RPM platform helps older adults age in place
CommuniCare Health Services is one of the nation’s largest providers of post-acute care. CommuniCare came to us seeking a remote patient monitoring platform that could help older adults age in place.
Industry & practice areas
- Digital health
- Product strategy
- UX research & design
- Mobile app development
- Custom software development
- Social Determinants of Health
“I have worked with many technology teams during my career, and Digital Scientists is one of the best. They take the time to understand the customers’ needs, deliver innovative solutions, are always professional, and work with your team as a true partner to achieve success. .”
Carol BarryCOO of Never Alone
A powerful yet simple solution to continued care
CommuniCare asked us to help them build a remote patient monitoring platform for the service, Never Alone, and to provide strategic insight to help launch the service and bring it to market.
What we did
CommuniCare initially partnered with us to design and develop a two-way remote patient monitoring platform to connect users – from the comfort of their homes – with a Personal Care Partner who can immediately triage their health, social, and local transportation needs.
To validate this approach, we began with a rapid 90-day proof of concept engagement, which included an alignment workshop, user research, wireframes, a functional prototype, and an MVP. Shortly into the engagement, CommuniCare expanded the project scope to include our advisory and consulting services and extended the contract from 90 days to one year.
Within nine months, we connected, integrated, and built a patent pending ecosystem with a tablet application and care management platform.
Business & product strategy
Our product team – specializing in strategic product management – served as advisors to CommuniCare on the end-to-end process required to develop, build, and launch the in-home care solution and its ecosystem. In addition to advising on business strategy, our product team took the lead in helping Communicare build a separate business unit dedicated entirely to creating a new care management ecosystem without distracting from CommuniCare’s core offerings.
- Strategic business advisory
- Competitive market analysis
- Capability differentiation
- Distribution strategy
- Product & market thought leadership
- Product roadmapping
- Pilot program definition & launch
- Onsite training and requirements
- Project timeline and resource management
- User product adoption
Business development services
Shortly into the engagement, CommuniCare’s project requirements shifted resulting in a need for our team to pivot quickly. As CommuniCare’s vision evolved, our team adapted quickly to deliver and provide additional services that would meet CommuniCare’s growing needs. In addition to our standard set of services, we also provided CommuniCare with:
- Sales & partnership demos
- Conferences for market analysis
- Executive suite presentations
- Grant proposal application
- Patent application & review
CommuniCare presented a special kind of opportunity for our UX research team. The Never Alone target user is an older adult or an adult with chronic health issues. Within older populations, user research requires careful planning and a team of researchers experienced in working with this age group.
To understand and build empathy with the Never Alone user, our research team took time to carefully develop an approach that would help cultivate trust among interviewees and help them feel comfortable sharing their perspectives with our team. To learn about our approach to user research within older adult populations, see UX design for seniors: 5 tips
Wireframes to functional prototype
Using qualitative data collected from our research activities, we developed workflows and mapped out the Never Alone user journey. As part of the initial design phase, we created wireframes to serve as a visual guide for the design and product teams.
From wireframes, we then developed mockups, in which we added color, imagery, text, and buttons. The mockups were combined to create an interactive prototype for the Never Alone user interface – a clickable prototype that responds to a user’s actions, mimicking user behavior and interactions. Pulling together product management and design resources, we went from concept to prototype in just 90 days.
From design to proof of concept
Once we created the product prototype for Never Alone, it was time to pull in our developers to transform the prototype into a fully integrated tablet application and care management system.
Collaborating with our product management and design teams, our team of developers aligned on key feature prioritizations so they could rapidly build, test, and iterate the Never Alone solution.
Pulling user stories from the fully designed prototype, we were able to break down feature development into small chunks for an efficient approach to delivering an integrated iOS tablet app.
Our proof of concept included the features below – all while building the software and infrastructure to be scalable and HIPAA compliant:
- Video conferencing
- Dispatching/queue system
- Ticketing system
- 911 emergency services
- Interoperability with Salesforce
- Usage analytics
All apps were deployed with MDM so that individual patient devices could be managed with precision.
- Admin interface
- Brandable app
- Branded journals for pilot participants
- Clickable prototype
- Competitive analysis report
- Detailed user personas
- Future design iterations & development
- Front-end component codebase & documentation
- Insights & findings report
- Patient interface
- Platform information architecture
- Product blueprint
- Product style guide
- Remote patient monitoring platform
- Solution architecture
- Source code
- Step-by-step training guides
- Story mapping for workflow definition
- Training data set
- Usability research findings
- User interviews
- User journey definition
- User workflows & journey maps
- User research insights
- User stories
- Visual design & prototype
Scaling the MVP
After our development team completed the MVP, we shifted our focus to scalability, distribution, and market penetration. Through a series of monthly workshops, we completed the following:
- Determined project requirements
- Selected vendors for device procurement and scalable remote device management
- Updated application software for B2B, B2G, and B2C distribution
- Identified operational strategies for training scalability, price reduction per unit cost, and drop ship deployment time reduction
API & data management
As we scaled, we continued to grow the product offering and developed a care management ecosystem designed to scale with Never Alone’s increasing user base and expanding network. Central to this ecosystem is our Care Platform, a CRM that manages user data and interactions across the Never Alone ecosystem. To integrate the Care Platform with the Never Alone app and iOS tablet, we architected a series of APIs that would onboard existing information and display new inputs accurately in the Care Platform application.
Bringing experience from a wide breadth of industries, we delivered an end-to-end telehealth and social service for aging seniors that spans across CRM, EHR, and social care management. Within nine months, we developed a fully integrated tablet application with the following features:
- 24/7 video access to a Personal Care Partner
- On-demand emergency services
- Stand-alone telehealth scheduling and visits
- Medical and social calendar with alerts
- Pilot program experience & feedback analysis
- Care Management Platform, which replace Salesforce and third-party applications, that offers personalized service and continuity of care across social and medical needs
- Advisory services for Never Alone business operations, Easterseals IDD expansion, pilot and market strategy, program management, ecosystem offerings to potential software partners