or feel that should be synonymous with transparency, trustworthiness, reliability, simplicity, clarity.
The combination of the colors that have been used in the SmartRX color palette tends to trigger the feeling of trust and simplicity in our target users.
After many hours of work, we were able to design all our screens and user flows. Some considerations we made to ensure that both the patient and their caregiver had the functionality needed to adequately manage the pharmacy of the patient. Please see the final list of screens below.
With our visual design, we aimed to shape our user experience through considering the effects of photography, typography, space, layouts, and color on the usability of our product and on its aesthetic appeal.
To build in more functionality that could be shared between the caregiver and the patient, I would like to develop features for the calendar and scheduling portion of the app to tackle medication adherence. Lastly, I would give another look at the product’s viability in the market and how additional feature additions might impact that.