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Self Plus is a mobile app that offers real-time services and self-care monitors to everyone in Vietnam and Indonesia.

We partner with multiple hospitals, clinics, and HCP to connect patients who are in quarantine with their doctors and consultants, due to the national lockdown crisis. We hope this could reduce the burden of cost and anxiety for society. Above all, we want it to empower people's self-care habits. 

 

My motivation

My mom has suffered from her high blood pressure issue for at least 20 years. Since the first lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam around April 2020, I've realized that if the lockdowns or the pandemic get worse, people like my mom would be the most vulnerable group to survive, let alone dealing with her health every day.

Contribution

​UX UI, Research, Hands-on design, Project Management

 

Project

1 UX Researcher, 1 UI Designer, 2 Developers, 2 PMs



Define
 

Market Needs

Extreme lockdowns due to the Covid-19 crisis have reinforced the urgent need for healthcare real-time services evolution

Before COVID-19's citywide lockdowns, general data showed that patients prefer face-to-face contact to remote consultations. But when the pandemic was at its peak around its first lockdowns in Vietnam (2020), telemedicine-based services noticed a demand increase of around 30%.



It saves time, stress levels, and commutes costs for both doctors and patients

In 2017, the average cost of a telehealth visit for acute respiratory infection (such as a sinus infection, laryngitis, or bronchitis) was $79 compared to $146 for an in-person visit, according to a Health Affairs study. That's almost a 50% savings.

Due to the records of new cases reported every day in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, the lockdowns became necessary for the majority of the regions. However, besides worrying about the disease, it's revealed that the authorities practice the lockdowns variously different from place to place, and that makes people hesitant to go out even for essential reasons.



The number of telemedicine users in Asia-Pacific rose sharply in the first months of 2020

 

At MyDoc, a telemedicine platform headquartered in Singapore, the number of daily active users rose 60% in February and more than doubled again in March. Those benefits and the technology have been available for some time. But the Covid-19 outbreak removed the behavioral and economic barriers to widespread adoption of telemedicine. 

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Persona

We created five key proto-personas based on our casual user interviews before

From content and the web's user personas, we decided to use that information to work out the proto-personas to save time and cash. The proto-personas we created were focused on patients and family caregivers who got special needs and certain tasks due to their healthcare conditions. Most of them deal with chronic diseases, mental issues...

Buying Bedding

Sarah, 40, married, mother of two, supporting her mother for years. She's been taking control of her children's and family's lifestyle for a long time and ignoring her own. She needs a way to start focusing on her depression treatment, and well-being more; yet maintain financing her mom's healthcare.

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The Dependant

Jean, 67, Sarah's mom, suffered from high blood pressure and has developed an anxiety disorder recently. Jean needs a way to adapt to various medical options while learning to discuss her health conditions thoroughly with doctors with the least of her family assistance.

Woman on her Tablet
The Reckless   

Lily Pang, 28, repeatedly catch a cold and in bad shape. She's seeking a healthier lifestyle but lacks of guide and motivation. She wants a service that offers VIP care at an reasonable fee or financial plan for starters like her, yet it must deliver genuine result.

Recording Artist
The Proactiv​e

Nam Nguyen, 33, is a single and LGBT activist, living his best life, making good money, and loves his mom dearly. He wants a platform to maintain his positive and healthy lifestyle with the least wasting time possible, and also be able to be updated with his mom's health conditions regularly.

Businessman
The Uneasy

Mr. Dan just got diagnosed with pre-diabetes. He wants a way to better communicate with experts in his comfort and easily question more without feeling the burden of time or attitudes of the coordinators.



User interview

What does it feel like to deal with onsite experience: waiting time, HCP  attitude, cost?

Consumers are frustrated with the current state of healthcare. Their top four sources of frustration involve wait times and healthcare costs.

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High costs and hidden fees are 2 of the top difficulties for low-to-medium-income individuals to bring themselves to see doctors.

Group of individuals in general admitted cost and hidden fees are top barriers

Waiting time has been and always is a topic to talk about when you have a hospital visit these days. 

Checking in, and waiting for your turn were some of the worst experiences for my mom and me during Covid-19 visiting hospitals. Unless you know someone to let you straight into the emergency room, otherwise, you can madly wait there. Especially when you were busy and the person who needed services wasn't even you.

 

A group of medium-income individuals and family caregivers admitted waiting time is the top barrier

There are stories about hospitals' staff attitudes from all the people who came to the interview, especially during the Covid-19 time. Most of them talked about how nurses told them to put on a mask 🤣 when they entered the hospital. Most of the issues addressed happened to young people, 26-46 yo, and most of them are caregivers or patients' family members, the least come from people who are actual patients and age over 65.

Rude and neglect are normal attitudes in every public hospital I go to, especially the female staff. I'm used to it but my children are quite insulted and sensitive about it.

 

At least a group of 6 young people from 25-35 agreed with this statement



And how would the online experience differ?

To start our interview about how people interacted with current online telemedicine services, we conducted preliminary 1:1 user interviews with both groups of individuals from the health Facebook group community who identify themselves as regular consumers and telemedicine consumers. 

 

Through the process, we identified a significant difference in the journey of regular vs. telemedicine consumers. From the journey map, we highlighted key pain points that hinder regular consumers from going to telemedicine.

 

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User Problem

The low-tech developments in healthcare and the constant changing announcements from the authorities on a daily basis worry health consumers

When talking about customer problems, we have different groups of users who directly use telehealth applications: health consumers, healthcare workers, and healthcare providers. For the very first stage of detecting problems, we focus on health consumers as our main and only end-user and they will use telemedicine services.

 

Lack of virtual practices

Virtual connection isn't new to office work, or simply, young people sharing the days between friends and family, but it is a new activity to traditional folks and in essential industries such as healthcare.

 

Authorities and healthcare programs' statements vary

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Asia-Pacific governments were uncertain about the relative costs and benefits of supporting telemedicine on a broad scale. Health insurers were also cautious about the additional costs of covering telemedicine before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

Consumers stick to insurance no matter what their financial situation is. Now digital healthcare takes place, people hesitate to use new services because they worry insurance companies may refuse compensation regarding what platforms they receive care on.

I'd never heard of a telemedicine platform until I had to book my appointment, and that's when I knew and rely on the appointment booking app because it was told by my doctor.

 

Online payment

Old healthcare consumers feel unconfident paying online, for both virtual wallets and online card payments. It revealed that approx 65% of my first round of interviews, people who are over 50 said they asked their family members to make online transfers for almost every payment (electricity bill, internet bill, tuition bill) and they gave their family members cash instead. The fact that they didn't have the motivation to discover how internet banking works was insane.

 

Current platforms are ineffective

Last but not least, existing digital healthcare platforms in the market center on various sets of features but not a single function works precisely and smoothly. To new healthcare consumers who now are forced to use digital healthcare platforms, the errors that appeared regularly in the applications definitely get them "just want to follow healthcare the way it was before!"



Discover
 

Product-Market fit

Potential demographics are changing

South-east Asia has reported entering the “aged society" in 2020 since young people decided to have only 2 children in a family for more than a decade.

Our parents have now begun their home-alone time since all their children have grown up. Urbanist senior citizens have abilities to spend higher than their children on random things, ads, online approaches… The weights will soon affect SEA as a whole. The mid-age and senior citizens will become a burden for healthcare and more likely, to their own families and children. Accordingly, telemedicine should focus more on this demographic’s needs.

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Populations across the region are getting older and sicker. By 2025, 460 million individuals will be over 65 years of age. This population will make up approximately 60% of global growth in this age group. At the same time, an estimated 265 million people will be diagnosed with diabetes, and 250 million over the age of 18 are expected to be obese.

This key demographic shift will have profound and far-reaching implications for countries and businesses in the future. Identifying where growth will come from within the senior market, knowing who’s the most likely to spend, where they are, and what they prefer to purchase.



Government support vary by regions

When the pandemic struck, the benefits of digital health platforms became overwhelmingly clear. 

In Indonesia, the Ministry of Health partnered with ride-hailing giant Gojek and telemedicine provider Halodoc for quick Covid-19 diagnostics in remote areas.

 

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​Vietnam’s one of the top-ranking hospitals, the HCMC's University of Medicine and Pharmacy launched an appointment scheduler app for their consumers. Although it's only for the needs of scheduling an appointment online, and patients still ought to meet up with doctors at the hospital, it's still a success because of the number of patients using it reportedly happy with how stable the app functions. 

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So far, I don't see many positive signs of a significant collaboration between the Vietnam government and foreign high-tech providers . 



Insurer acceptance

In the midst of the ensuing public health crisis, many quickly added telemedicine services to standard policies. Multiple insurers across the region now have set up special partnerships with telemedicine platforms to sponsor free consultations.

It's understandable that patients will be more trusting using an app that's promoted from the hospitals' administration where they use services, or from their health insurance providers.

Young people go cashless, older generation suffers

 

Young adults (gen Z, Y, a few of gen X) prefer virtual wallets and online payment methods these days like Momo, ZaloPay, Moca, Viettel Pay (Vietnam), or GoPay, DANA, Paytrend, and DOKU (Indonesia). But without access to cash or the right support in a transition to digital payment, the older generation will suffer.

The step of setting up your advance payment methods on a new app is one of the top hindering points to cause traditional users to hesitate, or they just leave it hanging. We don't want users to back out, ever. We need to come up with a solution that eases the users with online payment.

Southeast Asia, a region is ranked third worldwide in total mobile social media use

The report from Hootsuite and We Are Social shows that Southeast Asia is ranked third worldwide, as measured by the total number of mobile connections (823 million). This number represents 129% of the total population of the region, making it one of the highest-ranking regions by mobile connection percentage as well.

 

Consumers expect to make greater use of digital health services in the next five years

 

In Bain’s 2019 Asia-Pacific Front Line of Healthcare survey, nearly 50% of patients said that they expect to use digital health tools in the next five years. And 91% of consumers said they would use digital health services if the costs were covered by an employer or insurance provider.

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Identify Opportunities

Consumers want to manage their care through a single touchpoint, and most prefer that it be physical

We identified three touchpoints during a consumer's healthcare journey when active interaction with the healthcare system peaks: searching for care, accessing new channels of care (for example, at-home testing, diagnosis, and digital tools), and sharing personal health information.

Nearly 70% of respondents expressed the desire for a single touchpoint, either physical or virtual, for managing their healthcare. 

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Consumers are increasingly interested in preventative health, convenience and ownership of their care

 

New type of consumer is emerging, one who is more interested in overall wellness and more informed about conditions and treatment options than before. Consumers’ changing expectations will only intensify their dissatisfaction with their local healthcare systems.

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Simply put, younger people tend to do somewhat research regarding health issues of themselves or the ones they love or just top health topics. They complete research based on free sources such as Google, online news, health portal, health department's web... Unlike them, their older generations retain the passive care habits where they settle their health knowledge and opportunities in their doctors' guidance and experts. 

 

To be concluded, we could see the younger people care more about preventative care because of their lifestyle, they are:

 

- more independent and advanced access to available knowledge.

I know something isn't right concerning what my doctor told me and I'll find out about it...online.

 

 

- financially unstable or not well-established compared to their parents.

If I wait till I'm actually ill, I'm afraid I won't have the time and money to fix it.

 

 

- enjoy life or want to enjoy life in certain ways (YOLO).

Life is too short, and I want to have good health to live it.

 

 

Therefore, it's harder to satisfy this group with high-cost medical bills, long waiting times, and lacking compassion from physicians.



Consumers want personalised care, shorter wait times, lower costs and more incentives from healthcare players

 

The research found that consumers have very clear expectations for primary care providers, hospitals, and health insurers. It's just that some healthcare providers ignore them, and try to offer deluxe packages or allow exceptional connections to grant "special" treatment as a privilege for some consumers.

Consumers and physicians want more from healthcare players: more innovation, more collaboration, and more solutions for lowering costs and solving complex healthcare challenges.

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Social community proof is dialed up

 

Social proof as a concept has always been around; it used to be called word-of-mouth.

Social proof is incredibly powerful during times of change as people look to others for guidance and reassurance. We’ve seen how people have influenced one another, reinforcing and justifying each other's choices in the evolving context. Think about the COVID-19 home baking craze or the popularity of home workout videos. We should tap into social proof to be in tune with how consumers are navigating their purchasing options.

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Quick social login or internal account registering?

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Since clinical data always has to be secure, tools like Skype or Messenger are rarely used as an official method of communication. Such tools are often available as built-in applications on telemedicine platforms. These systems are often integrated with internal healthcare systems and guarantee compliance with existing data privacy policies.

That was also the answer to the question from some people from our user interview. 

“Why don't you let us join with our Facebook or Google accounts like all other apps do?” 

 

 

And since people did question in the process of signing up, I took note that we had to highlight privacy protection for patients to help them feel protected and complete the sign-up form.



Payment via trusted platforms, or the app's built-in wallet?

Healthcare providers are paid by insurance or government payers through a system of reimbursement. After you receive a medical service, your provider sends a bill to whoever is responsible for covering your medical costs. ... Private insurance companies negotiate their own reimbursement rates with providers and hospitals.

The worry about "where the money goes" should not occur in between a patient's concerns about their health conditions and getting treatment wisely. We'll show notes on what'll happen before they submit their payment information. We don't charge before the real-time services take place. We only charge the wallet and cards when you're happy with the service and give good feedback after that.

​Customer Journey

Stakeholders requested a new customer journey to mainly focus on our network expansion and commercial growth for our company

 

We wanted to see where touchpoints enable medical, wellness brands, local clinics, pharmacies, hospitals...to promote their benefits to our readers, and by doing that, we create an ecosystem platform to strengthen and expand our network.

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Based on these many wanted features, my team and I acknowledged not to attempt to develop all, instead, we decided which features were most desired in the market to explore and proceed on competing with the rest of the big corporations in the regions.

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