The current preventative cancer care landscape is not only scarce but exceedingly difficult to navigate on one’s own. Much of this confusion is over the fact that people with genetic predisposition for cancer are not classified as patients by medical professionals until they are actually diagnosed with cancer. Our client, Preventative Cancer Healthcare (PCH) is a startup that provides women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 cancer gene assistance to navigate the healthcare system. The  goal was to create a care compass to help navigate the healthcare system with a home base platform and to provide patients with peace of mind while actively engaging in their own care. Due to the privacy concerns of the client, I’ve taken measures to protect the information of the client. All names have been changed and the acronym PCH will be used in place of the original company name.


Before we started the project, PCH had already launched the prototype with a Fortune 500 company and planned to develop version 2 as part of employee healthcare benefits. We had a 4-week time frame to test, iterate and present user insights on the existing beta prototype.

Our challenge was to: 

1.    Improve the patient experience of PCH users
2.    Make key iterations and redesigns of the current PCH platform

03     DEFINE

We first set our attention on our user group: highly motivated healthcare consumers diagnosed with BRCA1 and BRCA2. These women are mostly under the age of 55 and began their care journey based on a history of cancer in the family. They are also very proactive in managing their health but struggle with continuous anxiety.


- Patients not yet diagnosed with cancer have no real means of navigating this high-risk uncertainty
- Users because they do not know at which point in their treatment to see specific types of doctors
- Poor physician office information flow, ignored voicemails/emails, as well as insurance denials


I discovered only a handful of competitors were targeting users with hereditary cancer risk, while others focused on general care coordination. To find more comparable feature sets, we collected data on out of box competitors that had similar concepts applicable to PCH.

I noticed the out of the box competitors created a new spectrum of analysis where they were either serving a need for community or independent self-guided care. The main competitors surrounding PCH were situated closer to the community side of the spectrum that focused more on the patients. Here, our data highlighted a key area of opportunity to build a community that fosters empathy and motivation between patients in balance with independent care.


We interviewed one SME and six users, four of which provided by the client and 2 were sourced from our own personal networks.

From listening we learned: 

- There is a lot of confusion and anxiety at the beginning of the diagnosis
- Patients are on their own when it comes to managing their care plan
- Patients have gotten used to a broken system, but wish their care was easier

“They [healthcare providers] don’t necessarily talk to each other. While they are in the same system, it’s really on you to go through it all.” — Qiuyin,  22

From testing we learned: 

- Users appreciated a home base for their overall care- Lack of usability and desirability of key concept features - Not enough personalization to individual diagnosis