Long-distance caregiving made one touch away
2022 CreateSC Designathon
ConnectCare is a senior-friendly mobile app with a two-way modification and monitoring system
that connects the elderly with their long-distance caregivers, providing easy access to remote support
and staying diligent on appointments and medication schedules.
As part of the annual CreateSC designathon challenge, I paired up with two other designers
(Renata and Jared) to create a mobile app that promotes and reflects the principles of wellness
in design, incorporating wellness tools and solutions that empower the user.
More than 40% of seniors regularly experience loneliness, and over 55% of seniors do not properly take their medications, resulting in one-third of all hospital re-admissions.
Most importantly, advanced technology is isolating our elderly, shutting down channels of communication that have caused them to feel increasingly disconnected from society.
ConnectCare seeks to close the gap between elderly people living on their own facing loneliness and separation from family and friends, with caregivers looking for a more efficient way of taking care of their long-distance patients.
At the heart of ConnectCare is a senior-friendly user experience system that features enlarged texts and icons, as well as reduced pathways in navigation.
I. Issues faced by the elderly
Isolation and loneliness
Over 40% of seniors regularly experience feelings of separation and disconnection from others, which could lead to serious health problems
and even death.
Keeping track of medication
More than 55% of seniors do not properly take their medications, with those living on their own especially prone to forget.
Studies indicate that up to 30% of all hospital readmissions in the senior population are due to medication non-adherence.
Barriers to technology
Reduced reactivity and visual impairments, as well as an overall lack of technological guidance and knowledge make it difficult for seniors to navigate complex technologies.
II. Issues faced by caregivers
Stress and depression
Senior patients need round-the-clock care, putting immense physical and mental tolls on caregivers.
Roughly half of caregivers have reported experiencing symptoms of depression.
Nearly 13% of caregivers in the U.S. live more than an hour's drive from the recipient of care, translating to difficulties establishing access to the patient's medical records and finding local resources or support services for the senior.
We analyzed various products aimed at supporting and empowering the elderly and caregiver communities.
ianacare enables caregivers to request and receive support on everyday caregiving tasks and equips them with employee benefits and expert resources, connecting them to a larger caregiver community.
EyeOn is an alert service system that enables an elderly person to easily call for help through a push notification to designated emergency contacts.
The app also allows for automated check-ins throughout the day and will notify contacts if there is a missed check-in.\
We found that there is no product that connects seniors and their caregivers together through the same platform with personalized experiences and functions that simultaneously cater to the needs of both groups.
What makes ConnectCare unique?
With a two-way modification and monitoring system that connects and provides separate interfaces for the elderly and their caregivers, ConnectCare is an all-in-one platform that integrates a one-click alert service system with support systems to keep patients and caregivers on track with anything from taking daily medications to setting up recurring doctor visits.
We looked into apps with simple interfaces, large texts and increased contrast between colors
that make it easier to read and navigate for our older audiences.
We designed a thorough set of wireframes from the onboarding process to separate interfaces
for the senior and the caregiver profiles. This was a crucial step for experimentation
and flushing out every feature (calendar, contacts, resources, monitoring daily tasks etc.)
ConnectCare's design system was created with the needs
of elderly users (esp. those with impaired visions) in mind.
We followed recommendations for developing senior-friendly mobile apps and incorporated
the use of enlarged buttons, high-contrast colors and large font sizes with thicker weights.
The Final Product
Here is a look at ConnectCare's high fidelity prototype and its core features
The onboarding section differentiates the user into senior vs.caretaker, and pairs the user up with their corresponding patient(s) and caretaker(s).
The user is then presented with a series of questions that determine information crucial to ConnectCare's personalized experience, including medical history and setting up daily check-ins between the two user groups.
Creating a senior profile
Creating a caretaker profile
Simple Dashboard and Home Page to access key functions, view daily tasks and receive reminders
One-Click Alert System to call for help through a push notification system to designated emergency contacts
Customized Profiles to store personal information and past medical records/history
Calendar to keep track of medication
schedules and daily tasks in advance
Daily Tasks Checklist that can be edited and
monitored from both ends (senior/caretaker)
Contacts Page to quickly reach emergency contacts with options to text/video/audio call
Professional Resources and Local Hotlines
that can be accessed within two taps
How to design for a generation left behind by technology:
Minimize information & maximize impact
The rapid pace of innovation brings along with it new technologies meant to make life more convenient,
but more often than not, they prove to be burdensome to navigate for an aging population.
It always pains me to see my grandparents and other seniors their age struggle with navigating mobile phones and new technologies, which is why I suggested to my team to create an app for this population during our brainstorm session.
I delve into the project knowing that our product needed to work both in form and in function.
It needed to provide solutions to issues faced by seniors/caretakers in a practical method, by creating a highly intuitive, legible interface that eliminates unnecessary functions and elements.
Working under time pressure
A designathon is always a challenging yet rewarding experience, especially under a 24-hour timeline.
I am grateful to have brought such a powerful idea to life with the help of my teammates, Renata and Jared, even as we worked 100% remote throughout the project. The tight deadline motivated us to efficiently delegate responsibilities right from the start and be highly receptive to receiving each other's feedback.
With more time, I would have liked to add customization settings for the UI, be able to sync with native apps like Apple Health to create a more personalized, data-driven experience, and conduct user surveys and testing to see how users respond to the app.