UX / UI DESIGN
Healthcare has evolved over the last century, but why hasn't immunization registries?
Research, Ideation, Wireframe, Prototyping, User Testing, Visual Design
Sketch, Illustrator, InVision, Principle
Sept 2017 - Apr 2018
“It’s laughable in 2018 that we can’t keep track of people’s vaccines. It’s crazy.”
— Dr. Hirotaka Yamashiro
Currently in Canada, there is no system in place for people to keep track of the vaccines they have received. The paper-based system means that individuals have to update their immunization record on an individual basis, which can be easily lost.
In 2017, roughly 5,063 elementary school kids in Toronto were suspended for out-of-date immunization records. The problem keeps occurring because there is no system in place for parents to keep updated with their children's immunization and there is no way for doctors to remind them about it.
Furthermore, the system is very complicated. It creates a situation where parents without any medical knowledge have to go online to update their child's immunization record based on what is marked on the yellow card. Mistakes may occur during this process, which will then lead to wrong data for Public Health.
In addition, if an infectious outbreak occurs, healthcare providers may not be able to assess the risk of certain families and locations.
Vax is a digital immunization platform that allows individuals and families to keep track of all their vaccinations in one place. It allows people to understand what vaccinations they may need for work, school, travel or personal health.
During the first three months, I conducted primary and secondary research on the benefits of a digital immunization system, the challenges that may occur and how to best implement one effectively.
Creating an informational archive and reminder system will help vaccines reach more segments of the population. It will also be easier to transfer immunization histories when patients move to other regions in Canada. Moreover, a national immunization registry would help track vaccines side-effects and provide a stronger surveillance for vaccine-preventable diseases.
Data from immunization registries will help public health workers plan programs and manage inventories. Furthermore, public health workers can also identify at risk populations, which can aid with early intervention.
Not only does a digital immunization system help parents keep track of their children's vaccination records, but it can also help governments save money.
Having a digital immunization system in place reduces the amount of vaccines that is given as a precaution, which helps decrease immunization cost. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, parents used the Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids Statewide (LINKS) to access their children's immunization record. By doing so, it saved time, money and the need to revaccinate displaced children.
In addition, people who were displaced were still able to access their immunization history within and throughout United States. The registry contained the data of around 1.5 million people and helped over 21,000 people who later accessed it outside of Louisiana boundaries. This saved more than $4.6 million in revaccination expenses.
For part of my research, my goal was to interview two people working in public health (doctors, nurses, etc) and two people that may use a digital immunization registry (parents, travellers, etc). Some of the questions I seek to get answered included:
"THE YOUNG TRAVELLER"
Kevin is a 19 year-old Kinesiology student who is planning to travel to India over the summer. He hates keeping anything paper based on him, whether it is cash, receipts or his textbooks. He prefers to store and access everything on his laptop or smartphone. Kevin doesn't usually keep track of his vaccinations, but realizes his insurance is cheaper if he gets vaccinated.
"THE WORRIED MOM"
Mrs. Kim is the busy parent of an 8-month old baby and a 6-year-old student. She is always worried about providing the best for her children and makes sure they get their immunization shots on time. Her family moves around the country a lot, making it difficult for her to keep track of her family's paper based immunization card. her to report her daughter’s immunization.
"THE MATERNITY NURSE"
Ben works as a maternity nurse at the local hospital. For him, it is crucial he keeps up to date with all his immunizations because he is working with babies who have weaker immune systems. He currently keeps track of his flu shots through his family doctor and yellow card, but would like to have something he could look at while on the go.
I started out by sketching a storyboard to get a better sense of the user flow of Vax. From there, I went onto developing more iterations of what each individual page may look like.
The landing page informs visitors what Vax is and gives people information on the benefits of immunizations. It also allows visitors to learn more about what vaccinations they may need by taking a short quiz.
When the visitor chooses to learn more, it brings them to an overview of questions. It asks them about who the vaccination is for, the date of of birth and the area they live in.
The next part of the questionnaire asks if the person getting immunized have any pre-existing medical conditions.
After that, it would ask the visitor if they will be travelling within next 12 months. If they answer yes, more questions will show up that asks about the destination of travel and when they are travelling.
Based on the user's answers, it will show the recommended and suggested vaccinations they would need.
The immunization records will help families and individuals understand what vaccinations are coming up. They can also update, edit, print or download their personal record.
Check out the prototype below.
During the first four months, I had the opportunity to delve deeper into the different research methods and truly get a sense of the problem through user interviews and observational studies. This allowed me develop a sense of empathy for the people I am designing for and made going through the user flow easier.
The second semester consisted of the design phase. In the beginning, it was challenging to take what I learned from my research and apply it to the immunization registry. I struggled with the information architecture of Vax and had to keep going back to the basics (paper and pencil) to get a better sense of the flow of information. I also got the chance to briefly user test my application with three individuals, which helped further refine my prototype. Overall, I believe my designs and interactions can still be tightened up for the future.