The technology was simple yet brilliant, and captured the attention and backing from global health trailblazers such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Yet the team realized that they still needed to bridge a gap – technology can only be as impactful as the experience that surrounds it. With this insight, the tech start-up approached Smart to design an intuitive user experience, to ensure each and every medical interaction would deliver a meaningful result.

 

WHEN DESIGN ACCOUNTS FOR EVERY EXTREME

With a primary focus on neonatal care and vaccinations, Simprints began creating technology that could integrate with healthcare systems in regions where tech literacy is typically low. Combined with Smart’s deep expertise in designing for underserved communities, the new partnership enabled Simprints to create a holistic end-to end user experience that would account for every extreme.

 

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With both the physical and digital in mind, Smart considered a variety of moments in these medical appointment interactions, reviewing how patients and healthcare workers switched between the mobile app and the fingerprint scanning device. The Smart team understood that they needed to take into account varying levels of tech literacy, as well as differences in language and cultural customs that would determine the effectiveness of these encounters.

The key was intuitively communicating how to scan a patient’s fingers to correctly identify them within a large database. From there, a healthcare worker could review a patient’s medical records and history to rapidly determine what care (if any) a patient might have already received and subsequently move forward with an individualized treatment plan. Smart leveraged Simprints’ extensive knowledge of their patient population to streamline the overall process and guarantee the easy retrieval of health records at each and every patient visit.

The proposed solution was a result of a joint collaboration, with Simprints bringing multiple experts to the table. This included industrial design firm Therefore, who brought deep expertise in creating rugged waterproof electronics.  The joint teams collaborated on how the experience of the hand-held scanner and the mobile app can be as integrated and intuitive as possible, offering complementary feedback and interactions. This equal and simultaneous consideration of both the digital and physical design was critical in creating a seamless intuitive experience.

The result was a working prototype of both the scanner and mobile app for field testing. By piloting these solutions across different use cases with healthcare workers and patients in Bangladesh and Nepal, Simprints built confidence in the proposed user experience. Additionally, Smart trained Simprints on a wide range of new design research tools, protocols and techniques so they could continuously facilitate innovation for their organization and ensure the ongoing success of these critical trials.

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BETTER CARE AT THE FRONTLINE OF HEALTH

Simprints now leans on design in order to provide better quality care at the point of care – guiding participants into the seamless patient experience created by the Smart team. Armed with new methodologies, Simprints can reach and catch at-risk patients so they don’t continue to fall through the cracks. This process of “documenting the undocumented” holds the potential to help solve numerous global health challenges, as invaluable and previously inaccessible patient data is collected over time.

THE LAST MILE: SCALING FOR GLOBAL IMPACT

Pilots of the technology are underway with rapid expansion expected in maternal healthcare across 2016. By the end of 2016 this product should touch over 50,000 unique individuals in healthcare alone, with ambitions of scaling up to 10 projects that would reach nearly 2.6 million people.

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Simprints’ and Smart’s collective approach to design solutions that reach the ‘last mile’ will extend beyond health and touch on other social issues such as microfinance, loan identification, and even agriculture. Both teams are dedicated to using the power of design to enable well-meaning organizations to be as impactful as possible. The sky is the limit for this unique and award-winning initiative, with strategic partnerships that aim to bring this innovation into every isolated and hard-to-access community across the world.