Making medication management less medical
Creating conversational UI to help patient manage multiple medications with reminders and empathy.
Setting - Final Capstone for Masters in HCI & Design Class
4-person team designing conversational UIs during six month final capstone project to make complex medication management simpler through modular conversation pieces. We implemented conversations on a wellness companion (think robot), Mabu.
Research and design conversational user interfaces to help patient manage multiple medications. Key pain points included addressing complex medication routines and personalization e.g. one patient calls her aspirin "81 pill."
We created 11 different conversational user interfaces assisting patients in four key areas: 1) onboarding medications. 2) checking on medication adherence. 3) setting up medication groups. and 4) setting up meal reminders. In final implementation, we accomplished having the same amount of conversational text and duration to manage multiple medications versus singular medication. Simplicity out of complexity reduces clutter.
Empathize with the User
We surveyed 75+ patients asking about their medication routines, medication storage, and attitudes towards technologies used to aid their medication routines. Patients hesitated including technology into their daily life, calling it "this unknown equipment." Typically, patients used pill boxes and would personally recall by time. However, when we asked "What happened?" when patients missed their does they would state “I forgot.” We wanted to change build a conversational system that would prevent the forgetting.
Define the Solution
We created conversational UIs that addressed four key areas including: on-boarding medications, checking on medication adherence, setting up medication groups, and setting up meal reminders. We used Twine and Mural.ly to represent the different conversation paths. We wrote sample text with detailed patient information to help us build empathy when we were designing the interaction structure. These stories helped us make the abstract conversational structure more concrete.
Build, Test & Iterate
Over the next four months, we iterated on our conversations by interviewing 2-3 patients every week and making small changes with great impact. Our original four conversations led up to eleven distinct conversations as we found smaller modularized conversation pieces worked better by allowing for greater flexibility and ease in communication. For example, we created a separate meal reminder conversation instead of adding it to existing structures. We finalized the conversations and implemented them inside Mabu.