Creating healthcare literacy in one of the world’s largest informal settlements by designing and developing a user-friendly and interactive mobile application
About the customer
Tech Care for All (TC4A) is a leading digital health company dedicated to transforming health outcomes in Africa and Asia sustainably with digital solutions. Addressing the full journey from wellness to diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care, TC4A is a social impact business targeting vulnerable and underserved groups.
Perennial influx of people in large volumes, infrastructure constraints and the inability of city governments to meet the housing needs of new arrivals have contributed to the growth of large informal settlements in Mumbai, one of the largest cosmopolitan cities of the world.
Residents of these settlements face significant health risks related to inadequate sanitation and food storage, poor drinking water and presence of pests amongst others. Lack of health awareness and access to health facilities compounds the problem. Worse, many practitioners are not qualified doctors and it is hard for people to know whether they are being seen by a legitimate licensed health professional.
Additionally, leading pharmaceutical companies face difficulty to sell their medicines in these settlements due to low medicine acceptance and limited purchasing power of residents.
Hence, there was a need to address the pressing health concerns of settlement dwellers and connect them with the nearest affordable qualified medical practitioner.
With the vision to provide affordable,quality healthcare,TC4A partnered with Brillio to create HealthyiU,a mobile product promoting healthcare for users in these settlements. The dream of empowering the economically downtrodden living in urban settlements with accurate, authorised, and clear healthcare awareness was the prime motive behind creation of the HealthyiU app.
Teaming up with TC4A and a local youth empowerment group in the Malvani area called Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y), the Brillio team conducted multiple workshops with the target groups to understand their needs and transform needs into opportunity areas. The team used design thinking tools such as market research, affinity mapping to gather and group the young people’s ideas, ideation to unleash creativity, and value mapping to ensure the app would respond to what the community cares most about, amongst other techniques. The process included the following phases:
Identifying the “Unknowns” – Evaluation of what needs to be discovered through target user-specific focus groups and business stakeholder workshops. Extensive secondary and primary market research helped identify key market segments and approaches to benchmark those segments. Various exercises such as card sorting, and affinity mapping were also executed with mapping of complete user journeys to determine the “unknowns”.
Setting the Context – Design thinking led activities such as gap analysis, contextual enquiry, etc., with the stakeholders helped identify the premises of the problem needing to be solved. This enabled designers and business stakeholders to prioritize and modify their roadmaps.
Reframing the Problem – The stepping-stone was primary research to understand and validate the problem of the target audience through focus group discussions, workshops, field visits walking through neighbourhoods, and interviews. A complete stakeholder user journey mapping with emotions and empathy validations helped in defining the direction to be taken. Various ideas were proposed and mapped to people’s pain points in order to reach the desired solution—a ‘Multi-lingual Mobile Application”.
Ideations Design – The design phase was pillared on in-depth research using personas – imagined users with various characteristics – to develop concept features and ascertain experience objectives. Multiple concepts were created across different levels of semantics and user adoption spectrums. Design tools such as storyboarding (e.g., to show a user’s typical day), metaphor brainstorming and SCAMPER were adopted to explore diverse concepts and decide which ones should be taken ahead to visual design and prototyping. SCAMPER is an acronym for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Reverse These are all triggers to unleash people’s creativity that helps to innovate on a concept or product.
Measure and Converge – The HealthyiU app prototype including different features was tested to assess the user response for ease of use, clarity, and satisfaction. This iterative user testing helped gather vast amounts of data in terms of usability, desirability, and functionality. Even the slightest of details were tested including colours, iconography, images, and text, to achieve an acceptance rate of 80%+ across target groups. This enabled the team to identify the features that delivered most value for the user.
With the primary user base aimed to be the youth aged 16-40, the core features of the application were identified as:
Primary and preventive health care tips
Directory of health issues and symptoms
Tools to promote habits for living a healthy lifestyle, such as pill reminders and nutrition tips
Information about certified health care services in user’s vicinity
Tools to access health care services such as quick appointment bookings, video call/ chat
Information related to government schemes, policies, and programs for which users may be eligible
Online ordering of medicines with delivery at the doorstep
Location of emergency medical services
Solution Benefits and Results
Within 12 weeks, Brillio was able to deliver the minimum viable product (first version) of the HealthyiU app. Users can access information, book upcoming health program events, play awareness-building games, share learning videos and participate in health surveys.The application has had a positive impact among Malvani residents, with the following notifiable results:
Improved availability of health services impacting 20,000 families
80%+ acceptance of the user experience amongst the target user group
100% acceptance amongst the CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams of pharmaceutical enterprises, who perceived the app as helpful in rural marketing and market penetration for medical/healthcare products
Ability to impact an expected 1 million lives in five years by expanding to other parts of India