“Online health community participation leads to direct benefits in the form of information utility and social support and that information utility also helps to shape perceptions of patient empowerment among community participants.” – Online health communities, An assessment of the influence of participation on patient empowerment outcomes, Johnstone, Worrell, Di Gangi & Wasko, Information Technology & People (May 2013).
The above is why I was super excited to take on this Project as a Freelance UI/UX Designer and this Case study chronicles the design processes involved in this Design project.
I worked alongside a team for the Questionnaires, a Developer, a Project Manager and the Product Owners. Working on this project took 3 months, which started in November 2019.
In Nigeria, there is no Centralized Health Information platform where healthly or recovering individuals can visit to learn about their health, new symptoms and get help till they are whole and/or maintain that health.
1. About 49% of people do not check in with their Doctor/Health Worker regularly (Quarterly, Yearly or when they are sick, as opposed to Monthly or Weekly) – Our Offline Survey
2. Noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people. This includes 15 million people dying prematurely, aged between 30 and 69. – WHO
3. Over 85% of these premature deaths are in low- and middle-income countries. – WHO
4. More than 1.6 billion people (22% of the global population) live in places where protracted crises (through a combination of challenges such as drought, famine, conflict, and population displacement) and weak health services leave them without access to basic care. – WHO
Getting the right information about a new illness or symptom or getting first hand help online can be a chore, as you would need to verify the information with multiple sources first.
– Stimulate demand for healthcare by empowering consumers.
– Increase participation of consumers in healthcare.
– Better match demand and supply of healthcare.
– Connect consumers to better information about treatment and costs of care.
The statements above led me to focus on some of the goals which would help provide the required solutions.
a. Provide information (that is verified) about sicknesses, drugs, symptoms and cures.
b. Insurance and financing of health.
c. Preventive Health
d. Connect people with the same/similar illness.
e. Patient’s review of everything Health services.
Challenges that are been addressed
– Decrease information asymmetry for consumers.
– Improve access to (remote) care.
– Improve access to healthcare financing.
– High user conversion.
This started with a quantitative Survey and qualitative surveys to deepen insights gotten from the first. This took place in the Lekki and Ikeja area of Lagos state. The Survey had 517 participants in Lagos, who participated in the Survey. This helped to reveal the participants preferences, requirements age, income level, health habits, source of health information, how they relate to the health information gotten online, if they reveal the information to their doctor/health worker etc.