Thera

An at-home physical therapy app to aid patients' recovery at home.

Overview

Task

Explore a problem in physical therapy and design a solution

Time

2 weeks

Team

Joanna Choi

Jackie Rider

Simone Tobias

Dwayne McFarlane

Tools

Figma

G Suite

Problem

Physical therapy patients are asked to practice the exercises they learned from training on a regular basis. How might we help physical therapy patients train properly?

Process

Research

Screener Survey

User Interviews

Feature Analysis

Competitive & Comparative Analysis

Synthesis

Affinity Mapping

Persona

MoSCoW Matrix

Problem Statement

Design

Design Studio

Wireframing

Mid-Fi Prototyping

Usability Tests

Deliver

Wireframing

High-Fi Prototyping

Usability Tests

Specification Doc

Key Insights

What we heard from users

We conducted user interviews with 6 participants, all of whom had done physical therapy in the last 10 years. Half of the patients went to physical therapy for chronic pain management and the other half of patients went for an injury. Overall, participants went to physical therapy 1-3 times per week over the course of 1-6 months.

Auditing the current market

We conducted a feature analysis of 3 existing physical therapy apps to understand what has currently been done and how we can differentiate our product in the current market. We examined: Medbridge GO for patients, Physera, and Kaia. We discovered that all 3  apps had the following features: exercise tutorials, reminders, and an account login.

Ideation

Exercising with Jean

Based on the insights we discovered from our user interviews, we created a persona of Jean, a general contractor who was recently injured on the job.

Deciding which features to prioritize

To determine how we could differentiate our product from the current market, we created a MoSCoW matrix to map out what features we must, should, could, and won't have.

Design WORKFLOW

Wireframes

Our process for designing wireframes was as follows: low-fidelity design > mid-fidelity design > usability tests > high-fidelity design > usability tests > final design. We conducted usability tests after each round of design to ensure that our designs were functional and intuitive for users.

Challenges & Solutions

1. Personalized Exercise Videos

Jean's greatest pain point is that she can't do her physical therapy exercises at home. We created a feature where patients or their physical therapists can record the exercise and upload it into a library on the Thera app. By being able to record their own physical therapy exercises, patients can see how their own body doing the exercises correctly and do the exercises correctly at home.

When conducting usability tests with participants, we found the following:

  • 3 out of 4 users successfully found and watched the exercise recordings.
  • 4 out of 4 users said the video functionality was straightforward.

Overall, the Personal Exercise Videos were a success because users were able to find them and understand their purpose.

2. Video Chat with Physical Therapist

One of Jean's greatest needs is to be able to easily communicate with her physical therapist. We designed a feature for patients to easily contact their physical therapists via e-mail, instant messaging, or video chat.

When conducting usability tests with participants, we found the following:

  • 4 out of 4 users tapped on the correct bottom navigation icon to contact their physical therapist.
  • 4 out of 4 users successfully video-chatted with their physical therapist.

Overall, the Video Chat function was a success because users intuitively contacted their physical therapists without any errors.

RELFECTION

Physical therapy is an on-going journey that requires training in and out of the physical therapy clinic. We explored pain points that physical therapy patients face and honed in on one problem area — the at-home experience. Although patients felt confident when working with their physical therapists, they were unsure if they were doing their exercises correctly and felt discouraged. We created a mobile app design that helps physical therapy patients perform their prescribed exercises correctly at home.

Next Steps

  • Conduct a second round of usability testing for the high-fidelity prototype
  • Edit the prototype based on feedback from usability testing
  • Design a version of the app for physical therapists
  • Hand the mobile app design off to developers