“As product designers, we have to fall in love with the problem instead of the solution,” says Jonathan Kochis, head of Research and Design at the London, Ontario based firm Res.im. “Focus on the solution, and you end up with a narrow view, possibly missing something crucial.”
Res.im has partnered with CANet to design front-end elements of the VIRTUES Clinical Platform – CANet’s user-driven clinical application that will transform how patients and clinicians manage arrhythmia.
VIRTUES will give doctors and patients the most up-to-date medical records at a moment’s notice. It will empower patients and caregivers to be active partners in the management of their health.
Kochis highlights the growing demand by consumers to have everything that they might need at their fingertips, accessible via phone.
Healthcare organizations must move away from traditional ideas of healthcare access, and meet these expectations.
“VIRTUES is meeting that consumer demand,” Kochis says. “It is smart and necessary.”
CANet has also partnered with multiple companies across Canada to leverage world-class expertise in developing cutting-edge healthcare which also helps foster economic growth.
These collaborations will help CANet come closer to its strategic goal of significantly improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and accessibility of arrhythmia care delivery in Canada and the world.
“It is not every day that we have the opportunity to participate in work that has the potential to really improve somebody’s health and quality of life,” Kochis says.
VIRTUES will help clinicians and patients efficiently track cardiac events through device monitoring such as atrial fibrillation episodes. The hope is to eventually predict and prevent future episodes.
“Res.im helps design digital products, and make them easier to use,” Kochis says.
When trying to make VIRTUES more user-friendly, Kochis and his team had to think in terms of what the application required – was it to record something, communicate with healthcare professionals, or get a health status update – or maybe, all of the above?
“These tasks apply to everybody, and it cuts across age and digital experience,” he says. “If somebody needs to record a medical incident, for example, we want to give the user the least number of steps to complete the task in a way that is obvious to both experienced users and novices.”
The outcome, according to Kochis is simplicity. The user should not do anything more than is necessary.
“CANet is excellent at communicating with us, and keeping us in the loop at every stage of the product design and development,” Kochis says. “It has been a great relationship.”
He mentions how VIRTUES has given Res.im the confidence to work on a sophisticated suite of healthcare products. The company hopes to leverage this experience for similar work in the future.
“Even if we are a small part in this really big initiative, and help it move forward, that will be great,” Kochis says.