Reflective practice on medical app development
Over the past months, I have been working on a project aimed at developing a mobile application that automatically reminds patient’s especially pregnant women to fast 10 to 12 hours before medical tests in order to meet the test requirements. I have discovered that in order to avoid misinterpretation of tests results, patients should be well prepared before laboratory testing and committed to a defined fasting duration. Feedbacks from customers at various stages in the development of the application have helped me to keep improving on the product.
The application development was in three cycles, first I focused on idea development, mock up and getting feedbacks from users. Out of the 20 users, seven gave their feedbacks through emails, SMS, voice notes, audio and WhatsApp texts which were the most preferred channel. The application will operate using Android operation system and will be available on Google Android app store. Navigation on the app was based on colored texts, mostly red fonts, which a good number of users did not like while the usually long medical messages were difficult to write and fit into the screen. The users found it difficult to click on the clickable links on the app due to their small size while I also added user name or ID function. Throughout the period, many of the users were only available during weekdays to give their feedbacks so I had to adjust to fit into their schedule. I send video clips to users and they were more excited to see and gave their feedback immediately. The application can be expanded to include all blood test which means that it is not only for pregnant women
At first, I was alarmed at the considerably low number of users whom I received feedbacks from. However, after I appraised myself with literature on the same, I was more relaxed because the seven users who gave their feedbacks had already passed the recommended benchmark of five. Also, I did not want to push them to give me a feedback since this was a voluntary engagement.
I was quite enthralled by how knowledgeable the users were. They gave very insightful information that helped me improve the application. I was always anxious for the next round of feedback. However, I was surprised that many of them did not like the color red I used for font color and other bright colors. Their choice of feedback channel, WhatsApp, really thrilled me because I am already very conversant with it.
The app development period was very educative and informative. The users offered very important insights on tastes and preferences of not only patients but the general population. The different color preference and features showed that people prefer apps that are tailored-made according to their tastes and preferences. The popularity of WhatsApp as a communication channel also showed that patients are increasingly becoming technologically savvy and hence the appropriateness of this app.
Testing is an important procedure within the field medicine. However, many tests are not conclusive and accurate due to the failure by patients to meet the testing requirements. Technology, like this app, offers endless opportunities for improving healthcare delivery. It not only improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services delivery but also accessibility. However, its incorporation within the healthcare services is highly dependent on collaborative learning and information sharing which are the pillars of improving any system. As a student, I believe these are the tenets of progression in any setting as they foster better problem solving capability.
Looking at this project, I believe that despite the progression I have made in developing my interpersonal skills I need to polish my knowledge in sociology. With enough sociology knowledge, I would have easily understood the users’ insistence on giving feedbacks during weekdays as well as their tastes and preferences. I also need to advance my knowledge on apps development in order to make my app more effective.
The product has encouraged me and given me social skills that have helped me to understand social behaviors including tastes and preferences and leisure time utilization. I have also grown my application development skills by studying some of the unique and popular apps.