User Research to early interface design for the wearable ecosystem that aims to curb neonatal mortality in low-income communities in India

My Role
 

User Research

Research Analysis

Early Product Prototyping

Early Interface Design

Team
 

Founding Team

Biomedical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer

Awards
 

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Winner- Israel’s Start TLV 2017, India

Gold medal for innovation at IIA 2017

THE CHALLENGE

Saving lives of 400,000 premature babies every year

Out of 8 million premature babies that are born in India every year, more than 400,000 die. They are highly susceptible to life-threatening conditions like Apnea, Hypothermia, and Respiratory distress and 80% of these deaths are preventable. And most of these deaths happen in low-income communities.

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN NOW?

No Timely Intervention

Lack of accurate detection of conditions and alerting for timely intervention required to prevent injury

Lack of Resources and Delayed Attention

In low resource setting, due to lack of manpower, attention to apnea and hypothermia is delayed or absent. Early discharge due to lack of family and institutional resources increases the risk

False Alarms

Current devices are expensive with high rate of false alarms.

SOLUTION

Wearables for babies

PROCESS

This project is under NDA which restricts me from sharing in detail information about the UX process and design specifications.

Happy to talk about the project in person or via email

USER RESEARCH

Observation and Contextual Inquiry

The Co-founder and I visited hospitals in Hyderabad, India to learn about their work routine, current monitoring system, and knowledge of mobile devices. The idea was to do an area specific(state-wise) user study and develop strategies to expand in other areas. We recruited nurses, doctors, neonate's family, hospital admin to do our user interviews and contextual inquiry. They belonged to both rural areas and cities, small scale and large scale hospitals.

TARGET USERS

Through this research, we realized that there is a major need for intervention in hospital settings(more than home) to prevent Apnea and Hypothermia. The three users for Nemocare are Nurses, Doctors and Hospital Admins. Nurses and Doctors are going to use this device every day while the hospital admin uses it only to make changes/monitor patient data.

RESEARCH INSIGHTS

  • Once the baby is delivered by the doctor, the nurse plays a major role in monitoring the baby, but they are understaffed.

  • Information entry and sharing is a major part of the nurse's daily routine and is extremely time-consuming. They rather focus on monitoring babies.

  • Current equipment is bulky, intimidating to the mother and often gives false alarms.

  • Monitoring gets difficult when the baby is shifted to wards.

PROTOTYPING

I was involved in low-fidelity prototyping of the wearable along with one of the Co-founders. We explored different sensors to get accurate readings and fabricated it in a way that it can be tested without intimidating baby's parents. I also designed wireframes and low-fi screens for the app, both on mobile and desktop to run initial tests on the nurses.