UX Awards

The Premier Awards for Exceptional Digital Experience

Astellas: Overactive Bladder Patient Empathy Experience Details


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Physicians build empathy for their patients by experiencing patient issues in everyday decision-making.

Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition, affecting over 46 million Americans. Life is different when the urge of “I need to pee” knocks at you countless times a day, with relentless urgency, and sometimes taking a mind of its own leading to leakage. Because the condition isn’t life threatening, physicians treating the condition often neglect its impact on patients’ lives.

The Astellas OAB Patient Empathy experience walks physicians through an overactive bladder patient’s thinking process as they decide what to wear, what to eat, and which travel route to take. Their thoughts revolve constantly around their OAB symptoms. On three immersive touch screens, we presented a closet, a fridge, and a map to bring these scenarios to life. These stood prominently in the exhibition hall of the 2017 American Urology Association conference. Astellas employees complemented the experience with further conversation about OAB and patient empathy.

Astellas Pharma partnered with Katalyst in creating this experience. We relied heavily on insights based on patient experiences and chose the three scenarios carefully in order to maximize its impact on physicians. We also tested the wireframes on users to ensure the context was clear and the voiceover was effective.

Although the experiences were kept purposefully short, long and meaningful conversations were sparked with the Astellas Pharma representatives at the booth. Overall, 530 physicians interacted with the screens, and they stayed engaged trying multiple parts of each experience.

Why this project is worthy of a UX Award:

User experience design is about empathy for the user. Physicians need to practice UX everyday in caring for patients. However, the same way UX needs to be championed in organizations, it can compete with a physician’s many other priorities for a place in the spotlight. Patient empathy can lead to better health outcomes, the challenge is bringing physicians out of the scientific realm of prognosis and into the emotional realm of everyday life.

The Astellas OAB Patient Empathy experience helped physicians feel the daily challenges of a OAB patient in three compact 2 minute activities, conveniently situated at a popular annual urologist conference. Research into various patient pain points that would resonate most with physicians informed our choices when developing the activities. Further research would help inform the interactions within the experiences, creating something that would capture the attention of physicians at the conference and keep them engaged.

We are optimistic that UX and healthcare will align in the future. Those designing for healthcare will place emphasis on empathy in paving the way for universally better health outcomes. In designing this conference exhibit, the task was to create an engaging experience. Given the positive feedback and meaningful conversations that were started, we did more than just draw physicians to the booth. Physicians felt a connection being put in the shoes of an OAB patient and wanted to share their own thoughts. Through this patient empathy experience, we demonstrated how UX can be used in healthcare to create powerful moments.

Submitted By: Katalyst

Client Name: Astellas Pharma US

4.7/5 (71)

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