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Brief 
Create a user smartphone version of Painimation for tracking pain

Role 
UX, Wireframe and Prototyping

Tools 
Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketch and InVision

6 weeks group project with Ethel Chou, Peggy Chau and Willow Hong (Animation: Nema Rao)

Mobile health, Carnegie Mellon University, Spring 2017
Instructor: Ahnind Dey | Client: 
Dr. Jonassaint Charles,

 
 

 
 

CURRENT PROCESS & PAIN POINTS

 
 
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Current experience of managing pain is burdensome for patients. Providers often recommend to write a pain diary, but difficult for patients to 1) know what to write 2) do on a daily basis. When the patient calls/visit the provider, it is hard for the patient to describe their pain using words and numbers-which might not lead to correct treatment / prescription. 

 
 
 

SOLUTION

 
 
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In CarePal, pain can be expressed with animations and tracked alongside other factors. CarePal helps user's journey in three ways. 

  • Visualize pain quality and intensity: By selecting animations to express what their pain feels like, users can more intuitively capture their pain.
  • Holistic pain tracking: Users can track other values that impact pain, such as emotional state, time of day, and medication intake changes.
  • Data analysis: User input gets analyzed into actionable and clinically significant information, which leads to better patient-provider communication.
 
 

 

APPLICATION MAP

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WIREFRAME

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PROCESS

 

PROBLEM SCOPING

Based on the patient populations with chronic pain we would be able to obtain access to, we decided to hone in on 1 specific population-Sickle Cell Disease(SCD) to design for which we could later scale up from. We found that SCD pain symptoms occur over the duration of the disease and the symptoms matches will with existing animations. We also found a clear need for better pain communication for these patients.
 

 

 


RESEARCH
PATIENT INTERVIEW

We conducted interviews with 6 sickle cell patients and providers at UPMC's sickle cell anemia clinic.  We aimed to 1) examine the current patient experience with pain, providers and pain tracking 2) Probing for their reactions to the pain animation functionality. Images below are drawings from patients that express their pain.

 
 
 
 


KEY TAKEAWAYS

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ANIMATION EVALUATION

“Which animation is applicable to your pain?” (6 patients answered)

Electrifying (6/6) | Stabbing (5/6) | Burning (4/6) | Cramping (3/6) | Shooting (2/6) | Throbbing (1/6) | Tingling (1/6) | Pounding (1/6)  

 
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PROVIDER INTERVIEW

We interviewed 2 providers & surveyed 3 providers. We aimed to 1) Examining the current workflow with patient appointments 2) Probing for their reactions to the Pain animation functionality  3) Looking into difficulties in understanding a patient’s pain 4) Data they would be interested in.

 
 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

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CLINICAL MEASURES SURVEY

We sent a list of questions to providers to identify key clinical measures to include in our redesign. 3 providers responded, and the useful measures fell under the categories of static pain entry and data trends, with physicians especially interested in measures of activity and the change in pain location over time. Overwhelmingly, providers wanted to view the information integrated into the existing EMR system.

 
 
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DESIGN IMPLICATIONS

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CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

 

We began categorizing values that were important to track for the patient and provider. As we did this, we made sure our focus stayed on enhancing tracking adherence and deriving clinical measures.

We kept design patterns about lowering capture burden in mind. We also assumed a degree of flexibility by imagining how the user experience could be improved with a conversational UI that had the setup to perform entity extraction from the data.