App #6, Plan A

“The market desperately needs apps that focus on patient and/or provider needs—real needs with a measurable impact on health quality and cost. If those apps also meet business needs—as a secondary or tertiary outcome—they have a chance of being adopted.”
— Dr. Todd Johnson, CEO of Noble.MD,

No app idea as of now. [I want to tackle an issue within the large topic of Big Pharma] I’m going to visit OurWorldData.org to see what in the world is in crisis and needs saving through design. Over the weekend, I read Bill Buxtan’s “Sketching User Experiences,” where he discusses the importance of sketching w/in the design processes and the value ambiguity can add to product ideation. I plan on using some of the ideas learned in the book in todays project.

Todays post will be mostly visual.


Big Pharmaceutical Companies

Few Companies Monopolize the Industry

Few Companies Monopolize the Industry

Less than 14% of America believes that vaccinations are safe, yet 70.7% of children aged 19-35 months receive a combined 7-vaccine series. (cdc.gov)

Problems of Big Pharma I plan on pinpointing a specific problem and coming up with a solution to fix it.

  1. Free Enterprise System

Due to the high investment needed to develop a vaccine there are only five pharmaceutical companies that account for 80% of vaccine production: Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, and Novartis

Due to the high investment needed to develop a vaccine there are only five pharmaceutical companies that account for 80% of vaccine production: Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, and Novartis

Lack of government regulations can be attributed to Mylan’s price hike on the Epi Pen which raised over $500 throughout the past 6 years – leaving people in the dark whether or not to purchase the life saving device.

Lack of government regulations can be attributed to Mylan’s price hike on the Epi Pen which raised over $500 throughout the past 6 years – leaving people in the dark whether or not to purchase the life saving device.

2. Large Advertising Spend

Every year pharmaceutical companies spend over $3 billion on direct-to-consumer ads. These ads work: a patient who requests a specific drug will get it most of the time. (We are, by the way, the only country besides New Zealand that allows this.)

Every year pharmaceutical companies spend over $3 billion on direct-to-consumer ads. These ads work: a patient who requests a specific drug will get it most of the time. (We are, by the way, the only country besides New Zealand that allows this.)

In one study, doctors were more likely to prescribe a branded antidepressant when asked for it by name than when patients didn't specify which treatment they wanted.

  • “Influence of Patients' Requests for Direct-to-Consumer Advertised Antidepressants: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Journal of the American Medical Association


How technology is shifting the landscape

  1. Individuals are starting to control their own health treatments.

    1. “In the next three to five years,” Goldsmith says, “instead of patients just being informed and more inquisitive, they will be actively designing the therapeutic and treatment approaches for themselves with their physicians.” 

      So the companies need to start shifting focus away from physicians and into the hands of consumers.

    As Dr. Todd Johnson, the CEO of Noble.MD, puts it: “Apps that face the patient but are designed to solve pharma-company business needs should never exist. Conversely, the market desperately needs apps that focus on patient and/or provider needs—real needs with a measurable impact on health quality and cost. If those apps also meet business needs—as a secondary or tertiary outcome—they have a chance of being adopted.”

  2. The clinical environment will change fundamentally

    1. Vinod Khosla, founding CEO of Sun Microsystems and founder of Khosla Ventures. “They will shift to spending a smaller proportion of it ordering diagnostics and interpreting results, and much more on the social elements of healthcare—helping patients and families think through treatment options.”

    2. Physicians will also have to integrate increasingly massive quantities of traditional and nontraditional health data—for example, hundreds of fragmented electronic health records, as well as data from thousands of wearable devices

      1. Proteus Chip –  A microchip placed in the pill the size of a grain of salt records the time when the patient takes a pill and transmits this information from inside the body to a patch the patient wears. The patch links up to the “Discover App” to help patients keep track of medication and health activity.

  3. Patients’ brand loyalty dwindles as cost consciousness rises.

    1. According to Sanjay Mathur, CEO of Silicon Valley Data Science, “In the future, no one will care what brand of drug they will take. And with device, behavior, and health-proxy data available, their method of selecting drugs will change dramatically.”

    (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/our-insights/how-pharma-can-win-in-a-digital-world)


The premise of todays app:

“Apps that face the patient but are designed to solve pharma-company business needs should never exist. Conversely, the market desperately needs apps that focus on patient and/or provider needs—real needs with a measurable impact on health quality and cost. If those apps also meet business needs—as a secondary or tertiary outcome—they have a chance of being adopted.”

My solution - offer patients a tool to 1. Develop their own treatment plans, with a better understanding of cost and health quality 2. See what medications are working for you and what’s not 3. Organize health data for practitioner for doctor to make more informed decisions.

In college I worked on a tool to improve Doctor/Patient communication - but I don’t want to go back to previous projects as it takes away the fun of creating a new one, I was going to focus on making the screens interactive, but then again I felt I was cheating myself with the easy way out…the app did provide a comprehensive experience meeting all of the criteria of a patients need - here are some of the screens from that app.

Healer, a college project aiming to fix doctor patient communication.

Healer, a college project aiming to fix doctor patient communication.

How can I take it a step further?

Instead of focusing on communication, focus on helping the user create their own treatment plan that is most effect for his or her needs. The app will then find you the proper doctor to discuss your treatment plan with you and how you can proceed.

Dr. Lynn Johnson of resource medicine, provides medical guidance to help you make the right treatment plan choices. The initial consultation is free – so I’m going to call up the company and ask a few questions to get a better understanding of the business – For the purpose of the call, I’m going to say that I have been diagnosed deep vein thrombosis, and it may result in a pulmonary embolism.

Q&A

  1. What are the different parts of a treatment plan?

  2. In what format do you provide me the information – and how detailed?

  3. What sources do you use in order to provide for the right treatment?

  4. Is it a one time treatment plan - or are we in touch overtime ?

    1. If it’s over time what information do I need to provide for you after appointments?

    2. How do you keep in touch with doctors?

Well that didn’t work - as Dr. Johnson didn’t pick up the phone.


Steps for Developing Traditional Treatment Plan - Use those steps as the basis for the app design.

  1. Treatment plans are usually done as roadmaps - so they layout of the app can be calendar centric.

Mayo Clinic Care Plans supporting better outcomes, lower health care costs delivered via Epic

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-care-plans-supporting-better-outcomes-lower-health-care-costs-delivered-via-epic/

3 Screens, A Wireframe

3 Screens, A Wireframe

I’ve organized the patient view into two parts…I’m satisfied with how it’s coming along.

The user has a treatment plan, starting out empty, but has the ability to customize based on doctor suggestions. If the user is pleased with the doctors suggestions, he or she can add elements to their own treatment plan. In this instance doctors serve as a secondary source of information that is curated by the patient. The users treatment plan can consist of their own research as well.

Tomorrow I’m going to spend 40% of my day doing research and 60% designing.

My new schedule

7-8am: App idea and concept

8-9am: Subject Research

9-10am: UX research

11-12pm: Screen Ideation

12-1pm: Initial Wireframes + user flow

1-2pm: High Fidelity Wireframes

2-3pm: UI Research

3-4pm: Finalize designs

4-5pm: Post on website

Until Tomorrow,

App #7, Blank Space

App #5, Trading Post