A product aimed to solve all cases of unintentional medication non-adherence which are caused by simple forgetfulness
Reminders, as a feature, was launched in early 2016 onto the Practo app. The launch was just after the addition of the Health records product which provided us with significant amount patient data and helped us understand their need to manage and consumer medications better.
Taking prescription medication is a routine part of everyday life for nearly 52% of all Indians. Even with the risk of facing dangerous consequences for failing to consume these, sometimes very essential, medications, patients can still forget to take them due to simple forgetfulness and unintended neglect.
With this initial information about the space, I dug deeper to understand the problem better.
At the same time, we tried to avoid one major mistake we had done earlier. Letting the question "how fast can we ship it?" define the "it," rather than our users.
Our initial data-analysis showed that the users coming to Practo app were chronic patients, migrant patients, or caretakers. But all of them had voiced their need for a reminder tool through customer tickets and feedbacks.
Hence, the Leadership team along with the Strategists decided to build a reminder tool with a simple assumption. Millions of customers visit Practo every month. Extend the feature to all these users by leveraging the existing infrastructure to get to market sooner and cheaper.
You can read more about the targeted user groups on the Practo app here.
I conducted semi-structured user interviews and studied the ways our users were buying and taking medicines. I observed and questioned patients or caregivers while they tried to go around doing their medical tasks.
These made me understand their habits, frustrations and critical pain-points. We also sent out surveys to our users to gather more quantitative information. These were the key insights which were unveiled :
Epill and Epillmedtimer are some of the physical reminders present in the market. These have a medicine case in which all the pills are stored. Some key-points users mentioned:
Next, I evaluated the current mobile app solutions existing on the app stores (Android and iOS). According to a paper written in 2014 by Stawarz, Cox, and Blandford in 2014, there are as many as 229 mobile applications which can be considered in some way to be a medicine reminder tool.
As we can see from this graph, apps provide a varying amount of functionality. However, all of them need the user to set up the reminder by going through a long, tedious process. In many cases, these reminders are very similar to SMS reminders or the phone alarm clocks and they do not have must-have actions such as snooze present.
Other issues found during the contextual inquiries:
“I have a medicine I take every 4 days, no app allows me to set this up easily!"
"Does nothing more than my phone's alarm. No snooze functionality if I am not around my medicine at the moment."
Practo has built an entire ecosystem of products for doctors and other healthcare providers. Doctors can quickly, and seamlessly create and share prescriptions with patients. Practo, using the data and medicine information present in the prescriptions shared by doctors, sets up reminders for the patients automatically on their health app.
For patients who do not go to doctors who use any of the Practo software, we created a straightforward tool to add reminders. Smart defaults, clean interface, and a flexible structure made the feature very easy to use.
We went through many iterations, tested them with users, got a lot of feedback before finally rolling out the final product on to the Practo app.
The objective was to design an interface which would require little to no technical knowledge and hence could be used by any user on the Practo ecosystem who needs to take medicines.
We took advantage of mobile platform's own notification system and created an end-to-end notification framework for users to be reminded on when to take their medicines. We also created an adherence tracking system for users to mark when they missed a dosage.
We launched the first version of reminders in January 2016. The product took a lot of iterations and redesigns to reach a minimum desirable experience for our users. We tried to avoid one major mistake we had done earlier. Letting the question "how fast can we ship it?" define the "it," rather than our users.
We know the pain-points faced by our users in the current solution provided to them and worked tirelessly to fix them.
Reminder is a tool which was aimed to help patients solve all cases of unintentional medication non-adherence which are caused by simple forgetfulness. The product has seen some fantastic results since its launch. However, it is still day one here.
Practo makes healthcare accessible to millions of Indians. I designed a system to get the products closers to users while providing them with a personalized experience.
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