Keeping athletes going with injury prevention technology
Amplio, a health tech start up based in Washington, D.C. My team and I were tasked to create a prototype of the Curae app that would present data from thermal imaging and A.I. readings to users via an iPad. Its purpose was to indicate any potential soft tissue injuries that the athlete may have. Halfway through the project, the Covid-19 pandemic forced us into a lockdown and adjust our project roadmap.
Our goal was to ensure that the data in the app was understandable, incorporated a "digital twin" and that the process from beginning to end was efficient.
Our solution after conducting research was to adhere not only to the business goals of designing an efficient app that could assess dozens of players but also inform and educate athletes on potential soft tissue injuries. I worked primarily on the mobility assessment and dashboard.
The athlete would perform 10 pre-selected exercises in front of 2 cameras, one for A.I. motion capture and one for thermal imaging. The mobility assessment would help determine proper form and levels of inflammation.
Potential soft tissue injuries would be indicated by points of inflammation on the digital twin and could be expanded upon for more personalized data.
Tracked injuries can be viewed statistically or through snapshots.
After speaking to our stakeholder about how Curae would procure the data, we began to look at different competitor fitness apps to get an understanding of what they provided. We also looked at apps that handled data in different ways that could potential inspire ideas on how to approach the mobility assessment process and data presentation.
We conducted remote user interviews with 4 Olympic athletes to understand more about their athletic history. What we wanted to learn more was:
"You want to go as high and fast as humanly possible. Faster than you've ever done before. You can't think about getting hurt."
-Brandon Wynn, Olympic Gymnast
The common thread we found among all of our athletes is that they all fell into this cycle from a young age:
They relied on themselves more and less on their medical teams. Their intuition was the most important thing they had next to their grit and perseverance.
Initially, I thought the problem would only be about presenting data when in actuality the problem was in building trust.
To do that, we had to design an app that:
After synthesizing our findings, we used Jenny's customer journey to hone in and address potential frustrations using the Curae app. This helped us determine the task flows for completing a mobility assessment.
Our task flow was then broken down into a screen flow to better help us with creating an efficient experience when navigating through the app.
Halfway through the project, we spoke to the head developer of the app. We wanted to use gestures like zooming in/out and pinching and swiping to rotate when interacting with the digital avatar since it would be on a tablet. We were told that rotation was not possible at that moment.
We conducted 2 rounds of testing with a total of 6 users remotely for our mid-fidelity prototype. The goal was to learn if users could go through an assessment without issues. We tested the following screens and this is what we learned:
With the insights of our users, we were able to address the problems they ran into. I also recommended that include 360 degree rotation of the digital avatar and more interactivity.
We were able to hand our prototype over to Amplio so that they could launch for further testing and adjustments in late 2020/early 2021.
Speak to the development team sooner so that you know what's feasible at that moment and whats not. That way, you can approach designs differently so they are technically feasible.
I would have liked to have done more research to ensure that we can create a more holistic experience for athletes, primarily a better onboarding experience, personalizing treatment based on their sport and a mental health system. Mental health is extremely important for athletes since that's a major part of their performance.
Whether you're looking to redesign an existing site or app, build one from scratch, reach out and we can talk!