During the first phase of the iterative Design Thinking process we went out and interviewed doctors from different fields of expertise. We came to understand that doctors were overwhelmed by the paper work they had to deal with after they treated their patients. Solutions that were offered were not efficient enough, such as a headset, that not only distracted the doctor but also the patient. We also observed the routine in a hospital and saw that nurses were going around with rolling containers with a laptop on top in which they were typing in all of the patient’s vital signs and other necessary information. But patients were not feeling comfortable with being in the room with them while the nurses were only focused on the screen of their laptop.
We therefore realized that we wanted to come up with a solution which provided communication which feels personal and comfortable for the patient but at the same time helps the doctors with the paperwork.
Our final product “Docno” is a device that listens to key words, which are said during the physician-patient consultation by the physician. So for instance, when the name of the patient is mentioned, the device goes through the existing patient files or creates a new file for a new patient. It then puts in the necessary information triggered by the key words which are said during the consultation, such as diagnosis, medication and the next steps. It will also send out push notifications to the doctor’s assistant, if a particular key word is connected to action which has to be performed by the assistant.
After going through the iterative process of Design Thinking, we realised that we found an opportunity area that could please two user groups: patients and doctors. Doctors try to overcome the daily paperwork attached to the examination of patients. So they try to find a solution that digitalises the paperwork. But most solutions compromise the communication between doctors and patients and are therefore a burden for both.
So we were trying to come up with a solution that would digitalise the information gathered during the anamnesis automatically through key words. The hardware listens to these key words and fills them into the patient’s file card. We also envisioned our final product to be able to send out push notifications that give instructions to the doctor’s assistant, such as printing out the prescription.
With this digital assistance doctors can concentrate on their patients with minimal care for paperwork. The organisational work will be performed automatically throughout the natural flow of conversation!
For the first phase of user research, we visited five health professionals of different specializations who were kind enough to lend us some of their time for interviews. In addition, we got the chance to take pictures of medical equipment and facilities. The results of this were very suspenseful we think.
The human factor is a very important part of the medical sector. Friendly and competent staff inspires confidence in patients. Devices have to fit smoothly into the process without interrupting it. In regards to appointments the telephone remains the number one medium as personal dialog is still the best way to estimate the urgency of an investigation or therapy.
In practice office work like documentation, data transfer from tools to PC and managing user date take up a large amount of time. Software solutions suffer from a lack of uniformity: Many different vendors contribute and devices and interfaces of different vendors are not compatible from the get-go.
We’re excited to delve further into this mass of information.