When a patient is diagnosed with a chronic condition like diabetes, keeping up with a special treatment plan, and being knowledgeable and educated about the disease, plays a vital role in further well-being of the patient. And it is much harder if the patient is a child. In this case, it is not only the child who is involved in making decisions about their health, but even more so the parents.
While in a hospital, the child receives the necessary therapy from the hospital staff, but when the child is discharged they need proper outpatient treatment. And that can be burdensome and heavily influence further recovery.
We believe technology can significantly facilitate lives of ill children and their parents. With that in mind, we developed a prototype for a complete patient engagement solution that helps young patients recover faster, by guiding them and their family members throughout the treatment, providing comprehensive information about child’s state, and monitoring their progress, helping them adapt to new life-changing conditions, as well as maximizing health outcomes by self-education.
What it does
Our solution consists of two interconnected applications, one of which is designed to be used by a child, and another by the parents. The current prototype scenario is built for diabetes patients, though it can potentially track any clinical state, and represents one day of the patient’s schedule.
The child app
Engaging kids in health decisions is a much more difficult task than it is with an adult, so the child’s version was designed utilizing gamification elements. At the heart of the app is an animated character, a squirrel that interacts with the child and guides them through their daily schedule, as well as suggests personalized educational content (video).
Child application features:
A daily schedule is the daily to-do list according to doctor’s prescriptions that includes medication, exercises, procedures, doctor checkups, and other important routines, which keeps the child on track with their treatment plan.
An educational section delivers educational content to the child regarding their clinical state, which can be available in different languages. The squirrel prompts the child to watch certain videos depending on their behavior or doctor’s recommendations. To keep the child motivated, after a piece of content has been watched, they receive a bonus, a star, that can be used in the entertainment section.
- A food section helps the child understand the importance of tracking meals and provides an estimation of how healthy the food is.
- A recognition module allows capturing information from the screen of any digital glucometer, simplifying the process of tracking blood sugar, and ensuring data is collected accurately.
- An entertainment section encourages the child to be on top of their treatment plan. They get rewards for keeping up with the daily schedule and educational content, which they can use for purchasing different apparel for the virtual character.
The child application gathers daily statistics about the child’s state and reports it to the parent application.
The parent app
The parent version has a clear and smooth design, with the NYP logo on the top-left, and richer functionality comparing to the child’s app. It allows monitoring the child’s condition, learning more about the recommended lifestyle and getting information about the doctor and NYP.
To ensure safety of personal information, it is required to enter a pin in order to gain access to the application whenever it is launched or restored.
Once the parent app is installed, the doctor needs to configure it using their personal credentials so it is tied specifically to the parent’s child. This can be done directly in the application by selecting the right patient in a hospital’s system via the FHIR interface.
Parent application features:
- A daily schedule for the parent’s child. Each activity is accompanied by brief information and a link to education materials about that step. The schedule synchronizes with the child’s app.
- A child’s profile page containing personal and medical information pulled from FHIR, and displaying a history of vital indicators for diabetes patients.
- An engagement section provides educational content on diabetes and its treatment, as well as recommendations about the child's lifestyle, such as daily routine, diet, and activity. This may include explanatory videos about why certain actions (like strict dieting in case of diabetes) are important for the current state of health, and suggestions for videos and articles.
- A doctor’s profile, which includes information about the doctor assigned to the child.
- Reminders about important events, such as doctor visits and checking blood sugar levels.
- NYP information with contact details.
The application utilizes the following FHIR resources: Patient, Condition and Observation.
The application is ultimately aimed at improving the child’s health and quality of life. It keeps children motivated in managing their health, in a fun and entertaining way, reducing the number of risk factors, such as skipping the next medication or checking blood sugar levels. Engaged with educational content, the child eventually becomes more knowledgeable about their condition and food preferences that will help them adapt to a new way of living.
The app helps parents stay on top of their child’s health; to get information and recommendations about different treatment stages and educate themselves on their child’s condition, preferred lifestyle, and prevent events that might lead to a relapse.
The application is aimed at improving patient health outcomes in one of the challenging areas for hospitals – outpatients. With this app, NYP can increase the engagement of children that are diagnosed with a chronic condition like diabetes, and their parents. It helps them to stay on top of the patient health statuses, reduce inpatient visits, and educate them as they are treated.
What's next for NYP Care Companion
- Additional customization. While the current application revolves around diabetes, it can actually help with any clinical state. Yet, to make it more appealing to different categories of young patients (different age groups, e.g. teenagers) we are going to completely revamp the UI of the application.
- New gamification elements. We are going to introduce new characters, types of rewards, customize the environment (like “the room”), and embed mini-games and other ways to better engage the child.
- Improved FHIR integration. With improved FHIR integration, the app will pull more details about the treatment plan and prescriptions so that the doctor can use that information to prepare an individual daily schedule for the patient to give better results.
- Analytics and personalized content. The analytics capabilities of the application allow analyzing the treatment process and engagement aspects (e.g. how many times the child has watched a certain video) and recommend actions based on that. For instance, if the child is not following the diet properly, he or she can be prompted to watch a video on the importance of dieting more frequently.
- Notifications. If the child misses certain procedures or routine steps, the parent will be notified about that. Important events, like doctor check-ups, can be scheduled directly in the parent’s device calendar.
- Inpatient and outpatient modes. When the patient visits a hospital, the application provides additional information and instructions.
- Dan Piekarz (ideation and concept)
- Egor Kobelev (ideation and consulting)
- Alexander Demura (product owner)
- Margarita Olshanskaya (requirements and wireframes)
- Ekaterina Chernetsova (design and animation)
- Andrew Gluschenko (the child app iOS development)
- Roman Makhnenko (the adult app iOS development)