Asthma Insight

Asthma management platform for patients and healthcare providers to collaborate and continuously implement preventative measures.

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Overview

Product Concept

Asthma Insight is a preventative care app for asthma patients. The platform allows both the patients and their healthcare providers to track, report, and analyze treatment progress and long-term health status.

Aha! Moment

“Managing your daily life when you have asthma can sometimes be difficult,” said founder and CEO of Asthma Insight, Sunny Wathanacharoen. Drawing from his own experience living and dealing with asthma, Sunny set out to build an app to help other asthmatic people (including his children) take control of their condition to live more proactive and more enjoyable lives.

Founder story

“I grew up with asthma and my kids have it as well and it was important for me to be able to have tools and resources to be able to prevent asthma attacks for myself, but really for my kids, to leverage technology to allow them to feel better,” Sunny shared.

“With Asthma Insight, people with asthma can take better control of their lives through monitoring and tracking triggers that would cause them to have an asthma attack. The app will have educational resources and tips to help them feel better, as well as allow them to document their asthma action plans should they have an asthma attack or not feel well.”

Client

Asthma Insight

Project Category

Mobile App, Web App, Website

App Category

Healthcare

Venture Phase

Seed Phase

Client Highlight

Pilots with hospitals, clinics, and schools

What We Did

  • tick Product Strategy

  • tick UX/UI Design

  • tick Prototyping

  • tick MVP Development

  • tick HIPAA Compliance Review

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Problem

For Sunny, this was the first time he built an app venture from the ground up. For him, the old saying “do it right the first time” was something he took to heart. He wanted to find a company to partner with that would help educate him along the way, but also a company that could work efficiently on his project. That way, he could bootstrap and self-fund his project until he secured serious investors.

As he was vetting resources in the Kansas City area, he met Lean Start Lab. Our commitment to our clients and our straightforward, no-BS approach was refreshing for him. Impressed by the know-how and energy of the team, he decided to partner with us to work on his app platform.

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Solution

Strategy

When Sunny came to us, he had a long and unorganized laundry list of features he wanted for Asthma Insight. Overall the project was very ambitious, and thus, not at all lean.

To kick things off, we spent time discussing, debating, and defining what the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for Asthma Insight should be. We dove deeper into the specifics of each feature and sought to understand the use cases for his platform but quickly ran into a roadblock: none of us had asthma! We don’t really know what a day in life of a person with asthma would look like.

To really understand the users, not only did we learn from Sunny what his day-to-day looks like having to deal with asthma, we also did our own research using both primary sources (interview other people with asthma) and secondary sources (news articles and research papers on asthma).

Using the newly gained understanding of asthma, we redefined the product roadmap for Asthma Insight and begun strategically planning the build order of the features on the platform. The main was: to create a functioning HIPAA-compliant app that Sunny would be able to demo to doctors, hospitals, schools, and parents to get some early adopters, gather feedback, and gain some traction. From there, we kept narrowing down and prioritizing the list of features until we reached the MVP definition.

“I like working with the team. I'm a people person. It's always light-hearted. We’re always innovating. Brainstorming meetings are the most fun meetings I have. If they don’t know something they're gonna look it up and do proper research to make sure they've got it down. Maybe too much, but they do research the heck out of it.”

Asthma Insight solution image

Design

If you’ve read some of our other case studies, you’d know we love to whiteboard with our clients. In fact, whiteboarding and brainstorming sessions are the sessions our clients say they enjoy the most, Sunny especially. In our first session with Sunny, we took the newly defined MVP and began creating flowcharts for the main user journey on Asthma Insight.

After the flowcharts were completed, we began drawing some basic sketches for the main screens of Asthma Insight. Once Sunny was comfortable with the basics, we began to wireframe the layout of the platform. We aimed to capture the essence of Sunny’s vision before we moved to working on the high-fidelity designs.

When the high-fidelity design work began, it was time to choose the style guide. We settled on blue and white as the main colors, a palette which is calming to look at, as it’s a heathcare app. Additional colors such as green, yellow, and red are used to indicate different levels of health status of an asthma patient.

After the high-fidelity designs were completed and approved by Sunny, we began to add copy to the designs. Since the app was mainly designed to be used by children, we wanted to skip the overly clinical jargon sometimes used by doctors but also needed to make sure instructional texts were still accurate. Balancing between simplicity and accuracy proved to be difficult at first, but after a few rounds of review and revision in collaboration with the Asthma Insight team, we landed on a version we all felt confident about.

With the copy ready, we plugged the content into the high-fidelity designs and built a clickable prototype with Marvel. Sunny then took the clickable prototype to showcase the app concept to his early adopters, prospective customers, and potential investors. His demos brought back valuable feedback, which we use to tweak the prototype and design before moving into development.

The thorough, step-by-step approach boosted Sunny’s confidence, not only in his app idea but also his venture overall.

“I give them my perspective, they take listen to it and give theirs back. They do their homework and that brings a lot of value. That's obviously important.”

Development

At first, Sunny planned on building separate apps for Android and iOS. Our team, however, advised Sunny to leverage React Native, an app development framework by Facebook allows developers to build cross-platform apps (meaning, they are built once and can still be deployed on both Android and iOS). This decision saved us a lot of time, resources, and headache throughout the project.

During development, our team and the Asthma Insight team collaborated closely. We did planning meetings every Monday and progress check-ins every Friday. Tasks are kept up to date on our project management system, on which we worked constantly with Sunny to clarify the product requirements.

Now that development was underway, it was time for Sunny to get his hands dirty. We needed him to get extra detailed for the content of certain features. He got to work and gave us a list of medications for specific symptoms as well as the common (and uncommon) triggers of asthma attacks. (Fun fact: some of the triggers for asthma attacks were actually very surprising to us, like laughters, sugar, and spicy food. The more you know!)

Now that our technical content was plugged in, we produced a functional app! As soon as the app goes live in our beta environment, Sunny went out to the field to do demos, user interviews, and investor pitches.

While Sunny was kicking butts and taking names, our team worked on the small, nice-to-have details of the app such as the micro-interactions, custom icon sets, and charts/graphs for important stats.

“The platform is HIPAA compliant. It wasn't an easy thing, but we needed to get that done at a lot faster pace than we did to build the MVP. It was not easy but we got it rolled out, and that was a cool thing to achieve!”

Asthma Insight mobile app gif

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Results

Sunny has also been in talks with a lot of schools and school nurses to promote the use of his application to the children at the schools. While he was doing this, he was also talking to doctors to gain some feedback. From both these, he got some inspiration for the next features on his application: the Doctor and Nurse portals.

We accomplished the goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the project: to create a functioning HIPAA-compliant app that Sunny would be able to demo to doctors, hospitals, schools, and parents to get some early adopters, gather feedback, and gain some traction.

Since the launch of the MVP, Sunny has been meeting with his target audience to show them what Asthma Insight is all about, let them test-use the app, and ask them how he can continue to improve it.

During the process, Sunny secured important pilots with hospitals and other healthcare institutions as well as with local schools who have students suffering from asthma.

In Q3 of 2019, using the traction and validation gained from his field trips, Sunny pitched his venture to Digital Sandbox KC, a grant program who awards early-stage founders with $20,000 in proof-of-concept funding to invest in their venture. We’ll hear from him in September 2019 whether Asthma Insight received the grant. Wish him luck!

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Summary

  • Clear go-to-market strategy, product roadmap, and MVP definition

  • Clickable prototype for demos and pitches

  • Functional MVP launched in Beta test

  • Secured pilots with schools, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions

  • Pitched to Digital Sandbox KC for $20,000 in proof-of-concept funding

“It was great to see something that went from sketches on the back of a napkin to something I can pull up on my phone when I'm talking about it. And that's a good feeling because now we actually have something tangible.”

Sunny’s 3 Words
“Resourceful. Enthusiastic. Dependable.”

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