There are a lot of complex problems in healthcare that can be approached with service design thinking. One of them is migrant health.
More than 50% of the women that give birth in Vienna are not born in Austria. Pregnancies of migrant women are more problematic than pregnancies of locals. Care and prevention services are used less. Together with women from different countries and health care professionals we developed new ideas and solutions to improve migrant health.
Service Design Process & Methods
User Research and Journey Mapping
Our first goal was to find out how women from other countries currently experience their pregnancy in Vienna. What was the typical patient journey? Which were the major pain points? Therefore we conducted in-depth contextual interviews with pregnant women and young mothers at their homes and in parks. A large pain point turned out to be the communication with the doctor. Interestingly, by digging deeper, it turned out that the actual problem was not so much the language barrier itself. Rather it was the lack of information regarding what will happen during the visit and what is expected from the patient. Most importantly, the fear of making errors, partly grounded in previously experienced prejudices against migrants, kept women from asking important questions.
In addition, we asked women to document what motivates and delights them in their everyday life in a photo diary. We used this visual material as inspiration and information to make the service as delightful and interesting as possible.
Moreover, we interviewed health care professionals and social workers, in order to learn about the challenges from the service providers’ point of view. A day of shadowing and observing what is happening in the hospital provided a lot of insights.
Co-Creation, Prototyping & UX Testing
Based on the user research results we developed several ideas which we illustrated with storyboards, user scenarios and sketches. This material was used as input for a co-creation workshop with migrant women, conducted at a local community center.
The next step was creating paper prototypes of the most promising ideas. We made simple interactive prototypes for digital and non digital service touchpoints, including a multi-lingual pregnancy app, a health-related cardboard game, a culture-sensitive medical history assessment, mini-profiles of the medical staff working in the emergency room, etc.
We tested these prototypes several times with users and health care staff and revised them based on their feedback. Then we created a priority list for implementation based on the expected customer benefit, technical feasibility, cost, and our freedom of action as a private start-up.
Pregnancy App and Services
In the first phase of the project we developed a multi-lingual pregnancy app. In a playful way the app provides timely health tips, guidance through local healthcare services and first answers on personal questions and worries. Moreover, it helps women to prepare for medical visits and confidently ask everything that is important for staying healthy during pregnancy. Motivation, empowerment and a strengthening of confidence were important guiding principles for design. The app is at the center of a larger service concept to improve migrant health which also foresees interventions directly at medical practices and hospitals.
This Project (“Anne Eli”) was funded by