An empathetic hospital transport solution that supports users through treatment in a sensitive and trauma-informed way.
The Brief
''Create connected communities of the future, making people's lives better by shaping the way they live and move within their urban  communities, enabling and empowering them as individuals and citizens'' 
Set by the Ford Fund for the 2020 Smart Mobility Challenge.​​​​​​​
I took part in this competition alongside my studies, in a team with 5 peers from my masters course. Early activities included individual research around mobility and future cities, pitching ideas to each other and coming to an agreement on a specific problem space.
The Problem
There is a lack of hospital transport available for people undergoing traumatic medical treatments.​​​​​​​
Existing hospital transport options are insensitive to the needs of patients. Buses and trains are stressful, car parking is frustrating and hospital-operated transport is limited. None are empathetic to how a patient may be feeling before a treatment, or after receiving bad news. Many treatments prohibit patients from driving afterwards, meaning they must rely on loved ones. What happens if they don’t want to tell their family? Or have no family to tell?
Interviews were conducted with people that had undergone medical treatments in the past, in order to identify where the key pain points in the journey were. We also designed a diary study which was completed by a participant, documenting their visit to a hospital. We found that planning the trip, being on time and navigating the car park were the most stressful aspects of hospital visits.
With the insights gained from primary and secondary research, a persona was generated to help guide our ideation activities. Julie is undergoing breast cancer treatment and wants to keep her condition private while still being able to access support when she needs it.
The Opportunity
How Might We statements were generated from the insights, then plotted on a matrix according to their relevance to the brief and potential to improve user experience. Strong opportunity statements were then grouped and votes were cast on which direction to take forward.
There is an opportunity for a more empathetic mobility service for hospital patients undergoing treatments that need to attend appointments, but are unable to drive themselves or rely on loved ones, and find the current solutions stressful and insensitive.
We did several Crazy 8 idea generation workshops, presenting our concepts each time, critiquing each others' and merging ideas together. 
As the concept developed, iterations of user journey maps were produced to make sure that we were solving pain points identified in the research.
Due to COVID restrictions, our ability to prototype was limited. We worked around this by doing remote team bodystorming to test out key interactions. These included the process of choosing your buddy, being driven to the hospital and sitting together in the waiting room.
We also returned to our interview participants to get validation and feedback on our concept, by talking them through user journey maps and storyboards. 
'I dont think I would want to pick my buddy...I wouldn't know who I'm picking or why them, I would rather someone who knows pick for me''. 
- Interview Participant
''Actually I could have definitely done with that the other week, rather than relying on [my sister]''. 
- Interview Participant
The Concept
Care Miles is a support charity providing door-to-door transport for patients needing to attend medical appointments. It provides an empathetic alternative to public transport by matching users with volunteers that have been through similar medical experiences.
Unlike public transport or taxis, Care Miles takes the stress out of route planning, time-keeping and parking by giving the responsibility to the buddy, so that users can relax and focus on their own health and wellbeing.
Service Blueprint
Care Miles relies on volunteers that have undergone medical treatments and are willing to provide hospital transport and emotional support to service users. By joining the service, volunteers get the chance to give back to their community and hospital that helped them, learn new skills and form bonds with other volunteers and patients alike. Additional perks include NHS discounts and reimbursements.
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