Sense.i

A mental therapy platform that utilizes bio-integrated tattoo technology with human-centred design to streamline the process of therapy for both patients and the therapist, making it more effective and personalized.

OVERVIEW

With an initial idea of helping people with mental disorders get better treatment, My team and I researched the current challenges and problems that exist in the mental health care domain. After analysing, we designed a cross-platform application called Sense.i. It is therapy management and progress monitoring platform that streamlines the therapy process, making it more effective for both therapist and patients. It achieves this through features like real-time collaboration, file and schedule management, and an integrated wearable tattoo technology.

/ Challenge

How might we use technology to provide better care to people suffering from mental health disorders?

Duration:

3 months ( Sep 2018 - Dec 2018) 

Team:

Shashank Jain  /  Jingyi Cheng  /  Yuqing Chen

My Role:

  • Performed research on Anxiety Disorder and wearable sensor technology via user interviews, SME interviews, literature reviews, and competitive analysis

  • Created sketches, wireframes, and various levels of fidelity, and conducted usability tests to iterate ideas

  • Conducted 12 rounds of in person and remote usability testing to find usability issues and refine product design

  • Participated in visual design and High Fidelity prototype creation.

  • Created vector assets and provided creative direction for the product video.

/ Product Preview

/ Design Process

EMPATHISE

DEFINE

IDEATE

DESIGN

Prompt

Research

Synthesis

Redirection

Ideation

Design

Iteration

 

1 in 5 American adults live with anxiety disorders.

 

Approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder. 

-- National Alliance on Mental Illness,

PROMPT

/ Problem

Mental illness is a big issue for modern people and it is hard to manage and improve it. Hence, we wanted to create a solution to help people who are in need of relieving such a mental burden and bring happiness to people's life. As we researched, the depth of the problem kept getting vast. We focused on Anxiety to narrow our scope.

/ Prompt

HOW

WHAT

How might we use technology to provide help and support to

 people who suffer from anxiety?

WHO

EMPATHISE

/ User Research

To validate our idea, we conducted preliminary research including literature review, interviews with technologists, therapists, subclinical people suffering from anxiety, and clinical patients who are suffering from anxiety issues.

/ Initial Ideas

In order to get an effective approach to empower the therapy process, our research included understanding anxiety and the existing treatment including technology approaches to provide support. During literature review phase, we developed a broad understanding of anxiety, its challenges and treatments, but also generated two potential ideas based on evolving technology and researches in the domain.

Predict Anxiety through technology

using wearable devices like body sensors, bio-integrated tattoos, voice sensors etc.

Mitigate Anxiety Attacks through emotional support

using own powerful memories, encouragement and proven clinical strategies.

/ Interviews - Subject Matter Expert

To get accurate information and opinion on our approach, we were able to interview 3 professionals. One was from Texas Material Institute at UT Austin, and the other two were from the Department of Psychology at UT Austin and were a part of the Anxiety and Stress Clinic. 

2

Psychologists

1

Technologist

5

Sub-Clinical Patients

/ Research Data Synthesis

Once we had collected all the data through primary and secondary research, we externalized it on a whiteboard to get a holistic picture, and make meaningful analysis. This process of viewing all information at one glance helped us connect research and derive research-based product direction

 

Initial Research Findings

With prediction

Normal anxiety attack

Anxiety

Calmness

Is my device working?

Am I prepared enough?

Is this the anxiety attack?

Am I prepared for next time?

Anxiety-Time Graph

Insight 1|

Anxiety prediction is counter-effective for patients but helpful for therapists

  • If therapists know about pending anxiety, they can manage therapy better and help patients understand emotions more. While letting patients know about pending anxiety attack can be counter-productive. It might act as a maintaining factor.

Insight 2|

  • In one of the most effective and widely used treatment approach CBT(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), avoiding anxiety only enhances the condition. Guiding patients challenge and change unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors improve anxiety.​​

To overcome anxiety disorder, going through the process is important

Insight 3|

  • Currently, therapists have to rely on a number of different services to fulfil different requirements involved in the therapy process. They use surveys, homework, and software to understand the patient's situations, though it lacks real-time tracking and feedback.

Huge gap between therapists and patients during CBT treatment

Insight 4|

Bio-integrated tattoo sensors can support data collection in tracking anxiety attacks

  • Data collected is accurate for medical treatment.

  • Tattoo sensor can be unnoticeable, can be transparent, or have any design that is required.

  • It can last one day and it is rechargeable. Multiple charging options - NFC, C-USB, Solar cells

  • The wearable tattoo sensor can be attached to a specific place to detect physiological data

/ Reframing the Problem

HOW

WHAT

How might we use anxiety prediction technology to provide therapists with patient data and enable them to provide better care to

 people who suffer from anxiety?

WHO

 

/ Follow up Research

After we decided our product direction, we conducted one more round of interviews, literature review, and competitive analysis to delve deeper in the treatment process for Anxiety Disorder. Our target is to find out more pain-points that both therapy and patient are face during the treatment process.

/ User Personas

 

Based on the information that we gathered from interviews, we created two personas for both therapists and patients.

/ Competitive Analysis

For further product ideas and to evaluate existing products and services in the market, we did a competitive analysis of other similar products that help therapists managing their work on the market.

/ User Journey Map - Therapists

 

We generated the user journey map based on the findings that we gained from the second-round interviews and literature review.  We charted out the pain points that therapists faced during the treatment journey, that act as hindrance in providing proper care to their patients. We also interviewed patients to understand their experience through this journey.

Key Takeaways

Difficulty in management of therapy process.

Pain Point 1|

  • Homework is different for different patients.

  • Therapists use various management softwares to organize therapy. eg. Qualtrics, Redcap Survey. 

  • Some mobile applications are used as an assistant to help mood tracking, thought records and etc. 

Pain Point 2|

Inefficient collaboration leads to delayed progress.

  • Patients might not be able to do daily tasks and assignments due to unforeseen events

  • Thought record by patients is mostly based on recollection through memory which is not timely.

  • Patients tend to forget the steps to complete a task, and complete half or not complete at all

  • They have a bad association with “homework”, which prevents them from working on it.

Pain Point 3|

Hard to monitor patient involvement and progress

  • Delay in feedback on assignment/homework queries, slowing the treatment process

  • There's no direct way of telling the progress

  • No way of monitoring patient involvement or completion of CBT assignments in-between meetings.

Pain Point 4|

Lack of trust & involvement in the process and assignments

  • Patients focus on giving the right answer instead of real answer to CBT assignments.

  • Patients do not understand the importance of CBT homework and avoid doing it due to its challenging nature.

HOW

WHAT

How might we utilize bio-data and  streamline the therapy process for

 both patients and therapists?

WHO

* with two user groups (patients and therapists), we decided to focus on therapists due to availability of that group for follow up research and user testing, and constraint of time.

 

/ Brainstorming

To fill the gap in the current therapy work-flow, to develop a product direction, we brainstormed ideas and features our product can have.

IDEATE

/ Early Explorations

To envision how these features work together, we sketched our ideas out and evaluated them within our team

After we agreed on the overall user task flows we were going to target that would solve the pain points uncovered in the research phase, we developed a broad information flow the product should follow to be intuitive and convenient for the users.

 

/ User Testing & Iteration

We converted that information flow into low fidelity screens and kept iterating with feedbacks and critiques. At each iteration stage, we refined the fidelity and the usability of the product.

ITERATE

1/1

We conducted usability testing after our mid-fidelity designs. We conducted in person testing on the two therapists that we interviewed and also sent out to 12 real therapists through usability testing website. From the feedback and suggestions that we gathered from all the tests, we further made more changes and confirmed the final design.

Key Takeaways

GENERAL​

  • HIPAA regulations and patient privacy concerns across the platform required password protection.

  • Therapists use various different management software to organize therapy. Eg. Qualtrics, Redcap Survey. 

  • Some mobile applications are used as an assistant to help mood tracking, thought records and etc. 

HOME PAGE​

  • Content on the homepage is overwhelming.

  • Access to patient profile page should be allowed from therapy schedule in the homepage.

  • Colors for status measurement should be more careful

  • Design and information of patient appointment card to be more relevant

CALENDAR

  • Homework is different for different patients.

  • Therapists use various different management software to organize therapy. Eg. Qualtrics, Redcap Survey. 

  • Some mobile applications are used as an assistant to help mood tracking, thought records and etc. 

PATIENT PROFILE

  • Homework data analysis mapped on anxiety data would be very useful.

  • Patients details and access need to adhere to HIPAA to protect privacy.

  • Physical data should be highlighted to show anxiety.

  • Design of Progress tracking include session notes.

FILES /  RESOURCES

  • Homework editing needs to be improved.

  • Documents would be better if categorized by domain.

  • Sharing of documents improved.

  • Integration with other softwares.

NOTES, MESSAGES, SETTINGS

  • Password Protection for messages as they would contain sensitive data.

  • Option of conversion of files to homework.

Therapy simplified.

SENSEI

Introducing

 

Focus more on therapy by effectively managing work, appointments, schedule and notes from dashboard.

Sense.i takes cares of management and provides therapy with timely-arranged appointments, schedule, work notes and notifications to help therapist focus on the important tasks related to therapy. 

Deliver improved care through data-based personalization and real time progress tracking

Psychological data is collected via wearable tattoo devices from patients. Analyzed and visualized data is shown to therapists.

Patient treatment sessions can be planned, edited and tracked here.

Make engagement meaningful by sharing and collaborating on CBT assignments effectively.

Editable Homework template helps therapists work flexibly and efficiently. They can edit homework and give them out to patients. Seamless collaboration, tracking and automatic reminders help make faster progress.

HIPAA compliant chat to enable safe and open communication for meaningful discussions.

They can communicate easily and safely. and patients can safely discuss any therapy-related issues. Therapists can also convert files sent on the channel as homework, and add to database to continuously evolve and improve.

Personalized patient side interface to easily track progress and take charge of personal development.

Patients can be more in control of their therapy, as they have access to physical data collected by tattoo sensors, work on homework with instructions from the therapists, ask for guidance from therapists when they need.

 

IMPACT

We made high-fidelity screen mockups for the most important touch-points of our service and a working prototype to demonstrated how the user experience and overall flow of the product would look like.

IMPACT ON USERS ( THERAPIST)

Reduced time, cost and hassle of therapy management

Increase in percentage of successfully treated patients.

Increase in efficiency of each session, resulting in greater progress and reduced no. of total sessions.

Increase in the number of patients catered in a month.

Stronger and impactful delivery of treatment, with more meaningful & qualitative interactions.

/ Promising Feedback

We gained a lot of promising feedback from professional therapists. We will collaborate with therapists in Anxiety and Stress Clinic at UT Austin to continue pursuing our product further.

It looks much better than what we are using now.

This would help me alot in managing my documents.

Its appealing, organized, and intuitive.

It has what I want for work.

If you decide after the class that you want to pursue it further, then we can set a meeting  with my advisor and take things from there.

/ Key Learnings

The design journey with my teammates and Prof. Fleming was a rewarding and enriching experience. We gained in-depth knowledge about the design process and learned how to overcome problems by research, design, and iteration.

  • User research forms the backbone of good design.

    Every design has a purpose and that is to reach the intended audience effectively. We spent a lot of time doing extensive research and understanding our users and the process in depth. The knowledge base we created proved to be extremely useful throughout the design journey, allowing us to make informed design decisions at each step.

  • The first design is almost always never a perfect solution. Iteration helps, and is essential.

    Explorations and re-iterations based and research and user testing is what plays a crucial part in determining how well the product would serve its users. Working and changing the design direction is better than letting the process stagnate.

  • Design is at its best when ideas are discussed freely.

    While working in a team, creating a productive and idea-oriented environment is crucial. It is important to be sympathetic and take constructive critique of all ideas, even if it is yours. When individuals are free to express, the ideas that sprout from the smallest of comments can make a huge impact on the product.

  • Defining the problem, documenting, and having clear goals matter.

    While working on a time-bound problem, and that is always, it is useful to have an idea of the project timeline. Timeline updates according to product evolution, but having an overview in mind gives context to each step. Documenting design decisions help maintain a progressive flow, and journey efficient and fruitful.

/ Future Steps

If given more time and an opportunity to develop, the key questions I would want to explore are:

  • What's the MVP?

    If this is a real project in an agile environment, the MVP will be a wearable sensor plus a webpage version of the data analysis and homework collaboration that informs therapists patients' situations and eases homework completion. In this way, we can test the effectiveness of this idea quicker.

  • What do patients think about it?

    Our current design focused on designing the therapist's side. What more could we do on the patients' side? What if they do not have access to work on homework on the computer? What if they cannot afford the wearable sensor? Who should pay for the wearable sensor? 

  • Developing the design system and visual guidelines for future consistency and scalability of the product.

    The real product has great potential in catering to various therapists, psychologists and healthcare providers who run individual clinics, as well as hospitals and institutions working on the same. This allows for various features and versions of product catered to different users. Having a holistic scalable design system and visual language becomes important to achieve this goal, and maintain scalability and consistency

@2019 Shashank Jain  |   sjain@utexas.edu
Initial Idea Exploration 1