Total Care Bedside
Design by: Ben Dedrick and Meghna Dholakia
Student Project. General Assembly UXDI Winter 2013
About the Product:
WebMD Total Care is a web application and companion mobile app for patients with acute
medical conditions who need a reliable, easily accessible source of information and
support during their recovery. It can work with or without direct input from care providers
to provide symptom and diagnosis information, medication reminders, recovery progress
tracking, and a persistent record of your medical history. Through the mobile app, these
features are available anywhere, and empower patients to stay on top of their own
recovery by knowing exactly what to expect, as well as what potential warning signs to
About the Project:
Total Care is a new product system designed by two students based in San Francisco,
CA. The assigned objective was to increase WebMD’s user acquisition and retention by
creating a health proﬁle tool that collects users’ health information and provides
The team was also given the constraint of choosing either a responsive web-only
implementation, or a web and native mobile implementation of this project.
“I can handle it!”
Liz is a 27-year-old professional who lives in San Francisco with her dog, Buster.
Health Habits (2/5):
Liz works a high-pressure job and tends to push her body. She rarely
takes sick days for minor illnesses and prefers to research her conditions
on the Internet for their severity rather than taking time to go into her
doctor’s ofﬁce. Liz doesn’t really like taking medication and tends to stop
taking her prescriptions once she feels better. Last week, Liz started to
develop a severe sore throat that hasn’t been getting better.
Tech Familiarity (5/5):
Liz’s career is in tech and she’s very comfortable using technology. She
tends to be online at all times, via her laptop at work and home, and with
her mobile phone when she’s out and about.
Support System (4/5):
Liz lives with a roommate and has a close group of friends, but most of
her family lives on the East Coast.
Liz has a sore throat
that won’t go away.
At home the next day, Liz realizes
she still has some questions about
her medication’s side effects, but
she’s not sure whether to try to get
in touch with her doctor. Lacking
the energy to deal with the
problem, Liz tries to ignore her
doubts and get some rest.
She checks her symptoms with
WebMD Total Care and suspects
that she may have tonsilitis. She’s
able to easily book an appointment
with her physician through her
Her physician diagnoses her with
tonsilitis and prescribes Amoxicillin.
She also recommends WebMD
Bedside to help Liz track her
recovery and answer any questions
she may have after her visit.
That afternoon, WebMD Bedside notiﬁes Liz that
it’s time for her daily check-in. By answering a
few quick questions, Liz learns that the pain
she’s been experiencing in her stomach is a
common side effect of her prescription; she gets
some tips to help minimize the discomfort, and
she knows what warning signs to look for in case
of a reaction to her medication.
Liz’s physician enters her diagnosis
and prescription into her practice’s
EHR system, which also populates
to Liz’s WebMD proﬁle.
Liz’s daily check-ins keep her feeling informed
and secure throughout the recovery process,
without the hassle of trying to stay in touch
with her doctor. She completes the course of
her antibiotics, and before she knows it, Liz has
made a full recovery!
Imported Author Today, 6:32 PM
Document the process you used to
get to the design
Existing health tools generally attempt to address one of three
areas: prevention, diagnosis, or condition management/recovery.
Prevention is saturated with feature-heavy tools, and is heavily
fragmented between various devices and services.
Diagnosis is WebMD’s current wheelhouse. Of those who use
the Internet for diagnostic information, the vast majority use
WebMD, or run Google searches that lead them to WebMD.
Management holds a number of somewhat niche applications
targeted toward extremely speciﬁc chronic conditions.
Largest gap: Recovery. There are no major tools for helping
people manage their recovery from acute illnesses.
Because of its ubiquity as a resource for diagnostic information,
WebMD is in a unique position to provide value to users who are
essentially already at the ﬁrst step of the recovery process for
Two Web-based surveys (~40 responses total) examining usage of various health tracking systems,
and four semi-structured follow-up interviews.
– Aggregating existing health tracking services isn’t feasible.
Respondents reported using a panoply of such devices and services: Fitbit (1), Nike+ (2),
MyFitnessPal (1), MapMyRide (1), Lose It! (2), Garmin (1), Fitocracy (1), Ofﬂine journal/personal
spreadsheet (4) – and 60% of respondents used none of the above!
– 74% of those who had visited medical resource sites like WebMD in the past
indicated that advice about relieving speciﬁc symptoms was important to them.
Diagnostic information and general health information/news articles were also
popular reasons for visiting (both 58%).
How often do you consult sites
like WebMD for medical information?
– 80% of those surveyed stated that they only used resources like WebMD
a few times per year. Very few users actually visit daily or multiple times
per week, and those users typically seek news articles or general health information.
– People generally trust the information they receive.
Of those respondents who found medical information through sites like
WebMD, 95% rated the information as “Moderately trustworthy” or better.
Zero respondents reported that they considered the information they received
to be “Not at all trustworthy.”
Once per year or less.
A few times per year.
Several times per week.
– Respondents were lukewarm about their knowledge of/access to their
medical records. Zero respondents said that they were “Highly aware of their speciﬁc
medical history and associated risk factors, and could access their medical records freely.”
Most felt they had reasonable knowledge: 42% rated their conﬁdence in this area at
4 out of 5, and 32% at 3 out of 5.
– 25% (!) of respondents do not complete their antibiotic regimens as prescribed.
– 40% felt that they were not adequately supported after leaving their doctor’s ofﬁce.
– Motivate return visits by ﬁnding ways to continue providing value after the initial diagnostic/symptom research phase.
– Provide easy access to persistent health records.
– Promote adherence to prescribed medication regimens through reminders and detailed treatment information.
– Act as an “always-there” guide and source of support for users who need tailored medical information after leaving
their doctor’s ofﬁce.
“You should try ﬁsh-oil supplements.”
Celeste is a 40-year-old mother and manager of an organic grocery store.
Health Habits (4/5):
Celeste takes dietary supplements and works out regularly. She ran
marathons in college, and has recently been trying to get back into it
using an online motivation tool. Celeste is a bit of a worrier and always
triple-checks her medication dosages. She’s highly sensitive to her
body and prefers to supplement medical treatments with homeopathic
remedies whenever possible. Celeste recently took a tumble during a
run and hurt her hip.
Tech Familiarity (3/5):
Celeste is fairly tech-savvy and often uses her iPad/iPhone when she’s on
Support System (5/5):
Celeste lives with her husband and her son and remains close to her
“Don’t just tell me. Write it down!”
Charles is a 60-year-old widower and retiree living in Oakland
Health Habits (2/5):
Charles was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago, and though he
mostly keeps it under control, he needs to be reminded to exercise
and check his glucose levels. Since his wife died, however, he ﬁnds
that he frequently forgets. His son, Evan, lives 30 minutes away and
calls to check up on his father whenever he can.
Tech Familiarity (2/5):
Charles uses a computer, but tends to prefer more traditional
person-to-person interactions. When he needs help with something,
he usually calls a help number or asks a friend. He doesn’t own a
Support System (2/5):
Charles lives alone and most of his family and friends have moved
out of the area.
Ideated and sketched out possible user scenarios for an
acute illness, a chronic condition, and a physical injury.
Charles – Chronic Condition
Elizabeth – Acute Condition
Celeste – Physical Injury
Walking through these scenarios lead to some pruning:
Management of chronic conditions tends to involve many
detailed processes that are highly speciﬁc to particular
diseases. Apps already exist to handle many of these on a
per-condition basis, and trying to cover them all was
outside our scope.
Physical injury could be served by a library of physical
therapy exercises, but was considered to be beyond MVP.
We also saw a strong feature in adding the ability for
caretakers (e.g. parents of ill children, or adults with elderly
parents) to monitor the health proﬁles of their loved ones,
but determined that this was also beyond our feasible MVP.
WebMD has a huge database of information and a large number of
utilities tucked away in the main site, but it’s largely decentralized and
awkward to navigate.
Our iterations primarily focused on reﬁning our scope and avoiding a
“Swiss army knife” approach that could’ve quickly spiraled out of
We drew a lot of user ﬂows to make sure we had a clear picture
of what processes needed to be covered for the user to
accomplish his/her objective.
We also asked several people to do card-sort exercises
to give us a clearer picture of their expected visual
hierarchy. This was particularly helpful in settling on a
layout for the Total Care recovery dashboard.