Connecting Patients and Providers from a Distance

#uxtesting #uxresearch #healthcare #MVP

iMac vector created by BRIX Templates on Figma


UX research, MVP mockups


Aug. 2020 - Dec. 2020



Team Member

Design Challenge

With COVID-19 causing daily life to change, a new normal was created: telemedicine. While telemedicine was already in place before COVID-19 emerged, it became the forefront of healthcare during quarantine and stay-at-home orders for many citizens.

Patients and providers needed an updated solution to receive/provide quality care, so our team was tasked with designing a telemedicine application that would be added to Cerner's electronic health record (EHR) system to connect patients and providers during these uncertain times.

Medium Fidelity MVP Solution

The team created an MVP of our solution, with use cases like therapy being a feature. Our solution focuses primarily on the patients' side of the experience in hopes of providing a more personal experience compared to applications currently on the market.

To view the therapy use case screens, jump to "Designing for a Therapy Use Case".

Waiting Room

The patient enters the doctor's waiting room where they confirm their birthdate, enter their preferred name with pronouns.

The left side features a playable video of the doctor's introduction.

Emotional Check-in

The patient then sees the check-in screen where they can select how they have been feeling.

If it is not listed or they want to expand on that, they can do so in the text box.

Peripheral Check

The patient is then greeted by the system explaining the doctor is finishing up an appointment. Here, they can check their video and mic quality before they are seen by the doctor.

Microphone and Video Quality Check

When they check their video and mic output, the system will notify them of their quality. Here, the patient can pull up the settings.


The settings screen features accessibility options like adding closed captions or changing the colors for colorblindness.

Doctor's Ready Status

This screen features the top left notification explaining the doctor is ready.

50/50 Screen Real Estate

In-call screen featuring a 50/50 division of the doctor and patient's screen. This is optional and the patient can turn off their camera completely.

Session End

Notification after the appointment ends explaining the doctor's notes will be available in the patient portal.

Scheduling the Next Appointment

Prompting the patient to schedule an appointment within the recommended time frame or to do it later on their own time. Here, they can select to see their appointment summary by clicking on the button.

Mapping out Stakeholders


Understand who is involved in the telemedicine process


Worked with our sponsors at Cerner to create a stakeholder map of the people involved in our design

From this, we narrowed our user group down to patients and their direct providers.

Analyzing Other Competitors


Familiarize ourselves with other telemedicine apps (functions, pain points, etc.)


Collected and analyzed 5 telemedicine applications

After finishing the competitive analysis, we knew we wanted to design something that would provide transparency and links patients to important aspects of the appointment-process (access to post-appointment information, prescription information)

Learning about the Telemedicine Space


Gain an overall understanding of the telemedicine space. Understand the pain points of telemedicine.


Reading scholarly research and the increasing posts on the internet about telehealth

We had a few questions to guide our telemedicine research.

Common Use Cases




Unpopular use cases included immunology, gastroenterologists, and OB/GYNs.

Major Pain Points


Reported feeling a cold and distant relationship due to the context of telehealth. A lack of eye contact and impersonal atmosphere attributes to this.

Patients then fear receiving inadequate care due to this impersonal atmosphere.


Lack of trustworthy biometrics as patients try to collect weight, blood pressure, etc.  on their own.

Lack accurate or up-to-date health records as they cannot record accurate data themselves.

We shifted our focus to design a personal telemedicine application for patients.

Diving Deeper into Patient and Provider Interviews


Understand how patients and providers feel when they use remote methods of healthcare.


Interviewed 8 telemedicine patients and 4 health care providers (cardiologist, psychiatrist, nurse, and graduate student in speech pathology)

Our interviews confirmed the research we reach about in the scholarly articles. Notably, many patients and providers spoke both about the lack of personal connection.

We wrapped up our interviews with design opportunities in mind. Our team was inspired to design a more welcoming, personalized environment when patients first launch the application to help build personal connection. We also saw an opportunity to provide a way for patients to be eased out of the experience, rather than abruptly ending the call.

Early Concepts


Sketch early concepts to visualize potential solutions. Put these early concepts to the test.


Sketched and wireframed mockups. Iterated mockups as internal and external testing was performed (usability testing).

Note: Wires not shown as they were iterated into mid-fi's.

Virtual Nurse

This was an early sketch where there would be a virtual nurse that would greet the patient in a very friendly manner. This was in hopes of creating a more inviting and friendly environment.

Emotional Check-in

Some patients have therapy homework where they would reflect on their days.

Here, they can upload their notes or talk about how they feel. This feature is applicable to any type of use case.

Traffic Light Ready Status

A big finding we found from interviews was how jarring it felt to be "thrown" into the call. Some interviewees reported feeling stressed because they didn't know when the doctor would be ready. This traffic light system would inform patients on when to roughly expect the doctor.

Doctor's Post Visit Notes

After appointment, the patient could receive the doctor's notes they took during the appointment. Here, they can see the notes, medication, and an option to schedule their next appointment.

Testing our Design + Reducing Screens


Familiarize ourselves with other telemedicine apps (functions, pain points, etc.)


Collected and analyzed 5 telemedicine applications

We entered a formal testing phase with these questions in mind:

During early iterations, testers reported our onboarding screens were too long as we asked for biometrics, pronouns, emotions, etc. We reduced these screens and those screens are the ones in the final design section. The screens below are the ones we removed as they did not add to the experience.

Removed Screens

Designing for a Therapy Use Case


Familiarize ourselves with other telemedicine apps (functions, pain points, etc.)


Collected and analyzed 5 telemedicine applications

After the conclusion of our testing, our team ran into a big problem. We had great insights, but a therapy appointment had different needs from someone who was reviewing their x-rays with a radiologist. We spoke to our sponsors at Cerner and they educated us on the idea of using a minimum viable product (MVP).

Our design opportunities aligned better with a therapy use case, so our team moved forward with a focus on the basic application (MVP) with the therapy use case in mind. This enables our design to be altered in the future for other use cases, like cardiology. Below are the screens we designed for therapy.

While it felt like we were neglecting many user groups, we determined that helping one user group feel more comfortable and cared for was better than providing a convoluted and disconnected experience for a wider audience.

Pre-appointment Therapy Screens

Post-appointment Therapy Screens


This project proved to be a tough one. Telemedicine was not a space I was familiar with and it felt like we were going around in circles for a long time. Each time we interviewed someone or completed testing, we were confused on how to proceed. We didn't understand how to move forward until we reached our to our sponsors for guidance. Learning about the concept of an MVP completely changed the game for us. We could still focus on creating the basic application, but provide a specific use case (therapy) to showcase how our design could cultivate a more comfortable and personal environment.

Mentorship became something I actively sought after this project because I began to truly understand how useful it was to talk to someone, even if I couldn't articulate my thoughts very well. I was also inspired to become a student team lead after this project because of how much I pushed myself to take on tasks I never did before, like documentation.