Connected device for people living with HIV

For this project, my challenge was to create a system consisting of an mobile application and a sensor patch that monitors body chemistry painlessly. Using this system, how might it integrate into an HIV-positive person’s life and help them and their caregivers better manage the virus?

Project Length: 5 weeks
Collaborators: Individual
Skills: Systems Thinking, Digital Prototyping, User Research


Remote user interviews

I found it challenging to find research participants. HIV related stigma and discrimination still exist and many HIV-positive people want to remain anonymous. I found that Reddit has a strong and active HIV community and I reached out on this platform. I interviewed three participants via Skype. I wanted to learn their pain points when managing HIV on a daily basis but understand how they plant to manage the virus longterm. 


Journey mapping

I synthesized the data from my research and quickly learned that a partner in an HIV relationship plays a much greater role than I previously thought. I created journey map that documents how an HIV-positive person manages HIV on a weekly basis and how this affects his partner. 


Product Planning

Before jumping into wireframing, I created a series of system maps including a product service ecology and a user conceptual model to better understand the ecosystem in which this connected device exists. These maps helped me visualize the fundamental purpose for a mobile application and wearable device and the different ways these components communicate.


UI Design

With a strong understanding of the user needs and product goals, I started to brainstorm the UI of the mobile application. My research insights, journey map and conceptual diagrams helped guide the first iteration.



Design Evolution

The first iteration shows very rudimentary wireframes. I explored different ways to break down information. The second iteration starts to feel more like an interactive application. Testing between the second and third iteration informed my design decisions.

Research insights:
+  Users had a hard time finding important information
+  People couldn't anticipate behavior when using buttons
+  Users commented that the application felt impersonal



Final Design & Learnings

The immune system of an HIV-positive person is constantly under attack by the HIV virus. HIV-positive people learn about their health 2-3 times a year when and if they see a doctor. This device aims to tighten the feedback loop between HIV-positive people and their health.

+  Now, patients can see how their lifestyle affects their health. If an HIV-positive person experiences an increase of HIV in their system, he and his doctor are notified immediately.

+  It is important for an HIV-positive person and their partner to communicate about their health in order to have a safe sexual relationship. This application will notify both people if their levels are unstable and should take precaution during sex. 

+  With modern medicine, HIV is becoming easier to treat. Patients, however, must take their medication regularly. This device helps patients form the habit of taking medication on time.