New mobile services are reshaping the business of Terveystalo, Finland’s leading healthcare provider.
People's health care has evolved significantly in recent years. New treatments are developed and interest in health has increased. Still, we are faced with a whole new set of challenges that we must tackle.
- React Native
- Microsoft Azure
In today's busy lifestyle, well-being is threatened by excess amounts of sitting, being overweight and a general increase in mental problems. Getting the right treatment at the right time and with the right professional is crucial. The role of prevention in health care is playing an increasingly important role.
But how to enable a change for the better in the busy everyday life? Despite increasing knowledge of good health, lifestyle changes and specific health goals are often difficult to achieve. Customers meet with a health care professional at the appointment, but may be left unsupported in the day-to-day life where the actual change takes place.
Also, taking care of one’s health is not always easy and understandable. It can be difficult to interpret instructions from long medical records. Often, a small “nudging" would be needed to maintain a treatment regimen or lifestyle change. Asking for help, accessing the needed services and information should be easy anytime and anywhere when you need them.
This is not always easy. Firstly, the threshold for visiting a doctor’s office can be high. Secondly, small cities and rural areas can be affected by lack of doctors which can lead to situations where access to certain professional groups may be impossible due to long distances. And lastly, healthcare has traditionally been practiced in reserved appointments with health care professionals and the health care has been led by the doctor and not the customer. Our main focus was to understand customers' health care and wellbeing challenges, and provide meaningful solutions that address those needs.
Strategy and insight
We started by conducting a study where the aim was to deepen our understanding of the customers’ needs and behaviours. We also included different health care professionals, customer service personnel and other relevant stakeholders in the study in order to ensure that we understand the end-to-end experience from multiple points of view.
Based on the research, we understood that effective care comes from continuity, everyday change and timely help from a healthcare professional. Our customers appreciate easy access to treatment, continuous support from a professional, and a sense of care.
We identified that there are recurring needs that we need to take into consideration in all decisions throughout the project:
- The need for a health care professional is not tied to any specific space or moment in time
- In order to reach long term health goals, it is essential that the right health care professional is there for the customer when she needs help
- Building a trusting relationship between the customer and health care professional is mutually beneficial and will lead to better results
- It should not be the customers responsibility to remember all the details of what was discussed and planned during any appointment
- The customer should have a feeling that she is heard and cared for in all situations and that she understands what is going on
Based on the gathered insight we designed an intelligent, data-driven Oma Terveys mobile application that helps customers manage their health in the long term. The application works at all stages of the customer path to better health and it keeps the customer informed of what happens before, during and after each appointment.
Our solution is based on the three cornerstones that together will respond to the biggest challenges facing healthcare in our time:
- Customer data: Instead of showing only historical patient text records, we created insightful and relevant automated content and data visualizations that help customers manage their personal health at the right time.
- Easy access to care: By simplifying the process of getting help and aligning the work of the different health care professionals, we can guarantee access to care at the highest speed, increase consistency and improve the quality of life for the customer.
- Preventive health care: Focusing on preventive health care by offering a tailor-made digital health plan for everyday use.
We implemented the iOS and Android applications with React Native framework. For the video appointments, a native SDK for both plaforms was integrated in the app.
We interviewed our customers and tested the application with them on bi-weekly basis throughout the project. It was important for us that we listen to our customers during all phases of the design and development in order to ensure that the things we build are addressing the real customer needs. After the first release of the application we also started to use the application analytics and written customer feedback in our regular planning sessions to guide our path forward.
Within the health care industry data plays a huge role in understanding the customer. New data is created and stored in various systems every time the customer reserves an appointment, interacts with the healthcare professional or uses any of the digital services of Terveystalo. In the past this data has been functioning as a record of the past showing the customer what has happend and when. We wanted to do more than this. We wanted to harness the data in a new way and look at the future insted of the past.
During the project we built multiple algorithms that give the customer relevant suggestions about what the customer should do in the near future based on the history data and various health care models. For example, when should the customer take the next vaccine in the vaccine series, when to renew a medicine prescription and does the customer have an unused referral to physiotherapy that is going to expire soon. This way we can enable the customer to take charge of their own health and increase the odds that the customer follows the treatment plans that can lead to better health.
In addition to the relevant suggestions, the data that the customer sees should always be understandable to the customer so they can make decisions based on it. This is why we pay a lot of attention to the texts and data visualisations in the application.
Easy access to care
We want to give customers easy and fast access to health care no matter where the customer or the health care professional are located. This is why we created a digital service where the customer can reach the health care professional via chat or video anytime and anywhere. The average wait time for the customer is seven seconds, which is the fastest on the market.
Chat and video appointments lowers the threshold for getting help and encourage the customer to seek help sooner rather than later. For the healthcare professional the video and chat mean that the work can be more flexible and these virtual appointments can be distributed to different health care professionals no matter where they are located in Finland.
Preventive health care supports the customer’s quality of life. A digital health plan enables customers to accomplish health goals in every day life. In the health plan, the customer chooses which health issues she is ready to tackle and sets health goals along with a health care professional. The plan proposes the actions that help to achieve the goal. They are evidence-based interventions that will help achieve the health goal.
The plan measures and shows progress and sends reminders. The health care professional monitors health goals and reviews customer tasks and measurements. The health care professional also supports the customer to achieve the goals set for her by sending messages or comments to the customer’s progress. According to studies and customer interviews, easy interaction with the health care professionals is the most valued feature in the health plan.
Results & Impact
7 secondsaverage waiting time for a doctor chat
90%of customers give positive feedback on the remote appointments
50%of customers reviewed visualized laboratory results
4500notifications per week viewed by customers about care referrals - usage of actionable notifications
32,000personalized physiotherapy video programs
70%of customers assess that their health goals are progressing as planned or better
Design: Futurice, Palmu
Production: Futurice, Terveystalo, Tietotalo, Ninchat, Knowit
Terveystalo is the largest healthcare service company in Finland, a country known as a leader in digital transformation and well-being. The company offers versatile healthcare, occupational healthcare, medical and examination services in approximately 260 clinics and through nearly 10,000 professionals. Their customers include private individuals, companies and associations, insurers and the public sector.
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