Digital Tool for Patient-Centric Chronic Condition Management

Many people don’t act in their own best interests, especially when the benefit is over the horizon. We know current needs usually take precedence over the future. Given that bias, we’ve found that Digital Companions – app-based tools to prompt, facilitate, and support behavior change – often bring benefits into a more tangible environment. 

Mad*Pow recently completed the design and development of RA Digital Companion, an iOS app that supports patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The patient-centered app provides friendly, non-clinical support for RA patients, while also creating market differentiation for our client. We designed the app through collaboration with the client, and a team of rheumatologists, nurses, and patients. 

Our efforts were focused on understanding the RA patient’s journey and the unique challenges associated with managing rheumatoid arthritis and incorporating evidence and behavioral insights from the review of clinical guidance and literature review of the effective interventions for rheumatoid arthritis. This understanding enabled us to create a digital companion that is both patient-friendly, in features and content, and evidence-based. 

Every feature included in the app is based on solid scientific evidence of value for rheumatoid arthritis patients we identified through extensive secondary research performed at the beginning of the project. We tested our concepts and designs with patients, and incorporated stakeholder feedback to make refinements as needed. The final result is both patient-friendly and evidence-based, yet it has a non-clinical look and feel. 

Screen Shots

This was possible through adhering to six core design principles defined for this project: personal, simple, empowering, reassuring, positive, and responsive. Our goal was to design a companion that can become a daily portable source of comfort and agency, and encourage patient involvement in and accountability for their own treatment. 

The app collects data both passively in the form of activity data and environmental factors, and actively through the administration of daily symptom checks and a weekly RAPID3 survey. With this data, the app provides personalized daily feedback and encouragement to patients who are managing their condition. Through its Treatment Manager, the app provides instructions and reminders to help patients administer medication, and keep track of their usage and upcoming refills, with the goal of better adherence and improved health outcomes. 

The app also features integrations with Apple’s HealthKit, Google Fit, and the Accuweather Arthritis Weather Index, and leverages the smartphone’s calendar to manage and update a customer’s appointments and reminders. In addition to supporting the delivery and post-launch maintenance of the app, Mad*Pow also produced a promotional marketing video for the app.