Anyone living with long-term pain carries it on their own. From time to time, they seek advice and support from face to face consultations with their doctors, physiotherapists, and other carers – often without the benefit of being able to share information with a consistent support network.

The elina app is designed to provide support for individuals in the tracking and managing of long-term pain, in collaboration with a team of doctors, health professionals and close friends – their chosen ‘e-team’. The app provides a positive and engaging tracking experience, alleviating the impact for users on their professional and personal lives.

Investigative user experience methods are used to add context and insight to the design process from the user’s perspectives. This is what prevents us from designing for ourselves, prove/disprove assumptions and recognise our target audience’s needs and goals.

The @elina.app used a double diamond method of design thinking. We conducted formal research and investigation through user interviews, observation, and surveys to collect information to understand how users interact with their devices when they themselves have Arthritis.

observation

This is an active process of closely monitoring something with the ability to notice things with significant details. How do user’s interact with their device when they have Arthritis?

interviews

These are designed to be engaging conversations with the target audience.

Directed interviews are typically question and answer structures where we ask specific questions.

Non directed interviews are more conversational where we ask open questions, mostly listen and the audience give their insights

Ethnographic interviews involve observing and chatting with people as they go about their day in their natural environment/day-to-day

surveys

These are great for gathering large amounts of data from a diverse group quickly - however this lacks the intimacy needed to truly understand the user’s pain points.

After creating affinity maps to define and understand trends within the feedback, we were able to design wireframes for features within the @elina.app to support users interacting with the app. These were tested with focus groups to iron out issues with usability and user journeys.

Simply tap your pain’s location on your avatar and use the sliders to track your pain, mood and energy. Add more detail to your entry by adding the type of pain and notes. Your e-team, your chosen circle of friends and healthcare professionals, will be able to see the information you’ve shared with them on the app, on an easy-to-navigate graph. Overall, they will get a better understanding of your conditions and be able to support you better in person.

The information you share with the elina app is encrypted, keeping your information safe and shared only with those who you have invited to join your e-team. An e-team member can be anyone you choose; Friends, Family, Colleagues or Healthcare professionals such as your Physiotherapist or Care-giver. Professional e-team members can also manage their time with you, using the built-in calendar to book and plan sessions based on your pain levels and graph.

Your e-team also have the option to ‘raise a flag’ to other members of your e-team should they feel the need to express concern, creating a consistent support network around you. Tracking with the elina app is designed to be unintrusive, simple and engaging, turning the recording and management of pain into a positive activity and alleviating the impact it has on your personal and professional life.

All around us, a new generation of technology is changing our lives. Each year more of us choose online routes to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions or view personal health records. Digital innovations have the potential to support and empower people, but data heavy tracking apps are in abundance, and don’t treat people sensitively.

more thoughts on @elina.app