»When the industry refers to industry 4.0, the outpatient healthcare sector can be defined as healthcare 0.8. The way in which processes are managed, costs an incredible amount of money, effort – and human lives.«

Member of an Association of Statutory Health Insurance

Wrong medication, wrong dose, wrong combination – medication errors can result in severe patient injury or death: In Germany alone, more than 25.000 people die every year because of medical mistakes, making it a leading cause of death – physicians confirm that pharmaceutical therapy is the most error-prone part of medical care. For this problem, Simpill finds a remedy: The app is a secure, easy-to-use medication management platform which is intended to help patients take the medication on time and as directed. App feature highlights include a medication schedule and reminder program, a personalised package insert and a drug interaction checker – these features enable patients to understand their medical treatment and assume responsibility for their own health.

Project: Simpill
Client: HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd
Services: Application Design
Duration: Bachelor, 7th semester, 2018
Programs: Sketch, Principle, Illustrator, InDesign, Atom (HTML, CSS)
Team: Vanessa Friesen
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The challenge — turning the patient's needs into solutions

At first, we started with a substantial research and analysis used to gain in-depth information about patient’s underlying motivations and to develop a deep understanding of the topic and possible problems. Medication adherence is primarily in the domain of the patient: Several patient-related factors, including lack of understanding of their disease, lack of involvement in the treatment decision-making process, and suboptimal medical literacy, contribute to medication nonadherence. Millions of people don't take their medicine correctly, forget to take it, stop medication too early, or aren’t aware of interactions between medicines – the consequences can be deadly. As a source of information for patients, the package leaflet plays a crucial role in the transmission of medicine-related information. Measures aimed at improving the intelligibility of package leaflets are currently under discussion – at EU level, however, there are no binding rules on how to improve the comprehensibility of patient information leaflets, and there is as yet no obligation to perform a readability test, either. With this problems in mind, we’re able to ideate and solve a design challenge which keeps the focus on our users and their needs: »How can we provide polymedicated patients with the support they need to manage their medicines in order to retain, regain and increase their health?« After framing this key question, we can turn the patient’s needs into solutions and prototypes, starting with structuring features and building an user-centric information architecture.


The application — medication assistant for patients

The primary goals and benefits of this patient-centered app are to give the support and information you need to safely take pills, prevent medication errors and improve individual health outcomes. After downloading the app, the user will be asked to input information about him and the medications he takes, such as: individual health situation, allergies, the medication dose, timing, reminders and alerts – if the doctor has not prescribed anything, it's also possible to import the suggested dosage and timing from the information leaflet. The assistant makes it easy to maintain an accurate list of current and past medicines with access to customized package leaflets – which is unique on the market. Other key features include a daily medication schedule and reminder program, a drug interactions and comparisons checker, and a pain and measurement diary. It is a matter of concern to reduce complex issues to the essentials without omitting relevant information – the design is deliberately understated and only as complex as necessary, too. Based on these requirements and Top Findings, the features are implemented within the prototypes that are then tested, iterated, and refined through user testings.

»We don’t always ask for all medications being taken by patients. In the end, the doctor only examines whether his prescribed medicines are compatible with each other. The major problems with these processes are over the counter pharmaceuticals – and this is what is most dangerous: When patients receive whatever and whenever they want.«

Doctor's assistant


The website — health data platform for physicians

The website is designed to provide doctors with information that may be helpful for the diagnosis and ensure better treatments for their patients. Therefore, the patient can scan a QR code with his app during the consultation, whereby relevant info such as his individual health situation, allergies, medication and measurements are transmitted - if he's not on site, data can be communicated to the doctor per fax or e-mail, as well. Due to the daily usage of the application, the physician can be certain that his patient's information is complete and up-to-date. For example, both prescription and non-prescription medicines are displayed here; often, physicians don’t know about all of the medications patients are taking – this can lead to dangerous drug interactions. Furthermore, the system guarantees the protection of information and the privacy of the patient, who alone is able to authorize access to his personal details.

Print products — promoting Simpill

To complement the brand, we created business cards, two sets of postcards, bags and a documentation which describes our process during the whole semester. Similiar to the app, the visual approach of the print products is centered on minimalist and reduced compositions: The clear, modern typography and logotype were conceived to emphasize the quality and reliability that defines Simpill. By replacing the rectangular dots on the i’s with slightly enlarged circles, the logo itself reminds of medication and arouses interest in the contents. Furthermore, the brand name Simpill already exemplifies our approach to simplify medication and treatments for patients – to enhance the effect of the logo, the bold typography is placed largely on print products, effectively using contrasts of weight, size and proportion. The soft and delicate color palette varies from white to black – accented with bright blue and red shades and coupled with open white-space – cultivating a minimal and modernist aesthetic which is carried throughout all digital and printed products. Although simple, the brand’s identity quietly communicates its desire to provide only what is necessary.

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