Designing ToucHb. a non invasive anemia detection device for health care providers in rural India.

Designing ToucHb. a non invasive anemia detection device for health care providers in rural India.

Designing ToucHb. a non invasive anemia detection device for health care providers in rural India.

CLIENT: Biosense - Mumbai, IN & Delft NL - 2012

CLIENT: Biosense - Mumbai, IN & Delft NL - 2012

MY ROLE: User Research, UX Design.

a person holding the Touchb prototype
CHALLENGE
CHALLENGE

Designing an anemia detection device that meets the needs of women and healthcare providers in rural India.

Designing an anemia detection device that meets the needs of women and healthcare providers in rural India.

Designing an anemia detection device that meets the needs of women and healthcare providers in rural India.

Designing an anemia detection device that meets the needs of women and healthcare providers in rural India.

Anemia has a high incidence in rural India. This is especially critical for women during pregnancy, resulting in high mortality rates during childbirth.

Biosense developed an affordable, non-invasive technology to detect anemia allowing caregivers to give the necessary treatment on time. However, the device's design needed to met expectations from India's healthcare providers and patient needs.

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Image by Ashwini Chaudhary via Unsplash.
Image by Ashwini Chaudhary via Unsplash.
Image by Ashwini Chaudhary via Unsplash.
APPROACH

Ethnographic research to understand India's healthcare system and user needs

To understand the Indian health system and user groups, we spent two months immersed in rural India. We conducted visits, interviews and generative sessions with different healthcare providers like women trained to support communities with healthcare topics (ASHAS), private and public medical practicioners and NGO doctors.

On the other hand, we interview medical device vendors to understand the market and facilitated a vision session with Biosense to understand business drivers and potential limitations.

interviewing health care providers in rural India
Contextual interviews with ANM nurses in rural India.
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roleplaying with doctors at a mobile medical centre in India
Roleplaying with NGO doctors at their mobile clinic.
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a woman drawing her idea of a detection device
Co-creation session with women.
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interviewing vendors in India
Interviews with sales representatives.
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Key insights that informed product requirements

Key insights that informed product requirements

Key insights that informed product requirements

Education levels varies significantly across healthcare providers.

Users are not always highly educated medical practitioners: There is an immense variety of education levels among caregivers who use the device, from 24h trained ASHA nurses to specialist doctors. Therefore, the device needs to allow for a wide range of medical expertise.

Many women cannot afford to go to a health centre. Care givers must come to them.

Testing women at home means higher reach. Patients in rural areas struggle to go to the health centers due to lack of transportation or income. ASHA nurses – who work with communities in rural areas – are a vital target user, and device portability is a priority.

Low education in rural India difficults a prevention focused approach.

Anemia is treatable and usually preventable, but is often unknown and misunderstood by patients; thus, the device must empower nurses to inform women about anemia and what they can do to prevent it.

Biosense_PatientJourney
Summarised patient journey, mapped based on research findings
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RESULT

A portable device focused on prevention

A portable device focused on prevention.  

After synthesizing the findings from the research in India, product design kicked in in The Netherlands. With Biosense, we created 3D models and selected the electronic components for the device. Users provided feedback throughout the process from the plastic shell's shape to the interface flows or the button's symbols. 

The redesigned device combines a low-cost shell with a more sophisticated graphical interface for visual guidance, which can be used by caregivers of all education levels. The product is portable and transported in a carrying case and an infographic to help nurses explain patients about anemia.

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User flow
User flow.
Clay models to test ergonomics
Clay models to test the device ergonomics
Clay models to test the device ergonomics.
Clay models to test the device ergonomics
the Touchb prototype with the case and the visual instructions
ToucHb prototype with portable case and guidelines to communicate and explain anemia to patients.
ToucHb prototype with portable case and guidelines to communicate and explain anemia to patients.
ToucHb prototype with portable case and guidelines to communicate and explain anemia to patients.

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