Tinnitus-doc: Telemedicine app for Tinnitus’ Patients

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Our client: Tinnitus doc

Tinnitus-doc originated from an entrepreneur doctor with vast experience conducting medical investigations regarding tinnitus conditions. She was seeking a tech partner to develop a professional telemedicine app to portray all her knowledge and help treat hundreds of tinnitus patients worldwide in the most straightforward and practical way.

Industry

Healthcare

Overview

We developed the first telemedicine app that helps cure tinnitus patients worldwide. Patients receive remote and personalized medical treatments by downloading the app and using their headphones to hear the adjusted therapeutic sounds their physicians created for them. Here, physicians and patients can see the historical evolution to understand their standing point, get valuable insights and motivate patients to boost their engagement.

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The Problem

Macro

+50 million Americans struggle with tinnitus, increasing over time.

Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in the number of people that suffer from tinnitus.

The number of high-risk groups is constantly increasing in the US (more people are vulnerable to this condition due to environmental and behavioral factors).

Technology advanced and the number of tinnitus patients increased, but still, there was no existing telemedicine app that could treat them effectively.

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Micro

The physician once released her first retail product to help treat tinnitus patients and sold it to a hospital. Unfortunately, years passed and the product didn´t succeed despite tinnitus cases increasing over time. Why?

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It was costly to get.

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It only worked for iPads.

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It was inconvenient for patients to buy the extra headphones.

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Patients were the ones in charge of everything (buying everything, taking the iPad to each medical appointment, setting up a sound that was suitable to his condition, etc.)

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It was risky as patients could adjust the variables by themself and end up hearing sounds that resulted in harm to their health.

Thus, at Light-it we believed in the idea, understood the potential in it, and wanted to contribute to the bigger cause of improving the health of a vast number of tinnitus patients in the US.

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The Project

We worked as the doctor´s tech partner and developed the first telemedicine app that helps cure tinnitus patients worldwide in the most practical and efficient way. We created an app that:

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Allowed patients to receive remote and personalized medical treatments for tinnitus by experts in the field.

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Creates and adjusts therapeutic sounds using the latest technologies to provide the best treatment possible.

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Patients engage actively and are motivated to continue their treatments as constant as possible.

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Physicians and patients can graphically see the historic evolution so they can understand clearly their standing point and get valuable insights on how to proceed to get the optimum result.

But, how exactly does this telemedicine app work?

For the patient

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Tinnitus patients can download the app from the app store, in any hardware they have (iPad, iPhone, etc), and can use any headphone they want.

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The patient registers and schedules a medical appointment using the app, which can be remote (video call in the app) or in person, depending on the patient's preferences.

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The sound is saved in the app so the patient can hear it every night to follow the treatment, without even needing to keep the app open.

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Patients are encouraged to follow their treatment and engage with the app by using behavioral science. For example, when they have +100 hours of reproduction, they get a star with a congratulation pop up.

For the physician

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Physicians can see their list of patients, attend them remotely in the app, and make the first diagnosis of their tinnitus condition in which they establish which tones the patient hears and which ones not.

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The doctor creates a personalized therapeutic sound by changing 10 variables within the app, and the patient gets to hear the tones that will help him improve. The patient cannot alter this sound, just the doctor when it’s necessary.

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When the patient's condition evolves in time, the physician adjusts the variables remotely and creates a new personalized sound so it can keep improving over time.

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All data is saved as historical evolution, graphs are portrayed and stats as well, which allows to:

  • get better insights of each patient's condition,
  • take better courses of action as quickly as possible.
  • understand the patient's engagement and acceptance of the new app.
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Process & Workflow

Product discovery

  • Made sure everything was in order to quickly and successfully deliver a minimum viable product.
  • Fully understood our client's needs and business, as well as its users to evaluate possible solutions and define the most appropriate one.
  • Researched to ideate and evaluate various options and make the right and strategic decisions before starting to develop.
  • Make sure the technical discovery is correctly covered to minimize risks.

Pre-development

  • Set up teams and management tools. Three dev teams were created for this project: back, front and mobile.
  • Transferred the knowledge and materials from design to development.
  • Established project milestones.
  • Created the initial project backlog.
  • Planed the user flows and how the data and features would be displayed.
  • Ideated the first wireframes, mockup, and prototype to test it with final users.

Product Development

  • Sprint Execution.
  • Unit and integration testing.
  • Code review.
  • Quality Assurance.
  • Use React Native to create native apps for iOS and Android.
  • Use Laravel to create the administration panel for the physicians and the API´s.

Challenges

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Create the first telemedicine treatment for tinnitus to ever exist, so that the physicians can work simultaneously with the patients, create a diagnosis, and offer more effective solutions.

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Make sure patients don’t hear sounds that can harm their health because they changed by mistake the variables or characteristics of the personalized sound the doctor created for them as these variables can only be adjusted by physicians.

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Deliver the maximum quality in each sound, no matter which headphone each patient has. In other words, the headphones will not interfere nor condition the output of the sound the physician generated specifically for them.

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Track the patient´s evolution, frequencies, volume, time of reproduction, etc., to understand how quickly the patient improved and how.

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Make sure all data saved is 100% safe, confidential, and HIPAA compliant.

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Physicians and patients can both see the graphs of the evolution in time, but physicians are more detailed and technical, while the patients are friendly and easy to understand.

Results

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The patients have shown notorious improvement in the first year of treatment with the app.

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Patients are more encouraged and engaged with their treatment and hence, get better results than expected.

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Physicians are now able to reach and treat more tinnitus patients all around the globe thanks to the app.

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