Why were we engaged?
With more than 32,500 people in the UK believed to suffer from Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and with doctors warning about the dangers of this ‘’silent killer’’ lung condition, University Hospital North Midlands has sought for a way to better monitor the symptoms and offer patients new ways to deal with their condition.
Creating a solution required building a mobile application to sit at the centre of this research project, whilst making us of emerging technologies such as connected devices & machine learning automation. We were assigned as a technology partner to work closely with the team behind the multi-million research project, with the core business outcome to deliver a robust software solution that re-thought care delivery for COPD patients and NHS clinicians.
What we did:
The first step was to clearly identify the users (doctors, patients) and their roles within the patient experience and therefore the UI needed within the software application. Understanding current behaviours involved developing an electronic medical record for each patient, with the close monitoring of both patients and clinicians to keep track of the patient’s journey.
As such, this focused on three core users – the patients who maintain their IPF records, the clinicians that use them to determine treatment, and the system administrators who handle the back-end of the application.
Pain points were identified, discussed with project stakeholders and mapped to define the problems and where opportunities to improve service delivery lay – particularly through software automation. This fed into breaking out the service design to ensure all three user types were focused on via unique dashboards, each of which is customized to suit the needs of the relevant user.
Core functionality included the ability for patients to enter their personal details and file assessment logs that aid in the maintenance of their IPF. Via the patient dashboard, users could then enter details in relation to coughing, breathing, fatigue, swelling, chest pains, and sputum output, in addition to downloading their assessment logs in either HTML, PDF, or Microsoft Excel formats. Further, patients can schedule appointments with clinicians, send direct messages to caregivers, and access their most recent blood test and Spirometry results.
A connected medical device recorded the result of a patient test, meaning accurate recordings of data which were automatically uploaded to a central database. Software automation meant that clinicians could quickly understand key KPI’s and can monitor the patient’s IPF closely, helping to develop relevant treatment plans or intervene when abnormalities show themselves.
There is something truly gratifying when working with NHS as you know you have to reach beyond your limits to put innovative ideas into practice while being aware of the fact that you can make a difference and improve the lives of thousands of patients. The IPF product is nearing the end of extensive clinical trials with positive results thus far and we look forward to meeting key project milestones ahead of releasing to the public.