Mobile health for emerging markets
1 in 8 women in the world suffer from post-partum depression but seldom seek help due to the attached stigma. At the same time, more and more people in those markets have access to smartphones which makes it possible to empower patients who currently do not have access to proper medical assistance. How can we offer them a suitable tool to better manage their depression?
Learning about an unfamiliar target group
The biggest challenge of this project was the unfamiliar target group in emerging markets with a different educational and cultural background.
This meant designing a product for
...little condition knowledge,
..unrecognisable physical product, so that it does not become a tag of PPD
...quickly changing and diverse markets,
...a different healthcare system.
Those constrain made it necessary to conduct in-depth desk research up front to understand how patients' current treatment looks like and what keeps them from improving their health.
Field research and interviews with italian mothers
together with local colleagues, our team visited public and private hospitals, pharmacies and doctors' offices. We got the chance to talk to patients, doctors and nurses to get a deep insight into the healthcare system and the patients' struggles.
Limited access to a healthcare professional:
Long waiting times in the hospital up to an entire day.
Limited amount of doctors lead to short appointments or patients will speak to a nurse instead.
Doctors do not have enough time to educate patients.
Patients always see a different doctor - it is hard to develop a relationship of trust and talk about sensitive topics.
Patients seldom share their condition with family members or friends.
Patients struggle to manage their disease on their own leading to long term complications.
Many mothers cannot afford to leave their newborn home to go and attend long psychology sessions.
We started to put the research together and tried to find out the how we can help the mothers in dealing with PPD.
We organized a co-design session in Milan by inviting a lot of moms in which we did a few design activities and an open discussion to uncover insights and get feedback on our initial idea directly from our future users.
The next phase was to put together all the research and insights to finalize our solution. We came up with the idea after interviewing more than 20 moms and 10 psychologists & psychiatrists and childcare personnel.