Frances Yan
User Experience Researcher
Made with


Defining Applications for
Diagnostic Biosensors

Generative research

A pharma co's venture into a new market

Project Role - UX Researcher
Team - Industrial Designer, UX Designer, Sensor & Printed Electronics Engineers
Client - Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical

Background

Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was approached to conceptualize a personalized healthcare platform that leverages its in-mouth biosensing technology to diagnose and monitor various health conditions.

Ideation WorkshopTo narrow an ambitious yet broad scope, I facilitated activities for stakeholders from different business units to capture their respective goals, and align on opportunity spaces from desk research and existing market research.

Ideation Workshop

To narrow an ambitious yet broad scope, I facilitated activities for stakeholders from different business units to capture their respective goals, and align on opportunity spaces from desk research and existing market research.

Methods

  • Semi-structured interviews

  • Cultural probes

  • Form factor evaluation & benchmarking

I planned, recruited, and co-designed the probes for two rounds of research. Each round consisted of 6 participants who use currently use a smart health device.

Results & Impact

I led exploratory research to identify user needs and behaviors related to managing oral health, and evaluate the perceived value of a smart oral device with diagnostic capabilities. The insights resulted in three product-service concepts for monitoring oral health between dental visits and diagnostic tools for other conditions.

My work enabled

  • the Engineers to define technical requirements and a product development roadmap informed by what users want to monitor and how they want to do it.

  • the Industrial Designer to create artifacts that reflected preferred form factors.

  • our Innovation Consultant to define business model canvases that demonstrate how the proposed use cases align with client's consumables-based business.

  • the UX Designer to develop storyboards and preliminary mockups of a digital health assistant.

To help our client connect insights to our recommendations, I also developed

  • 3 archetypes to outline use cases by high to low health engagement

  • 3 service blueprints to highlight critical touchpoints in the user journey, such as a desire to share data with dental providers

The client expressed interested in further exploring two of the concepts to drive a new digital transformation effort.

Challenges & Lessons Learned

Contractual complexities led to some initial siloing between Design and Engineering. After the first round of research, I learned that the biosensing technology was much more mature for certain biomarkers than others. What I could've done:

  • Probed further on the technical constraints during the scoping to identify conditions with the most promising biomarkers that are also of interest to the client.

  • Therefore recruited participants with such conditions to better explore the specific problem space and their unmet needs.

Many details from this project are confidential.
Contact francessyan@gmail.com if you'd like to learn more about the process.