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Translate an in-person clinical trial developed by Dr. Ellen McGinnis of UVM to a procedure accessible to any MD with a smartphone.


Complete UX prototype (Android app and supplemental materials) now entering clinical trials.


UX/UI Designer, Project Manager  |  A Rad Magpie project


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Dr. Ellen McGinnis of UVM hired Rad Magpie to develop a digital version of her clinical diagnostic procedure, which accurately screens for depression and anxiety in children. The test relied on a single trained clinician and biometric sensors. Ellen had proved the efficacy of the test and was interested in increasing its accessibility. She wondered: could a mobile phone replace the biometric sensors? And if so, could we create a product that made accessing this test as easy for a doctor as downloading an app?


Maximum accessibility through…


…minimal technology: The end-user that we designed this product for is the doctor in small, rural family practice. Whatever technology we use has to already exist and be easily accessed within that office. 

…ease of adoption: we want to get this life-changing trial into the hands of as many family doctors as possible. The product needs to be easily adopted, even for those who do not consider themselves “technically savvy.” We need to use familiar tools and straightforward design with little opportunity for user error leading to drop off.

Ellen and I bounced around solutions for the product design, considering the possibility of utilizing multiple networked phones and debating building for Android or iPhone. Driven by these foundational design pillars, we ultimately decided to create this product as an Android app run on a single phone alongside a printable PDF. This doctor, curious about this diagnostic tool, would download the app directly to her phone then prints the instructional PDF on the office printer. Both the app - straightforward and friendly - and the print-out feel familiar and non-intimidating. If she is moved by the efficacy and ease of the trial, the doctor has an option to purchase a low-cost Android device to dedicate specifically for its purpose.


The phone will be strapped to the child...

Minimal interaction necessary: The phones will be strapped to the child subject during the course of the study. Any and all instructions must be readable from a short distance from the phone. Buttons must be easily pressed without requiring much accuracy.


No sound: Due to the placement of the phones on the subject’s bodies, sound might startle the subject and influence the study.


Data is protected: The data collected during the course of the app’s employment is protected by HIPAA and must be handled carefully.


Simple instructions displayed on the phone will cue the facilitator as they administer the procedure: The instructions will refer to a PDF that the facilitator can print out and hold during the procedure. 

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