Reimagining the Remote Physical Therapy Experience
Research, Storyboarding, Wireframing, Prototyping, Visual Design, Video Scripting
Figma, Blender, After Effect, Premier
How can we encourage people to stick to exercise treatment at home? How might we utilize smartphone cameras in remote Physical Therapy treatment?
A cross platform application streamlining the process of Physical Therapists assigning weekly exercise modules, as well as patients following the exercises at home through their motion tracking AR phone application.
Since the pandemic, there has been a decrease in the amount of people seeking Physical Therapy treatment. Even for those who were in the process of recovering, many have stopped instead of continuing via Telehealth. How can we encourage people to stick to their treatment and improve their health when they are stuck at home?
In the span of 3 weeks, our team reached out to the professional to learn more about the current situation. We diverged and converged on ideas for new experience addressing the current pain points for Physical Therapists and patients. Our final deliverable would be a video walkthrough of the design response.
To learn more about what is currently being used and what Physical Therapy appointments are like, I reached out to a Physical Therapist currently working in a Clinic in Capitol Hill, Seattle. I had the chance to do a one-hour interview with her and got some insightful information — Some are specifically about the impact of Covid, and some are problems that they have been experiencing even before the pandemic hits.
I approached the interview with a script including a few key questions:
- What is a typical appointment like?
- What is remote appointment like currently?
- What are some difficulties with remote appointments?
- How do people do exercises at home?
- How do you monitor patients' at-home exercise progress?
Here are some things we learnt-
Finally, when asked about what's something she would like to change about the current remote Physical Therapy situation, she said she hope that people can stick to the exercises at home, do their best, and be more open about Telehealth.
After reviewing the research findings from above, we identified and prioritized some user needs to address, as well as redefining the goal of this project.
Focusing on the goal, we started our ideation phase by brainstorming ideas that can potentially lead us closer to reaching our goal. Eventually, we decided to expand on the current exercise module. Utilizing smart phone cameras' computational photography capability, we aim to design an application that captures and analyze the exercise movement of patients and provide them instant feedback.
Storyboard & task flow
We narrowed down our ideas and came up with a detailed storyboard solution, which we later refined with task flow and wireframes.
After having a clearer flow of the user journey we started working on wireframes. Drawing inspirations from our mood-board, we iterated through multiple variations of design.
Since our main final deliverable is a video walk-through of our product, we also need to craft out a storyline for our video. The storyboard for our video prototype should be similar to our initial storyboard but with more details, such as when we want to focus on our interfaces throughout the video.
In addition to the storyboard, we also wrote a shot by shot script and managed to divide up our work — actor, voiceover, cameraman, and tackling After Effect and Premier.
To make the prototype video, we first created the UI elements in Figma following our storyboard and task flow. Later, we worked on our shot by shot video script as well as video storyboard, and refined our UI correspondingly.
Before shooting, we animated our UI and added the cut-out video of one of our teammates (Andrew, who would be the patient in the video) doing the exercise using After Effect. On shooting day, we played the edited UI animation on TV while Andrew follow long and do the exercises.
As with many school projects, the main challenge we encounter is time constraint — we had barely three weeks to do the whole project. There were many visions that we didn't manage to brought to life since we had to prioritize our tasks to meet the deliverable. I wish we could conduct more interviews, especially more from the patients' perspectives. We also weren't able to do user testing for our final prototype, though I did sent the prototype video to the PT I interviewed and she said she like it!
Nevertheless, I still had a blast working with my teammates. I learnt a lot about efficiently dividing up workload and setting time boundaries from this project. Since we were still in the pandemic era, we had to collaborate remotely. We scheduled a time that works for all of us despite of the different time zones. The experience also made us appreciate how powerful real time collaboration application such as Figma and Google Doc are nowadays.