The PdAssist is an assessment which can be done anywhere and at any time. It enables continuous symptom tracking and a better understanding of the testing. What’s more, physicians can read the test records through cloud service to know their patients’ conditions for timely treatment.
What is PD(Parkinson‘s Disease)？
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder, which typically occurs in people over the age of 60. Early in the disease, the most obvious symptoms are tremor, rigidity, and slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur.
Why we wanted to create an App for PD patients in China？
Inconsistent Standard of Health Care across the country
Currently, PD patients have to go to the hospital or clinic in person to receive assessment and treatment, which is cumbersome for patients when they are with imparied mobility, especially when travel distance is lengthy(only big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen have the top level doctors with years of experience.)
The need for Continues assessment
The assessment of PD significantly depends greatly on the physician’s level of experience with observing patients’ motor performance during certain tests and inquiring about their feelings on a day to day bases.
What's the Challenge for this project?
Challenge for me
As a scientific program, I need to help us collect the data to build the model, which means the data should be exactly what we want. Also, it is quiet necessary to make it easy enough to understand, especially for eld people with disabilities. Studying for their characteristics and design the App for them is the key point in this program.
Target Users' Goal
What I found from patients：
Based on the research and interviews I did, I mapped the user observation on below:
I use the Pugh Chart to choose from several alternative functions.
Considering about five key factors:
How we defined the Test？
For the Test, we did literature research about the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), which is the most widely used tool for measuring symptoms of PD. We use the latest revision, MDS-UPDRS, to divide the test to 7 parts.
Except "Test" function, we decide to add "Setting", "Data Uploading" and "Patients Info Check" to conclude all the functions we defined before, but "Patients Info Check" and "Results Uploading" in "Data Uploading" functions are only for doctors' edition (as I label in the Site Map below.) In the other parts, they all share exactly the same interface.
After deciding how the test should be, engineers made the first draft to test the stability of the application. We used this edition to conduct mock testing to learn:
Here are some representative interfaces of the draft edition:
We went to our cooperating Xuanwu hospital to observe patients using PdAssist and then interviewed them and doctors.
Even though we have considered that they may shake or have a lower understanding, the test results still surprise us and make us feel upset for both the testers and our application. Most of them could only understand one to three tests through the seven. Especially when the description is lots of words, some of them do not even try to read, they jump it and start the test directly. It is no surprise that data collecting has a severe problem. Therefore, we watch the video together and discuss the problems of PdAssist.
What I OBSERVED?
They cannot understand the test requirement through description with letter only, let alone there were too many words.
The sequence of 'left then right' made them confused. Ordinarily, we use our right hands/ leg at first, sometimes even do that with subconsciousness.
They cannot see some small words because of the presbyopia, and cannot click the little button because of shaking.
The patients didn’t get when the test time started and end because of the obscure remind, some of them even miss the test.
What COLOR do I choose for UI?
Due to the most of the patients are older people with lower understanding because of Parkinson Disease, the color should be noticeable, but not too striking to feel uncomfortable, and showing a warm, healthy, hopeful feeling as well. Therefore, I choose blue as the primary color and light yellow and red as subsidiary colors.
Main color of UI Subsidiary color
What FONT do I choose for UI?
Our Application is based on Android, so I have more freedom to choose the font. I use one of the famous and original fonts in China: MF ShangHei, which is unique, special, and readable. Moreover, it could perfectly fit my "example boy" in a comic style.
What's the meaning behind the LOGO?
It is a common sense that we regard the CROSS as "Hospital" and "Medical Help," so I piecing them together to make a "P" from Parkinson’s Disease. Moreover, the CROSS is made by five same squares, so the white parts are CROSSes as well.
Here are all the ICONs in PdAssist.
Which CHARACTER to choose?
I drew two versions of the character as the model in the Application, one is a grandpa, and the other one is a young man. After comparing them by how patient-friendly, funny, joyful and readable they are, the young man version won. Nobody wants to feel old, but feeling young is always fantastic, don't even say that there are some 30s PD patients. Temporarily, we only have the male version, but it will come with both genders in the future.
The illustrations as the hints for different tests
WIREFRAME of the system
Hi-Fi Interfaces of the tests
The PdAssist already had an Android version, and the iOS version is building these days. If you are interested in, please download it by scanning the QR code on the right side for the Android version. I'm open and honor for any advice! Feel free to contact me. Here are some selected interfaces in PdAssist down below.
Sign up & Sign in
Use different blue colors and light yellow to make the interface vivid and joyful. After signing in, a big blue button of "starting the test (one by one)" is distinct enough for patients to start over, and the small button of "choose a test" is also available for people who only want a specific test.
Standing test‘s hint
In the counting down part, it only has the super big number, hint word "右腿(right leg)", and the model illustration, so the patients could get and only get the required information without any distraction. In the test part, the red word "开始(start)" is quite obvious to let users know their situation, and keep "right leg" work on this page in case that the user forgets or wants to double check which leg is testing.
Test "Finger Tapping"
This test is the hardest one to understand, and the previous static hint makes users even more confused. On this version, the animation is more comprehensible.
The loading process would keep about 1-3 minutes, which is pretty long for waiting. Therefore, an interesting loading animation could make it easier. We designed a surgery room with a curtain open and close once and once again, but the opening time is quite limited, which could make users curious about the things behind, and easily waiting for several times.
After interning in this project for eight months, we got:
In the future, PdAssist need to collect more data for machine learning to make it intelligent enough to give advice, so it will face lots of challenges and have a vast space to be better designed, they would be: