Overview

Problem

Preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) is difficult to detect and therefore, is often diagnosed too late into the pregnancy with pre-term birth as the only treatment option.

How might we help mothers monitor their health throughout their pregnancy so they can detect and prepare for preeclampsia as soon as possible?
 
Nuora

Minimizing Preeclampsia Risks through Early Detection

Deliverables Smart Blood Pressure Cuff & Mobile App Prototype

Client/Sponsor Tactile

Duration 12 weeks (AUT2019)

Team Solo Project

Role UX Researcher, UI/UX Designer, Industrial Designer 

Tools Figma, Sketch, Principle, Marvel, Rhino, Keyshot

Solution

Nuora is a smart blood pressure cuff that helps mothers minimize the harms of preeclampsia through at-home detection and blood pressure management.

 Weekly Updates

Nuora - Home Screens
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Daily Vitals

Daily Health.gif
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Taking Blood Pressure with Nuora

take blood pressure

Sleep Position Tracking

Sleep.gif
Apple iPhone 11 Purple.png

Risk Detection

Nuora SPT.gif
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Care Team Messaging

Nuora Care Team.gif
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Placing Accelerometer In.jpg
In Context Taking Measurement.jpg

track sleep positions

take the SP Test

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Design Process

Research

Goals

Methods

  • Analyze current detection methods

  • Discover emerging technologies in high risk pregnancy care 

  • Understand the user journey of a pregnancy with preeclampsia

  • Secondary Research

  • Competitive Analysis

  • 2 Interviews with preeclampsia patients with & without known risks

  • 1 Interview with an OBGYN

Insights

1) There are many methods to monitor/protect against preeclampsia, such as:

a) tracking blood pressure & weight

b) the Supine Pressor Test, which can detect risks

c) side sleeping.

lateral-versus-supine.jpg

2) Existing blood pressure cuffs overlook other signs of preeclampsia.

*Products can better detect preeclampsia if they also consider factors such as weight, swelling, etc.

3) Mothers with unknown or low risks often disregard their blood pressure until they are diagnosed.

Mom 2.png

"Nothing was done to assess me for preeclampsia. One midwife said I was low risk but preeclampsia doesn’t care if you are low-risk."

-Mother with no known risks

4) Mothers who work closely with their doctors have better pregnancy outcomes.

Define

Design Opportunities

​1) Allow users to monitor with a variety of methods as preeclampsia shows symptoms beyond just blood pressure.

2) Build on the existing functions of blood pressure cuffs to tailor better to preeclampsia symptoms.

3) Encourage earlier monitoring to mitigate the harms of preeclampsia, no matter the user's risk.

4) Help users stay connected with doctors throughout the pregnancy.

 

Design Principles

Holistic

Holistic-01.png

Effortless

Effortless-01.png

Accessible

Accessible-01.png

Empowering

Empowered-01.png

Blood Pressure Cuff Design

Inspired by the form of existing cuffs, Nuora's design supports features beyond blood pressure monitoring, addressing preeclampsia-specific concerns.

 
 

1st Iteration

I structured the app based on monitoring methods, with a separate feature for doctor messaging.

User Flow.jpg

I then visualized the flow into UI sketches for user testing.

Sketches.jpg

Goals

  • Brainstorm content to show on the home page

  • Consider how to provide instructions for recordings

  • Explore ways to display sleep position data visually

Feedback indicated that the sleep chart, home page, and test process needed improvements.

Feedback: This sleep results graph is difficult to understand.

Feedback: The participant preferred the baby updates to be shown on the home screen.

Paper Prototype.gif
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Feedback: Clicking "Next" after each step during the tests created too much friction. The participant also suggested adding a progress bar.

 

2nd Iteration

I applied this feedback to create some low fidelity mock-ups.

Goals

  • Redesign the sleep habit chart

  • Refine home screen

  • Incorporate past measurement charts

  • Add a progress bar during recordings

  • Refine visual design

Low Fidelity Wireframes.jpg

Feedback suggested the home screen and the Supine Pressor Test feature can be improved.

Home Page.jpg
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Home Screen: The participant suggested that separating each update into separate tabs (baby's health, mother's health, tips) would make the screen more organized.

Left Side.jpg
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Supine Pressor Test: The participant wanted a way to ensure she was doing the Supine Pressor Test correctly, either through visual or audio feedback.

 

Refinement

I applied this feedback to refine the UI/UX for the final prototype.

Goals

  • Reorganize the home screen into separate tabs

  • Incorporate visual feedback during the Supine Pressor Test

  • Refine visual design

And refined the visual UI with a design system that communicates serenity.

Design Style
Solution Details

Prior to Nuora: User Persona & Previous User Journey

Gina is a mother, with no known risks, expecting a healthy pregnancy...

but, she is blindsided when she is diagnosed with preeclampsia.

Frustrations

  • Unprepared for her diagnosis

  • Wished she knew to monitor her symptoms earlier

  • Feels guilty that she could have done more to prevent this

 

Needs

  • Knowledge of her preeclampsia development

  • Motivation to record her blood pressure earlier in her pregnancy

  • A convenient way to monitor other factors contributing to preeclampsia

Preeclampsia was diagnosed too late, leaving Gina unprepared and defeated.

First trimester leading up to diagnosis

 

Final Solution & Improved User Journey

With Nuora, Gina can monitor her symptoms early, feeling reassured and prepared leading up to her diagnosis.

Because she addressed it earlier, she is diagnosed with milder preeclampsia.

Updated Storyboard

First trimester leading up to diagnosis

Features

Weekly Pregnancy Updates

Encourage users by reminding them that consistent, healthy habits lead to healthy pregnancies.

Nuora - Home Screens
Apple iPhone 11 Purple.png
Taking Blood Pressure with Nuora

blood pressure cuff

Weight and Blood Pressure Monitoring

Daily monitoring becomes more effortless by combining health trends, past records, reminders, and communications into one system.

Daily Health.gif
Apple iPhone 11 Purple.png
Placing Accelerometer In.jpg

accelerometer (measures angle)

Sleep Position Tracking

Help users maintain a healthy blood pressure by encouraging side sleeping.

Sleep.gif
Apple iPhone 11 Purple.png
In Context Taking Measurement.jpg

accelerometer (measures angle)

blood pressure cuff

At-home Supine Pressor Test

Guide users through the Supine Pressor Test to detect preeclampsia risks.

Nuora SPT.gif
Apple iPhone 11 Purple.png

Care Team Messaging

Users can reduce in-person appointment costs and COVID exposure by contacting their doctors through the app.

Nuora Care Team.gif
Apple iPhone 11 Purple.png

Nuora makes symptom monitoring/management convenient and accessible, helping mothers prepare for and mitigate the impacts of preeclampsia as early as possible.

Success Metrics Moving Forward

  • Task Success Rate:

    • Because the SP Test is fairly unfamiliar to users, are they able to complete the test?

    • Are users able to record their weight and blood pressure?

  • Task Completion Time: How much time does it take for a user

    • to message their doctor after a risk has been detected?

    • message their doctor after an abnormal measurement is recorded?

  • User Acquisition:

    • How many users, especially those without known risks, are monitoring their health and making an effort to maintain a healthy blood pressure?

  • Retention:

    • How often do users take the SP Test?

    • How often do users track their sleep and blood pressure?

 

Reflection

Considerations

Because Nuora stores medical data, it must protect user data and ensure it is used ethically. Also, to obtain high user acquisition, it should be implemented into an existing telemedicine system to gain the trust of patients and doctors, and to better organize/share records.

Possibilities

Nuora can make healthcare more convenient, cost-effective, and safe, especially during the pandemic. Also, due to it's simple components and self-monitoring capabilities, it has the potential to become accessible to mothers in remote or developing areas.

Challenges & Takeaways

Initially, I struggled deciding which users to design for: those with known risks or without. I realized that if Nuora successfully encourages mothers without known risks to monitor early, it will be effective for mothers with known risks as well. Designing for a specific user can lead to a product that works for other users as well.

Next Steps

With more time, I'd like to add a component that can track edema (swelling) or protein in urine since those are also key in detecting kidney damage caused by preeclampsia.

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Thanks for reading, feel free to check out my other projects!