Oncostats

Revolutionizing the way Hospitals collect & interpret big data

A global concern

Most software used by public institutions to manage their information is deprecated. With a complete disregard for the user's experience and a negligent lack of understanding of the singular context of its usage, we got used to the frustration of dealing with these poor interfaces.

But even worse than the frustration caused by those poor experiences, is the invaluable loss of data that's vital for our intentions to learn from practice, acquire knowledge and ultimately evolve.

In this big pool of public institutions, Hospitals are particularly sensitive. They deal with our most fragile aspect and face the herculean task of developing new treatments, procedures and preventive actions to match the galloping diseases that kill by the thousands every year.

Technology can (must?) play a huge role in aiding scientists and doctors to be more efficient and proactive towards these afflictions as well as making patients feel safer, by keeping them informed and aware of their situation.

By 2016, the biggest monster in this huge lake is still cancer. In the US alone it's estimated that 595,690 people will die from cancer this year. That's approximately 1,630 deaths per day.

1,630
deaths per day
595,690
estimated deaths
in 2016

How we can produce change

Most software used by public institutions to manage their information is deprecated. With a complete disregard for the user's experience and a negligent lack of understanding of the singular context of its usage, we got used to the frustration of dealing with these poor interfaces.

But even worse than the frustration caused by those poor experiences, is the invaluable loss of data that's vital for our intentions to learn from practice, acquire knowledge and ultimately evolve.

In this big pool of public institutions, Hospitals are particularly sensitive. They deal with our most fragile aspect and face the herculean task of developing new treatments, procedures and preventive actions to match the galloping diseases that kill by the thousands every year.

Technology can (must?) play a huge role in aiding scientists and doctors to be more efficient and proactive towards these afflictions as well as making patients feel safer, by keeping them informed and aware of their situation.

By 2016, the biggest monster in this huge lake is still cancer. In the US alone it's estimated that 595,690 people will die from cancer this year. That's approximately 1,630 deaths per day.

The Design Sprint

Understanding the problem

After some previous discussions and Q&A's to get better acquainted with all of the project's particularities, we scheduled a week-long design sprint to start deconstructing and tackling the problem, a small bite at a time. We figured the best way to deal with such a complex problem was to start small and work on a very specific type of cancer and through interviews with various Oncology experts we decided to start with Breast cancer.

Beginning with a deep research concerning the current software and emerging competitive solutions, we got an understanding of where and how we should take action. There were some crucial pain points that were not getting an adequate response, such as the lack of a systematic way of recording the patient's medical data, a poor decision-making process and no actionable analysis on Hospital's data for treatments.

We designed an interview for Oncologists to validate some of our assumptions and understand what other pain points we could be missing. We wanted to know all about how they recorded patient's information, if they ever forgot about collecting important clinical information and what kind of struggles they faced when doing clinical research.

The Job to be Done

By reviewing the answers to our interview we validated and completed our most crucial assumptions and were able to generate the Job Stories we wanted to work with in order to start building a useful solution.

Job Story 1

When I meet a new patient, I want to register all his clinical information in a systematic way, so I can review and use that information for a group consultation;

Job Story 2

When I'm in group consultation, I want to quickly become aware of the patient's decisive clinical information so I can use it to choose the best possible procedure;

Job Story 3

When I am evaluating the success of breast cancer treatment in my hospital, I want to see all the data regarding the treatments used and subsequent results, to able to learn and optimize our practices.

To sum it all up into one single Job to be Done:

Provide a way for doctors to register clinical information of Oncology patients in a manageable, actionable way.

Designing the Critical Path

The next step was to define the Critical Path that would be the foundation for the rest of the platform's proposition.

After the Doctor's onboarding process into Oncostats, they would document all patient's information in a systematic way, as close as possible to their way of thinking. That information would then be used to create an efficient Patient Report for Group Consults, allowing for better decision making. Oncostats would also register all doctors present in the Group Consult, giving a bigger sense of responsibility towards the agreed decision.

All this information would be registered, providing invaluable data for statistical analysis on which treatments and procedures were most successful in each particular case.

Going forward, we went through a few practical exercises that forced us to think fast and explore particular moments of the critical path, such as Mind Mapping, Crazy Eights and a Storyboard for each of those moments. By carefully analysing all the work we produced, we identified a couple of conflicting ideas, different approaches towards the same problem. Reviewing and discussing all of them allowed us to achieve a clearer flow for our Critical Path and move on to designing the Final Storyboard, which would serve as a guide for building a Clickable Prototype that we would use to test our solution with Doctors.

Validate through Testing

We built a Testing Plan to go along with our Clickable Prototype, starting by designing every step of the User Test from the testing script to the list of assumptions and doubts we wanted answers for. We invested a considerable amount of time in this and after the first couple of tests we made small tweaks to solve small problems we faced, in order to keep our learning process as efficient and enriching as possible.

Iterating based on acquired knowledge

Through the upcoming months we went through this same cycle for each Job Story we defined, slowly but steadily shaping Oncostats on top of informed decisions and precious insights from our expert advisors. We had regular meetings with all players, from administrators to doctors that were only starting to do their first group proposals. Healthcare is a very sensitive area and we nurtured Oncostats accordingly.

The next steps

A photo of António Murta
This company can change the way we do clinical decisions in Oncology.
António Murta
Expert Advisor

Oncostats started running a real-world pilot in CH Gaia (public hospital) in August, and we’re now closing the last details with Hospital da Arrábida (private hospital - Luz Saúde Group).