OVERVIEW

Patients with sleep apnea often have other co-morbidities, with hypertension being the most common. We set out to create a tool for sleep apnea patients to track how being on CPAP therapy affected their whole health, including their blood pressure. 

I designed an app that connected to a CPAP device, a Withings blood pressure monitor, and a Withings smartwatch. A select number of sleep apnea patients used this app for a 6-week pilot. 

PLATFORMS

iOS, Android

ROLES

UX & UI Design
Intervention Design
User Testing
Prototyping

TOOLS

Sketch, InVision

PROBLEM

Treating sleep apnea may have holistic health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. CPAP therapy is one of the most reliable ways of treating sleep apnea, but it can be difficult to get started and to stick with it.

We wondered whether sleep apnea patients with co-morbidities would be interested in seeing the impact of CPAP therapy on various health measures, and how it might affect their motivation to stick with therapy.

SOLUTION

I designed the ResLABS Health app, which combines data on CPAP use, blood pressure, and step count to provide patients with an overall health picture and health score.

FINDING THE RIGHT VISUALS

There are countless ways to display health data, and I explored a variety of graphs, diagrams, and other visuals. In the first round of user testing, I shared the top contenders with patients to see which visuals resonated the best and made the most sense. The ones that rose to the top were a circular health score, a bullet graph breakdown, and line graphs.

DISPLAYING DATA, BUT NOT "PRACTICING MEDICINE"

Though we wanted to inform patients about their health measures, we could not explicitly judge whether a measure was "good" or "bad" because we were not able to give advice that constituted "practicing medicine." 

FROM TRAFFIC LIGHT COLORS...

Initially, I designed the visuals with traffic light colors (green, orange, and red) to show whether a measure was in a good, neutral, or poor range.

During user testing, patients clearly understood the traffic light colors. However, they were alarmed by the color red, particularly when it was applied to blood pressure. At the same time, we received guidance from Medical Affairs to avoid making judgement calls on health measures.

... TO A BRANDED GRADIENT

In the second iteration, I removed target values and moved to a neutral branded color palette instead. Here, color only indicates that data has been collected for a particular measure.

User testing also revealed that patients misinterpreted the usage badges as labels for the Total Health Score graph, so I added clear labels to the graph.

USER RESEARCH

I conducted two rounds of user research: (1) a concept value test in the early stages of the project, and (2) a usability test once a high-fidelity prototype of the app was built.


CONCEPT VALUE TEST

Objective

Determine whether participants saw value in the concept of a total health picture, and determine the right visuals to convey it.

  • 4 participants
  • CPAP users who started therapy within the past 2 years and were diagnosed with hypertension
Questions I sought to answer
  • What do participants think of the concept? Would they be likely to use it?
  • What do participants expect to see in a health score break down?
  • Which visuals are the most useful/easy to understand?

 

USABILITY TEST

Objective

Identify any points of confusion and test the usability of the ResLABS Health app.

  • 10 participants
  • CPAP users who started therapy within the past 2 years and were diagnosed with hypertension
Questions I sought to answer
  • Are there any points of confusion with the flow/designs?
  • Do users understand what would be expected of them for the pilot program?
  • How and when would users be likely to use the app?
  • How do users react to negative data/results?

 

STYLE GUIDE

I created a color palette and style guide with a neutral, branded gradient.

RESULTS

At the end of the 6-week pilot, we analyzed CPAP usage and blood pressure among pilot participants, and looked at app engagement. 75% of participants recommended the ResLABS Health app with a NPS score of 8+.