This spring, emocha enrolled 24 pediatric asthma patients in a pioneering 60-day video Directly Observed Therapy program to address inhaler adherence and technique. These patients received an innovative and creative welcome to emocha: enrollment boxes, including a phone stand to help record video check-ins, instructional materials, calendars and stickers to track progress, and more. The aim of the enrollment kits was to form a physical connection between patients and emocha’s digital product—to give the children using emocha a tangible reminder of their medication and the program. “We want to create a compelling experience that patients are engaged with end to end,” Chief Design Officer Amanda Allen says. “Beautifully designed experiences win and outcomes follow.”
These enrollment kits were envisioned and assembled by emocha’s design team, led by Allen who works alongside Product Designer Maythana Paquete and UX/UI Designer Dahye Yoo. At emocha, designers’ work extends far beyond the purely visual aspects of the product and service. “It’s not often that designers get such a huge say in how the product is formed,” Paquete says. Designers’ responsibilities at emocha span the entire breadth of the company: from product to marketing to user experience. “Being a designer at emocha is a little bit different from traditional designers—we get to participate in every sector of the company,” Yoo says.
Design at emocha is about ensuring patients feel the human connection that is at the cornerstone of what we do. “Yes, we want them to download an app and build medication habits, but we also want them to know someone has their back—that a real human on the other end of their video check-in is looking out for them, encouraging them, escalating anything of concern to the right person,” Allen says. The team works constantly to reinforce and improve the user experience and connection to emocha.
emocha’s rapid expansion and moves into new markets, including new disease states, research projects, and use cases like COVID-19 symptoms monitoring has presented the design team with both challenges and benefits. “We are learning so much because we are able to move so fast, we can see what works and what doesn’t work and are able to continuously improve from the feedback,” Paquete says. Increased automation has enabled this expansion. “Because we are human-powered, automation helps you best allocate those human resources so they have the most impact on patient health and satisfaction,” Paquete says.
But automation and reliance on technology come with limitations as well. “Automation is a powerful tool that allows us to engage large patient volumes, but we’re aware of its limits,” Allen says. “Technology should always amplify — not replace — the role humans play in healthcare.” It is the design team’s mission to ensure that emocha’s platform continues to make patients feel empowered to take every dose of medication. “The piece that is important for us to scale correctly is trying to avoid having someone feel like they are talking about their very sensitive health information to a chat box,” Paquete says. “At that point, we really aren’t serving our mission.”
As a fast-growing company that has pivoted to provide the best possible service for customers, emocha’s service and products are constantly changing, while its mission—to empower every patient, at every dose, through technology and human engagement—remains the same. At emocha, the design team translates that mission into an ever-evolving and improving user experience.