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Place: Johns Hopkins Medicine Technology Innovation Center, Baltimore

Project: Part of my role at the Technology Innovation Center is working with clinicians and a design team when kicking off new software projects to facilitate design sessions that lay out the blueprint for how an app will be developed. Liver Space is the first Facebook application that our team built, and it is the first Facebook app that builds a community around healthcare. I facilitated the design work and managed the project over 4 months.

Process: We begin every project with a discovery phase. For Liver Space, the clinician who worked with our team had already done some discovery work with existing Facebook groups that provided information and support to children with liver disease and their caretakers. The physician knew that his patients found comfort and value in connecting online, but as he participated in Facebook groups and connected with individual users, he found that they were lacking the support of an expert in liver disease. Our design team joined those Facebook groups too and confirmed his suspicions. Through informal polling, we learned that parents were looking for a central place to track their labs online, discuss specific topics on forums, learn about new drugs and studies, and ask questions of an expert. Through a series of design sessions, our team brainstormed features based on our discovery work and then created a prototype (wireframes) to review with our clinical champion. Our clinical champion reviewed these prototypes, provided feedback, and we were able to develop Liver Space.

Product: The result of this work is an application with over 100 users currently available on Facebook. Liver Space reaches families where they are already communicating and provides forums, a way to message an expert directly, the latest research and news about the disease, and more. We are now working on the mobile app version of this Facebook app. You can sign up for and view the application here: https://apps.facebook.com/liverspace