By the Skin of Our Teeth - Navigating Product Design in a Crisis
Event Type
Poster Presentation
TimeThursday, April 152:08pm - 2:09pm EDT
LocationDigital Health
DescriptionOverview: This presentation will cover a case study of a digital health startup’s rapid COVID-19 response that required moving a clinical procedure typically done in a primary care clinic by medical professionals to a patient self-administered service conducted in patients’ homes.

Background: Our company launched a telemedicine service, 3DermTriage, in 2016. 3DermTriage is a handheld, standardized imaging system for skin concerns (spots, rashes, acne) used by medical assistants at primary care to take clinical quality dermatology e-consults and send the images and information to local dermatologists for remote review. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, our entire customer base of primary care offices closed their doors to all non-urgent care. In response, our team quickly developed an innovative solution called 3Derm ImageAssist that helped replicate our standardized skin imaging capabilities for untrained patients imaging at home.

Challenge: Seemingly overnight our primary users changed from trained medical assistants using our hardware and software to patients at home with any combination of mobile phone, operating system, and level of WiFi connectivity. In order to keep our customers, our team needed to figure out how to help patients take standardized clinical-quality images of their skin concerns from home. The solution had to be lightweight, as many patients have limited access to cellular data and storage. It had to replicate our capabilities for taking images of various types of skin concerns in primary care clinics. And of course, the system had to be secure, meet HIPAA compliance, and allow for some type of EHR connectivity.

Results: Our team sprinted early in the pandemic, condensing what was usually a months long process of requirement gathering, software development, and user testing into the span of six weeks. This presentation will cover the process adjustments made, strategic partnerships formed, and creative resourcing used to respond to a unique crisis and get our product into consumers hands to reduce the lag time in accessing dermatological care.

In this presentation, we’ll discuss the mechanisms explored to simplify a complicated set of instructions and flexibly adapt for a huge variety of devices and skill levels. We’ll discuss how automations and built in quality checking enable the application to capture high-quality information every time, ensuring the application is a useful investment to the patient. We'll also examine the various tradeoffs made between stakeholder priorities and the process for getting a patient-facing digital health application live.