November 26, 2019

Design for Healthcare IRL at Vineti, a Meetup

More and more of today’s healthcare happens online and digital is just one part of the picture. Much of the success – or failure – of digital tools is dependent on what happens beyond the screen or device, in the services and human interactions at the heart of patient care. 

With that digital-meets-analog pairing in mind, designers and clinicians packed Vineti’s headquarters in San Francisco last week for Design for Healthcare’s second-annual lightning talk, “Beyond the Screen”. The night kicked off with co-organizers, Anna Spisak from Clover Health and Mark Stuenkel from One Medical introducing the format, topic, and speakers. Here are just a few of the highlights from a set of great talks.

In the lightning talks, participants spoke on topics beyond the usual wireframes and web-based interfaces familiar to most designers in healthcare. They dug into service design, user research, and related disciplines. Each speaker had less than 9 minutes to cover their topic. The talks demonstrated that while different in specifics, all healthcare design work overlaps in terms of patient focus and the need to balance online and offline experiences. Some of the presenters take new approaches to old problems, like Omada and Rally, while others, like Vineti and Zipline, move into new territory solving unique problems in emerging spaces.

Caroline Wong, Senior Product Designer at YLabs, spoke to how best to provide and help teens access contraception in Rwanda. Her team’s research uncovered three major themes:

  1. “Meet people where they are at”
  2. “Consider the larger ecosystem” 
  3. “Acknowledge an individual’s mental state” 

These themes helped drive their understanding of how best to serve a young population. The first step was to create an online questionnaire for each person to fill in prior to receiving the service they needed, which helped to design for multiple layers of the entire experience for the youth. Caroline’s team had to consider real-world issues like teens choosing pharmacies far away from home due for privacy, and pharmacists unfamiliar with having a dialogue about contraception with youth. These problems could not be solved with an online tool alone.

Eric Bell, Principal Product Designer at Vineti, shared the lengths to which it’s necessary to identify the “Who,” “What,” and “Where” of hand-offs for life-saving cell and gene therapies. Vineti’s software platform automates the process – and must work with much of that process happens offline. Eric walked us through the requirements needed to know what material is collected from patients for cell therapy and covered the necessary steps to manage patient cells throughout the supply chain. In short, Vineti’s design thinking is driven by a focus on the patient journey – from the donor’s unique identifiers to their cells, to the data related to who handled the cell collection and the drug product made from those cells. The actions performed along the way with the location, date and time of those actions is of utmost importance from the start of cell collection through to the administration of that therapy for the patient. (Learn more about Chain of Custody and Chain of Identity.) 

To wrap up the night, Ben Alderfer, UX Designer at Zipline, spoke about the trade-offs needed to deliver critical solutions before you’ve solved an entire problem. Zipline focuses on drone delivery in healthcare, and Ben’s theme in design is “Kill the problem, then solve the problem,” while working iteratively to make sure critical items are addressed first.

The first problem for Zipline to solve was literally getting the operation off the ground. Working to maximize range with limited battery capacity on their drones, they devised a catapult system that could launch each unit as fast as possible into the air. 

This allowed them to make the most of the drone’s battery life while giving it distance from the origin to destination. Zipline has had to solve aeronautics problems – such as launching and packing drones for long-distance flight – before focusing on other needs, like flight plans. Just recently they hired an operations team and updated their process to improve from planning 15 flight paths per year to 157 flight paths per week.

Thanks to all the speakers and everyone who attended! Changes are happening fast in healthcare and we are excited to be a part of it! Given that so much of our collective work has patients at the core, we’ll be looking forward to more ways to collaborate on serving healthcare needs “beyond the screen.”

Vineti is hiring! If you’d like to join our patient-focused mission of improving patient access to high-value personalized therapies, we’d love to talk. Learn more about how Vineti designs beyond the screen.

Louis Rawlins is a Senior Product Designer at Vineti, where he fosters a human-centered design practice built on a lifetime as a patient advocate for himself and his family. He has twenty years of experience in design, from desktop publishing to user experience. He led innovation technology projects at Kaiser Permanente for five years, where he focused on making the work of clinicians better with digital tools to improve the patient experience.