Field study concludes the PICASSO-Tx design

Posted by Bert Vandenberghe on Wednesday December 17th 2014 at 16:09

Yesterday, we visited the last transplant patient that participated in the PICASSO-Tx field study. Over the past year, we designed the PICASSO-Tx system and web app together with patients. The end result is a combination of a step counter, a smart weight scale, a smart pill box, and a web application that visualizes the gathered data to the patient. We already tested the web app in our lab, but we were interested how the technology would work out at home, and how patients would experience the system using it for some time.

Over the past two months, we visited 20 patients and installed the PICASSO-Tx system at their home. We then instructed them on how to use the system, and asked to use it for two weeks. Then, we visited them again to interview them on their experiences while using the system. The first results look promising, the patients found the system useful and easy to use.

This field study concludes the design phase of the PICASSO-Tx project, and our role in the project. Now, the PICASSO-Tx system will be given to patients in a RCT (Randomized Controlled Trial), to study whether the PICASSO-Tx system is effective in supporting patients with the self-management of physical activity, healthy eating, and taking medication.

Iterative design of the PICASSO-TX web app

Posted by Bert Vandenberghe on Tuesday September 30th 2014 at 12:22

We finished the design of the PICASSO-Tx web application. The web app will support solid organ transplant patients (heart, lung, kidney, and liver) in the self-management of physical activity, healthy eating, and taking medication.

The diary study we performed earlier learned us how people manage their physical activity, diet, and medication already, and where we could supplement these routines with technology. We decided to combine a step counter, weight scale, and pill box that all gather data about the behavior of the patient. This data is then visualized in a web application to the patient.

We worked out some concepts to give feedback to the patient on physical activity, diet, and medication in a low fidelity prototype on paper. We then invited patients at our lab to test whether the patients could understand this feedback from the step counter, scales, and pill box, and how we could improve the screens in order to support the self-management of physical activity, diet, and taking medication. We learned which concepts made sense to the patients, and how we could improve the web app.

Testing the PICASSO-Tx web app in our lab.
Testing the PICASSO-Tx web app in our lab.

We elaborated the concepts further into a second, digital, prototype. Again, we invited patients to test the assumptions we made after the second round of tests. These tests showed that the patients found the web app useful and easy to use. We perfected the design of the web app with the remarks from this second round, and over summer a graphic designer finished the design phase before the developers started to implement the design.

Now, we did a third and final test round in the lab, to validate the final design. The feedback we received allows us to tweak the web app before taking the PICASSO-Tx system to the patient’s home in the field study later this year.

PICASSO-Tx workshop: Relay ideation on the needs of transplant patients

Posted by Bert Vandenberghe on Thursday March 13th 2014 at 11:57

We welcomed project partners of the PICASSO-Tx project, including doctors, at CUO for a workshop. After a short update on the progress and some preliminary results, we presented some common themes that came up during our interviews with patients (some of these themes were: taking medication, side effects of medication, maintaining a healthy diet). Each theme was supported by some statements from patients, which were food for discussion among the project partners, leading to some interesting insights.

After this engaging introduction, we organized a workshop using the relay ideation technique. Each group picked one of the discussed themes to work on. After stating a problem to solve, the groups could think about a possible solution for this problem and what could be developed. In a last round, we thought about how this development could also be meaningful for the doctors, and their team at the hospital.

Relay ideation PICASSO-Tx

The workshop brought two perspectives together, which is in itself an interesting event. By combining the patient’s view with the doctor’s knowledge, we can design a meaningful solution for patients and for the team in the hospital.

Diary study PICASSO-Tx

Posted by Bert Vandenberghe on Friday February 21st 2014 at 15:21

We finished a diary study for the PICASSO-Tx project, where we wanted to learn how transplant patients deal with strict schemes of exercise, diet, and medication. We therefore gave 20 transplant patients – lung, heart, kidney, and liver – a diary to record their everyday life for one week, and concluded with an interview.

Diary study PICASSO-Tx

During a first visit at the patient’s home, we gave them the diary. We then explained the purpose of the study and provided the necessary info on how to complete the diary. The diary contained a booklet to note down daily activities, and dedicated forms for exercise, meals, and medication. About one week later, we visited the patients again at home and interviewed them about their week and experiences with exercise, diet, and medication. We used the diary to trigger the conversation during the interviews.

We learned a lot about their best practices, tools that help them, and hurdles they experience to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This information allows us to make and refine decisions on how we could assist these patients using technology.

We will now create personas and write usage scenarios, which will then be used as starting point for the iterative design process.