A Virtual Intervention Network to Treat Maternal Mental Illness

CLIENT

Women’s College Hospital: Maternal Ontario Virtual Intervention Network (MOVIN)

SERVICES

Qualitative Research

Personas

Interviews

Journey Mapping

User Flows

Wireframing

Prototyping

Visual UI Design

Intervention Design & Development

Pilot Testing

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Challenge

Maternal mental health effects a shockingly large number of people and there are a number of logistical barriers to receiving proper care. In general, there is a lack of knowledge about antenatal mental health (most people call it post-partum depression but it can effect even pregnant women). People are not open to receiving medication for treatment and general physicians are wary about treating maternal mental health because they just don’t know enough about how. Many people could be caught earlier if there were a proper system in place to assess, monitor, and triage them to the right care.

Working closely with the Chief of Psychiatry at Women’s College Hospital and the lead researcher and psychiatrist on the project, Pivot was able to understand, define, design and create a digital pathway to address this maternal mental health service issue.

Solution

We designed an academic platform meant to enroll patients by taking an assessment known as the EPDS (a well-known and validated tool), monitor them virtually, then provide care recommendations based on their assessment results. Recommendations include resources and/or treatments like self-treatment options as well as referrals to a specialist for additional care where needed.

We met with and interviewed the users, in this case antenatal women with potential symptoms of depression and/or women with a previous history of a maternal mental health condition. Learning directly from key users was an especially enlightening process in this case because it allowed us to design a tool that would be easily accessible to their unique scenarios of use. New moms and pregnant women are often on their phones googling answers or reading up on forums into the wee hours of the night. The way we designed the tool allows for ease of access and the light and warm colour palette are a friendly and inviting backdrop to a quick survey experience.

The design of the pilot includes an interface for both the patient and a care coordinator to help monitor and oversee the patients in the system.

Impact

This Pilot project is set to be completed in 2020. Results of the study will be published and a Beta phase will launch soon after.