abhishek
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Elix case study

Elix

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Elix - reimagining patient and doctor communication

Elix helps create a seamless patient-doctor communication, and aims at connecting patients to better self care. It uses an ecosystem of digital services that work with an array of technologies available on their phones and smartwatches to develop a monitoring and tracking system. This system helps patients living with heart conditions live a more secure life. 

 
 

It uses the sensors on your smartwatch to measure ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing patterns, movement analysis alongside workout habits and further combines the data with behavioral analysis, natural language processing – combined with digital phenotyping and documentation abilities of the companion phone app to generate insights and prediction models to analyze the probability of next emergency case. 

 

What inspired this project?

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This experience, which contradicted my perception of the Danish healthcare system, inspired me to investigate the appointment system further.

 

Research

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My research included speaking with doctors, patients, danish citizens, expats, healthcare professionals and cardiologists. The insights from the interviews informed me about the strain on the healthcare system and the challenges that heart patients face on a day-to-day basis. Often times, heart patients visit their doctors after large interval between appointments and don’t have a good overview about the true nature of their condition. Additionally, it becomes overwhelming to re-call their symptoms, and most patients aren’t able to keep a tab on small variations in their health over time, and thereby lack a good overview.

A few interesting instances came up during my interviews. One example being from a Copenhagen native, Noah (names changed)

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This helped me structure my interviews with the intention of validating and understanding the cause for the ‘strain’. Throughout the duration of this project I interviewed over 30 people and with their help I was able to define the problem areas:

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Problem Statement

When explaining their problems to a doctor patients can suffer from subjectivity and poor recall. Moreover, doctors are overworked and have too many patients to have an in-depth knowledge about everyone.

This results in highly limited patient-doctor interactions and prevents patients from having a comprehensive understanding of their conditions.

 

Insights

 

A possible solution

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Elix allows cardiac patients to monitor their vital signs and by using a wide array of technologies combined with behavioral analysis helps them manage their recovery. It further provides personalized coping strategies and a safety net to ensure their recovery is as smooth as possible.

 

Epic

Epic is an American company that primarily develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells a proprietary electronic medical record software application, known in whole as Epic EMR. Epic was a major part of my 1st phase of research. It’s the company that's been given the contract to provide healthcare software and digital framework for hospitals in Sjælland, Denmark to help manage patients’ records and communication tools.

The hypothesis includes an assumption that Epic could develop this platform as part of their modules.

 

Scheduling appointments

Scheduling appointments isn’t consistent as only a few doctors have an online booking system. This compounds the friction further as patients aren’t always sure of the severity of the situation. This led me to start brainstorming about ways in which patients could log their own data. A platform that is focused on collecting infrequent and nuanced data could help patients have a more holistic outlook towards their rehabilitation treatment. The ability to have your doctor be aware of your health and get notified with detailed reports can be a huge step forward towards a more efficient patient – doctor relationship.

Patients can either send in a request if they need to see the doctor or the doctors can send a request to the patients. The algorithm automatically prioritizes users based on their health data and suggests an optimum time slot.

 

Collecting health data

Besides collecting and analyzing biometric data such as heart rate, breathing rate and pulse - Elix uses Behavioral Analysis technologies that are able to detect more nuanced things such as how you are typing (are you stressed?) Using the gyroscope (are you feeling very fidgety? Why did you have broken sleep?) When the user types something, it uses sentiment analysis (are you very negative? is that why your heart rate is going up?) to further make data analysis more holistic.

Elix makes these essential correlations and summarizes user’s data to give the best advice for self care.

 

The main feature of the app is analyzing the situation and providing the most effective suggestions for the patients. Using an array of sensors in the watch and phone, the app makes sure it alerts the doctors and emergency services in case of an emergency.

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How does it work?

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Mental well-being of patients

Often times one aspect of patients’s rehabilitation process that gets overlooked is how it’s affecting them mentally. My research shone light of cases where documenting feelings and experiences can improve the treatment and appointment times drastically.

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Another compelling aspect of the app is the ability to record how your treatment is affecting your mental wellbeing. Besides reminding the patients to take their medication it also prompts them to track their mood. This could help them communicate with their doctors in a more meaningful way. Their interactions with the healthcare services could be augmented by the self tracking of their moods and the medication habits.

 

Reminders

My research pointed out that skipping medication is one of the key reasons some patients experience another episode. The app has a reminder built in that can help them keep a track on their medicines. Doctors can have access to this info as well.

 

Monthly overview

In many cases, during rehabilitation process, there are often weeks and even a month between two appointments. Patients are then required to summarize everything for the approximately half hour appointments. This could make patients miss out on many nuances and details that could help the healthcare practitioners further tweak the treatments.

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Journal helps patients keep a track of how the treatment is affecting their mood and further help them communicate with their doctor in a more meaningful way. This is also motivate them to stick to their treatment.

 

For healhtcare practitioners

The most important aspect of this service is the patient and doctor communication. Doctors, as part of Elix would receive a dashboard for their clinic which would have health insights and live data for the patients that are undergoing therapy. This can completely change the way appointments work currently. Doctors can see how their patients are doing in very high detail, and can further deliver highly personalized treatments for their patients. This could alleviate a lot of pressure that is currently straining the Danish healthcare system.

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The user interface

The app was designed to look approachable – almost like a fitness app. The primary intention was to steer away from the app looking very medical as there are already a lot of apps out there that are visually in that realm. It was also intended for the aesthetics to look motivating, friendly and fresh. Bright colors were used so that people get habituated to the color coding, and over time read the information faster.

 
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This project was done as my final thesis at CIID.