How We Helped Our Client Build an Innovative Startup with Gamification in Healthcare

By: Tanya Kobzar

healthcare / mobile development / startups

30.03.2021

Five years ago, we received an interesting and challenging request from the client. The task was to create an innovative healthcare product that would help the medical community improve the quality of care, accelerate research, and perform more precise patient data collection.

Who is the Client?

The client is a mobile health platform that modernizes brain healthcare with on-demand cognitive, psychiatric, and neurological evaluations. 

What were the business goals? 

The business goals were:

  • Building a complex mobile application, specifically geared for the medical community 
  • Having a proper precision measure and security standards 
  • Meeting HIPAA compliance criteria
  • Setting up the first studies in the Research Universities that would use the product
  • Getting ready for the new round of funding
  • Gaining FDA approval, eventually

What kind of challenges did they face? 

To provide a quality alternative to the old pen-and-paper tests the new platform should have fulfilled the challenging requirements:

  • A precise measurement of all the user’s actions stored securely on the server
  • Quality speech recognition service that would work offline
  • The HIPAA-compliant mobile application and backend
  • Engaging tests to keep patients’ attention for a long time
  • The carefully versioned and documented application so that it should be clear which version of the app the data belongs to
  • A transcription system for processing the patients’ speech
  • The app that is easy to understand and use for elderly people with some cognitive impairment
  • The UI design suitable for different possible cases like left- and right-handed users or color-blind people
  • Easy access for clinicians to a useful data processing dashboard with precise permission schemes
  • Explicitly stated user consent to participate in the study and agree to data processing

What type of products did they need?

The platform consists of:

  • A mobile application that collects information about the patient via a short questionnaire and then provides an individual (defined by a clinician) set of cognitive tests in the form of engaging mini-games, with all the user activity data collected and sent to the backend
  • The backend that collects and processes all the data and an Admin panel for managing users and patients
  • A dashboard for clinicians with data visualization
  • A web application that transcribes all the voice-recognized records

A few words about us…

We are Diversido (https://diversido.io/), a web and mobile development company from Ukraine with strong experience in healthcare and education solutions. Communication, responsibility, honesty, and transparency are the key values that allow us to successfully deliver products since 2013.

A short video about us and our first steps:

Applied approach and solution

  • As the product was innovative, the requirements regularly changed based on the clinicians’ and patients’ feedback. High flexibility was needed, so we chose the Time and Material approach.
  • We chose Unity 3D for the mobile application. It is designed for game development, has a lot of useful features for games, and is a cross-platform solution, so we could easily add Android when needed.
  • We used Ruby on Rails first as the backend technology. With it, it’s possible to quickly build an elegant solution and it has a good admin console out of the box. But later, it was migrated to Python with Django because it allowed for better integration with the scientific data processing libraries.
  • For the front-end, we chose ReactJS as a robust and effective technology. It allowed us to create a responsive web application with a set of reusable components.
  • PHI data was stored on the HIPAA-compliant TrueVault servers.
  • We tried several different speech recognition services and chose the most fitting one — OpenEars, IBM Watson, Kaldi. 
  • We applied Agile best practices in the work process, like daily meetings, regular status updates, control of the overall progress, continuous delivery and integration.

Work process in details

We applied the Agile iterative approach. We started with the minimum functionality, with deliverables as the working system, and added the new functionality during each consequential iteration. So, it was possible to release it at any time, collect feedback from the clinicians and patients, and adjust correspondingly.

Each iteration consisted of the following phases.

Phase 1 — Requirements Analysis and Planning

Tasks to be done are discussed, clarified, documented, added to the backlog, and prioritized, based on the received feedback and the market demand. After that, we plan which tasks we are going to complete in the next iteration.

Phase 2 — Design, Development, and Testing

We always follow the continuous integration and delivery principle — starting with the minimum functionality, first iteration deliverables are the working system that each consequential iteration adds the new functionality to. So, it is possible to release it at any time and create demo builds to show to potential clients or investors.

All stages — design, development, and QA — are carried out in parallel. While waiting for the design of particular elements, developers focus on ones that do not require design resources, and a QA engineer prepares checklists and test plans before the first task is ready for testing. 

We have daily meetings with the team to have quick updates, discuss ongoing questions, etc.

Phase 3 — Deployment, Review, and Launch

At the end of the iteration, we have all the 100% complete features and tasks available in the Staging environment. All stakeholders are able to check it up and share their feedback.

If everything looks good, we deploy it to Production, create the corresponding builds, QA does the final testing to make sure everything works properly, and we are ready for the new iteration. But before starting it, we have a short retrospective on how the previous iteration ran and what should be improved.

Results

  • We created a set of mini-games replacing pen-and-paper tests for the following assessments — attention, calculation, executive function, fine motor function, verbal learning and memory, processing speed, speech, language, and visuospatial function.
  • The product is a HIPAA-compliant solution that is getting FDA approval.
  • The company filed several patents;
  • The solution is used for multiple clinical research studies

Feedback from the Client

They’re committed to their clients and care about the products they work on. You can’t find a better team for mobile game development. 

What’s Next?

We would be happy to tell you more about the Healthcare products development and innovation integration to them or assist in any other way,  just drop us an email at contact@diversido.io

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