In the medical field, technology is everywhere, and the available solutions allow us to design tools that can reassure patients, optimize the day of the caregivers and even help save lives. Hand in hand with Atipik, SOS Médecins Genève has designed a mobile app to facilitate the prioritization of cases and communication with patients. For a more efficient response to emergencies and a faster transmission of information to patients.
SOS Médecins Genève, providing home care since 1987
For 34 years, 50 doctors have been travelling the city of Calvin to provide home consultations. These specialized doctors provide care in general medicine, but also in emergencies, traumatology, pediatrics and psychiatry. In 2015, SOS Médecin Genève wanted to offer a modern and practical tool that informs, reassures and simplifies the administrative procedures for patients who are waiting for medical care.
The need for more transparency and organization between SOS Médecins and their patients
Rather than spending money on advertising campaigns, SOS Médecins approached the Atipik team with the desire to invest in a tool that was truly useful to their patients. After an in-depth study of their internal processes and an immersion in the daily life of their medical teams, we quickly found several friction points in terms of communication and transparency.
Different levels of urgency depending on the case
The majority of SOS Médecins' patients call for non-life-threatening emergencies, so it was very common for patients to have to wait a long time. As the interventions were classified - as in traditional emergency centers- according to the degree of seriousness, it happened that the patients contacted the call center again to know when the doctor would arrive at their home. This could, at times, overwhelm the responding medical practitioners, who could not always provide accurate information. We, engineers, designers, developers, have all experienced this at some point in our lives. And we understood that waiting is a synonym of important stress that is harmful for the patient and those around him. We needed to find a simple way to reassure patients about the process of care, to reduce the anxiety of waiting.
The medical record, an information transmission that is not so simple
Emergency physicians must send their patients a report of the intervention, what is commonly known as the "anamnesis". A copy must also be sent to the patient's family physician, but this physician was not always known by the emergency team, and the doctor did not systematically give a copy of the report to his patient. A clear problem of transparency and information exchange made post-operation difficult. The transmission of this information between the patient and the medical staff needed to be improved.
The challenge of managing confidential patient data
Medical information is classified as very sensitive and has been the subject of heated debates for several years, even more so with the arrival of health apps, which collect an impressive amount of private data without necessarily informing their users. Our challenge was to successfully deliver sensitive medical information to patients in optimal security conditions and without imposing endless registration procedures, which would have discouraged anyone from using the service. The goal was to better inform users before and after the doctor's intervention by allowing them to access all their information quickly and securely.
The SOS Médecins mobile app!
1. Monitor the status of care in real time
Throughout the design of the product, we kept in mind two main goals: to reassure and inform. Thanks to the management feed, the patient is aware of the status of the procedure down to the second. Who is my doctor, is he or she on their way, what is their position, how long will it take for them to arrive at my bedside? Displayed in the app and transmitted via push notifications, this information considerably reduces the stress factor of the patient and his loved ones.
In order to be able to provide real-time information on the status of consultations and treatments, we needed to know everything about the status of doctors on the move. We designed a business app, used by the emergency physicians, which allowed them to see the information transmitted by the patient to the central office. We integrated a real-time geolocation module, which allowed us to constantly locate all the emergency vehicles in the canton, and to inform patients in real time.
2. Return the medical record to the patient
At Atipik, we believe that the medical record belongs to the patient. We have therefore proposed to modify the usual process of transmitting medical reports and analyses by transmitting them directly to the main interested party: the patient. These documents are sent 24-48 hours after the emergency visit and can be shared with a referring physician.
3. Direct access to all useful information
Other informative features have been designed for the app and its users. In particular, the address and phone number of the on-call pharmacy that is currently open are made available at a glance. Information on current events, to keep up with the progress of the flu epidemic or relevant medical news.
A successful launch for the SOS Médecins mobile app
The goals were largely exceeded, the mobile app, downloaded thousands of times, is the main tool for patients, the anamnesis reports are transmitted to the patients as soon as the report is written and the call center could focus on the main task: to respond quickly to emergency requests. Both patients and physicians were delighted with the app!