Bringing accessible healthcare technology in low-resource environments
2016 winner Design of the Year, President’s Design Award
User Research, UX Design, UI Design, User Testing
Maternal health and infant mortality are two of the biggest healthcare challenges facing the world today. In hopes of helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations, GE Healthcare set out to develop a portable ultrasound device that would provide better access to healthcare for mothers in low resource nations.
Imagined specifically for primary health workers, the Vscan Access would need to be designed from the ground up in order to assess pregnancy risks early. And help expand the reach of quality care to mothers who need it most.
To help turn this vision into a reality, Chemistry worked with an international and cross-functional team at GE Healthcare that spanned across India, Singapore and China. We were tasked with creating a simple yet powerful user experience for the Vscan Access. In addition, we put a human-centric approach at the core of our development process.
What We Did
Our team conducted extensive ethnographic research in Indonesia. Then, we synthesised insights surrounding the needs and challenges of mothers and healthcare workers in low-resource environments.
We leveraged our findings within the conceptual process, hosting creative workshops to envision the applications for both the hardware and software of the device.
Our team built the entire UX & UI design of the front-end touchscreen experience from the ground up. As well as worked with GE Healthcare to maintain our design vision throughout the development of the device.
Today, the Vscan Access is being used in developing countries with a pressing need for prenatal care. This includes places as far-off as the hills of Papua New Guinea and remote parts of Africa.
In addition, the user experience of the Vscan Access has practically no learning curve to it—enabling midwives and other healthcare workers to begin using it very quickly.
The features we designed are helping the device gain traction as a popular tool for labor wards and delivery rooms across the globe. So far, more than 2000 Vscan Access units have shipped throughout Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia. In addition, the device is now being used in Asia and Europe as well.
“We continue to get good feedback about the design of the product and how suitable it is for the environment — the portability, battery operation, and simple touch screen UI are the most appreciated qualities.”Vaishali Kamat, Head of Digital Portfolio & Education Global Product Leader, Vscan Access