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Healthbook | Designed for Medibank

Brief
"Help us design and test a better way for our members with chronic diseases to manage their health."
- Customer Experience Manager at Medibank

Outcome
A website that helps members set health goals, measure activity and communicate with their Medibank nurse.

Healthbook user

Prior to the development of My Health Record the Australian government ran 9 pilot projects to test the technology. We worked with Medibank to design the Healthbook system as part of this pilot group.

In Australia, people's health records are stored at their individual providers. For example, x-ray results are stored with the radiologist and prescriptions are stored at the pharmacy. Healthbook was created to bring all of those medical records together in one place. The goal is to make sure the right people have the right information at the right time.

To test the Healthbook concept we designed a pilot version for a particularly challenging audience. Their average age was 73 and they suffered from a variety of chronic health conditions including Heart Failure, Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Visiting people in their homes shaped our product strategy

We visited members of the target audience in their homes to learn how they thought about their health, and how they manage their medical records at the moment. Getting to know them broke down some early assumptions and helped us design a system for them to better manage their health.

In home research.png
 

Mobile wasn't the right device for this project

Initial ideas for the product involved a mobile app. But during our interviews we found that people in this demographic just don’t use mobile phones because they’re “too fiddly”. Those that did have mobiles only used them every few days and often ignored SMS. The font size people chose was another indicator that mobile would be too small.

The devices people use and the font size they choose showed us that a mobile app wouldn't work.

The devices people use and the font size they choose showed us that a mobile app wouldn't work.

 

eHealth doesn't mean the end of paper

Many people we spoke to carried important medical information with them "just in case" (or when travelling). This blue card is a record of someone's heart valve transplant.

Many people we spoke to carried important medical information with them "just in case" (or when travelling). This blue card is a record of someone's heart valve transplant.

To make sure these people had an up to date record, we designed a printable summary of their Healthbook which could fit on a single A4 page.

To make sure these people had an up to date record, we designed a printable summary of their Healthbook which could fit on a single A4 page.

 

We established a visual design language for the elderly

Designing for people with low vision and limited motor skills requires larger form fields, text, buttons and a higher contrast in colour.

As a pilot project, Healthbook was a success. Medibank easily met their sign up targets and the government learned more about the requirements of building a shared health record. Health book has now been replaced by My Health Record.

Further reading ...

If you're interested in learning more about how elderly people use technology differently, read our article Designing for the Elderly.


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