WeAlign

Human Centred Design/Health Care/ Service Design

Problem

Solution

Skills

Our vestibular system is essential for balance. As we age, this system tends to degrade, leading to dizziness, nausea, and increased risk of falling.  Currently, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is a leading treatment for this dysfunction, but access to this therapy is limited by time, money, and transportation.  At home therapies are videos and paper packets, which have low adherence and are tedious. 

WeAlign helps people improve their balance with interactive online exercises.

Enterprise: Leadership, Business Plan, Pitching, Partnerships, Project Management & Road mapping

 

User Research/Design: Research Methodology, Discussion Guides, Research Plan, Prototyping, Interviews, UI Tests, Wire Frames, Information Architecture, User Flows

Design: Video production and editing, illustrations, Animation, UI Design, Protoyping the game 

Featured

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Challenge

Our vestibular system is essential for balance, and as we age this system tends to degrade, affecting an estimated 53-93 million people in the US and Europe.

14 years ago my mother was diagnosed with vestibular dysfunction. Since then, she has been living with dizziness -- Anxious whenever she leaves the house because of her increased risk of falling. I began this project exploring ways to help my mother, and people liker her, live comfortably with vestibular dysfunctions. 

 

HMW. . . (how might we) improve mobility and resilience for people with vestibular dysfunction ?

Increased risk of falling

Study found that 80% of the participants that fell had significant vestibular impairment in the UK.(1)

Limited Access to Therapy

Access to physio therapy is limited by time, money, and transportation. At home Physiotherapy has low levels of adherence.

Dizziness

At home Physiotherapy has low levels of adherence.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)

Vestibular Rehabilitation exercises were developed in the 1940s by Cawthorne and Coksey. Over the decades they have evolved, and have been tested to assist with vestibular functioning. Gaze stabilization was one of their core recommendations from the American Physical Therapy Association, with the highest classification of evidence supporting it to help people with Unilateral and Bilateral Vestibular hypofunction. (2)

Access to physiotherapy is limited by time, money, and transportation. At home Physiotherapy has low levels of adherence. The World Health Organization measures at home physiotherapy adherence by the frequency exercising, number of repetitions, and proper form which currently cannot be captured at home.(3)

 

Solution

Sign Up

WeAlign combines scientifically validated therapies and metrics, with engaging gamification, and transparent data analytics to improve balance. 

WeAlign guides users, There is no more guesswork. Just follow the birdie.   You can slow it down, you can speed it up, And your alignment will be correct. 

WeAlign is fun, user friendly, and efficient. 

It’s not homework. It’s a shared comfortable experience, paired in action with WeAlign as your online partner. We create enjoyable repetition for High - Impact - Results.  All you Need is a Laptop and Wifi. 

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Play

 WeAlign innovates vestibular rehab-il-itation therapy at home for high impact results. It is fun, accessible, and will create enjoyable repetition. Just follow the birdie. We already have a working prototype, that we are beginning to test with users.

  • Empower users to track improvement

 

  • Accessible Hardware

 

  • Gamified Gaze Stabilization Physiotherapy

  • Relaxing, to decrease anxiety 

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Track

WeAlign empowers users to play and track their progress from the comfort of their own home. Users can track their physical progress over time, and how their emotional well being. ​

 

  • Qualitative Data: User's Gaze Stabilization score, the amount of rotations their head moves within 60 seconds. 

  • Qualitative Data: The emotional changes over time while playing the game using the standard VAS, visual analogue scale model. 

Grow

To develop WeAlign we interviewed physiotherapists. Learning that Gaze stabilization is one of the most common, and effective treatments for vestibular dysfunction. 

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Process

Human centred design was central to the development process. ​The project was sparked after witnessing my mom suffer from an impaired vestibular system. 

  • Surveys

  • User Journeys   

  • User Personas

  • Experiments 

  • Literature Reviews

  • Interviews

  • UI testing 

 

WeAlign is a platform that helps user’s improve their balance by playing games. WeAlign improves users’ balance from the comfort of home, allowing users to track their progress, while playing a game. WeAlign will make painful exercises enjoyable, for better health and independence.

A leading treatment for Vestibular dysfunction is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). Access to VRT is limited to online videos and expensive in-person therapy. Patients must continue their exercises at home without feedback, data, or engaging incentives to continue with the painful exercises.

WeAlign gamefies gaze stabilization, a core exercise in VRT. Building upon decades of research, WeAlign brings Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) into the 21st century using tracking technology from the user’s laptop. The gamification and access to data should increase adherence to treatment plans.

We are currently testing our prototype with users. Please contact me for more information: wuqing.hipsh@network.rca.ac.uk

Ethnographic Research

Daily Challenges User Journey 

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Insights 

Image by Nicola Fioravanti

Emotional Support

“ I always have a walking assistant; my husband. Inside and outside the house, he is my hero.  “   
  -  Gie 

Image by Tiago Muraro

Improve Strength

I go to the supermarket

even though it triggers me, so I can get stronger. . . I stopped using a cane because I didn't want to get weaker. 

 -  Louise

Image by Gwen Weustink

Lack of Adherence

“ Many of my patient's first reaction when they get their diagnosis is, I'm glad I'm not going mad.”
- Joanne

User Journey for VRT

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UI Mock Ups & Test

UI Development

To develop WeAlign we interviewed physiotherapists. Learning that Gaze stabilization is one of the most common, and effective treatments for vestibular dysfunction. 

1. Information Architecture

2. Low Fidelity Prototype in Basalmiq

3. Medium Fidelity Prototype in Adobe XD

4. Usability testing with patients and clinicians 

User Feedback

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Enterprise

Since January 2019, I have been participating in Imperial Enterprise Lab's WE Innovate, for Women Entrepreneurs, making it through a year long programme and winning second place with a £10,000 grant prize, and EIBC Engineers in Business grant for an additional £1,500. 

I created a competitive business model. 

  • value proposition

  • business model 

Competitive Analysis

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Citations

1. Liston MB, Bamiou DE, Martin F, Hopper A, Koohi N, Luxon L, Pavlou M. Peripheral vestibular dysfunction is prevalent in older adults experiencing multiple non-syncopal falls versus age-matched non-fallers: a pilot study. Age Ageing. 2014 Jan;43(1):38-43. doi: 10.1093/ageing/aft129. Epub 2013 Sep 15. PMID: 24042003.

2. Hall CD, Herdman SJ, Whitney SL, et al. Vestibular Rehabilitation for Peripheral Vestibular Hypofunction: An Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline: FROM THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSOCIATION NEUROLOGY SECTION. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2016;40(2):124‐155. doi:10.1097/NPT.0000000000000120

3. World Health Organization. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2003. [2018-02-14]. Adherence to long-term therapies: evidence for action http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstre am/10665/42682/1/9241545992.pdf webcite. [Google Scholar]