ResMed is a manufacturer of medical equipment for managing sleep-disordered breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other chronic diseases. ResMed has been successful in commercializing the sleep apnea market, by bringing CPAP devices to the world at large. Currently, more than 3 million patients around the world are using ResMed’s products. Although sleep apnea therapy is proven to be effective, consistency can be challenging. Lapses in therapy adherence are recognized as the primary barrier to successfully improving the chronic disease.
Our product leverages the strengths of myAir to merge seamlessly with RedMed’s existing Air Solutions package to transform what is currently known as therapy “self-management” to community-based, peer-to-peer support networks, and an experience that is customer-centric, rather than catering to the needs of doctors managing the data of hundreds of patients. This project was completed over the course of three weeks at Carnegie Mellon University with Viba Subramaniam and Xu Wang.
Secondary Research / Literature Review
User interviews: ResMed representatives, sleep apnea patients, doctors
Wireframing / Rapid Prototyping
As the leading manufacturer of CPAP devices for sleep apnea, both customers & healthcare professionals (doctors) have high expectations for DME.
After conducting research with users of ResMed products, we found that customers are dissatisfied with the infrequent communication or follow up from their doctors or respiratory therapists. The therapists and DME’s are not as involved in the experience, they don’t play a part in interfacing with the customer. They’re not there for support, they’re not there to answer questions.
The distributors of DMEs and the therapists associated with distributors do not work as closely with patients as they might suggest.
Patients frequently noted that their doctors would not follow up on treatment after being sold the CPAP device.
RedMed generally recommends an annual checkup with doctors, though some equipment suppliers and care providers have individual follow-up routines which vary from one another.
Users of all age ranges and backgrounds have trouble with device hardware, and find the experience of using a CPAP device in the long-term cumbersome.
Patients described the susceptibility of the device to break, and the difficulty of having it repaired given that DMEs are hard to reach.
Device hardware complaints are usually communicated by the patient to the doctor.
ResMed receives little to no patient feedback. Resmed has more at stake with doctors + insurance companies than with patients.
ResMed's cloud-based patient management platforms present robust tools for healthcare providers to glean insights into a patient's therapy regimen including his or her overall compliance. Of ResMed's available Air Solutions products, myAir is the only one which is patient-facing, and it allows patients with an AirSense 10 or AirCurve 10 therapy device to track nightly sleep and receive feedback on results.
Despite the fact that ResMed has developed more products for doctors and healthcare providers .. and as a stakeholder, ResMed is heavily invested in providing services to doctors managing and monitoring the progress of many patients. How might we consider the needs of the patient more actively?
In 2016 ResMed shared evidence that people who use a self-management app when treating their sleep apnea with positive airway pressure (PAP) are significantly more likely to stick with their therapy. We hypothesize that a social support system will enhance adherence further.
By integrating support of the patient community with myAir, what had previously been a monitoring device for healthcare providers, may now be a source of positive coaching and reinforcement. A community individuals supporting one another's therapy self-management will improve sleep therapy adherence and long-term compliance regardless of whether the patient's doctor follows up or not.
transition from the current model of self-management to community support. While some patients are monitored by professionals, others are self-managed.
The User Forum provides a channel for patients to submit feedback on their product experience and share with others within the community. to be shared with doctors as well as future CPAP hardware iterations ... Sharing community knowledge creates value for both patients and ResMed.. as well as a feedback channel to ResMed from doctors
By shifting myAir’s emphasis to Community Coaching, Resmed enhances the potential of therapy self-management to increase compliance rates, and closes the loop on patients feeling disconnected from doctors after being sold the CPAP device.
User Matching & Buddy System
Patients are connected with others based on their therapy adherence. By connecting users with similar sleep scores and behaviors, the community becomes a support mechanism for coaching. Creating a small meaningful relationship between two people who are trying to improve their sleep score would close the loop on patients feeling disconnected from the lack of follow-up from doctors and respiratory therapists.
Peer to Peer Messaging
Users are able to post status updates on their performance to their community and send quick, pre-written messages to Buddies and connections.
The app provides access to Resmed’s extensive online educational resources, including how to set up the device, & ensure a secure seal.
Recommended answers and FAQs are established based on user input from the Forums.
A CUI is introduced for patients who may not be working with a healthcare expert, and may be self-monitoring individual therapy.
Sleepbot is a chatbot and Conversational User Interface (CUI) for quick and immediate answers to pressing patient concerns. The user can text or speak with SleepBot to have questions answered.
The following roadmap for the future development of myAir presents a strategic plan for identifying relevant user groups, a development plan for new features and iterations of those builds, as well as learnings and conclusions from user data that may inform future investment as well as product development directions.