“We contacted Konform because of hot recommendations - and our high expectations were met from the first meeting. Conform dared to challenge our design manual and hit the spot. The collaboration has been very accommodating and flexible all the way - with the extra effort in terms of it. ”
Hackathons are one of the best ways to innovate and learn something new about an industry you might not have worked on before. Especially if understand the process of design sprints you are like fish in the water. In Ultrahack 2019 Sprint I, my team was challenged by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) to innovate a solution that would hack the growing problem of skin cancer.
Digitalisation is changing the conventional treatment journey of a patient in any given healthcare field. Raising awareness, self-diagnostics, health care professional appointments, diagnosis and other important phases, interactions and touch points between the patient, healthcare professional and health tech services are just a few examples. In this challenge, MSD and HUS wore particularly interested in melanoma patient’s treatment process and how to improve them with digital means. Currently, there are between 2 and 3 million new skin cancer patients and 132,000, melanoma skin cancer patients occurring globally each year. Without finding the right treatment melanoma is a deadly disease.
The team dedicated the first day of the hackathon for mapping out the problem and asking questions from the experts. During the first day, we completely pivoted from our original idea. Instead of having an image recognition AI that would assist in diagnosis, we created a platform where patients can connect with other melanoma patients and form an international peer-group. From the group, the patients could see, how other patients diagnosis has been evolving and what treatments they have been using. From this, the patient can get a lot of valuable information on different treatment options and get an idea of how successful different treatments have been. Without the shared industry knowledge from our mentors, we would have ended up with an obsolete solution.
On the second day, the team sketched their idea on how the user flow should go. They presented the sketches to me and from this, I moved into prototyping. Jari helped me with creating some hand-drawn illustrations. I decided to cut out some of the features they presented. I wanted to prototype as little as possible and focus on designing a hi-fidelity prototype in a one day. One big feature, I cut out was an application button and a form where the patient could apply to a medical trial. This was an important part of the platform as we wanted to assist the patient in finding the right treatment. It can be too late when a successful treatment moves from trial to market. But it conflicted little with the intention of having the platform anonymous. It would also introduce a new stakeholder to the mix. We already had enough to think about as it was.
I've competed in several hackathons and every time I have acquired something of value. Was it a new cryptocurrency, a customer or inspiring learning experience. This time the top three teams in the healthcare track got to pitch their solution couple weeks after the hackathon at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2019 Europe Conference. Here are my key takeaways from the hackathon and a video recording of me pitching our solution at HIMSS.
Google can be a really helpful tool to diagnose your every ache and bump as cancer, but how can it assist you when it turns out that it is actually cancer? Healthcare has a lot of room for digitalisation and innovation. Especially if you look from the patient's side. We really need to work and create equal access to the right information. The patients need to be empowered enough to make sure that they are equipped with information about their diagnosis and this way have better success with their journey to recovery.
Ghostwriters - not a good idea. If your teammate wants to save your time by writing a pitch deck for you, don't let them. Memorising an exiting pitch deck is more time consuming than going through the process of creating one yourself. If you watch closely the video recording of me pitching Iho at HIMSS 2019 Europe Conference in Helsinki, you can spot me trying to retain words, particularly when I change into a new slide.
Excellent mentorship can change everything. We came into the hackathon whit an idea of making image recognising AI that will assist the patient and the doctor in diagnosing melanoma. During the hackathon, the mentors from MSD and HUS made sure that we realised that diagnosing is rarely the issue in the Nordics and other western countries where melanoma is a growing issue. We really needed to focus on the critical part of the patient journey that starts after the initial diagnosis. If you want to innovate in the healthcare industry, I urge you to look into the same direction.
If you wish to know more about the project please do contact me.
Eko Game Jam is a game jam that brings together environmental data and game jams. With the help of the event producer, I designed and developed the whole visual and online presence for Eko Game Jam.
Circul is a marketplace where you recycle construction material for free. Read my case study how I designed Circul from an abstract brief.