Week 10: Improving the User’s Experience with Mediscope

This week we were able to test our format of information input for Mediscope. In general, beneficiaries were excited about the format of the input. They were also enthusiastic about the idea of a game-like progression with badges or notifications to incentivize information input. Biggest concerns were around issues of security and verification of data, but they like the idea of a verification status on information of medical assets. Identified key activities include securing government subsidies or private equity funding to launch the framework of the project. We were able to identify potential key partners as well including large hospitals in operating environments, an acquisition group that created Data Miner which is currently used by Green Berets, and Spatial Networks which works with a great deal of geospatial data.


Interview #1: Kirk Ferguson, Former 18D/JSOC Regional Team Lead

  • Says hello to Tommy!
  • Strategically this product comes at perfect timing- one advantage is the widespread growth of Internet availability and usage but another is strategic regarding national security concerns
    • Return to more traditional SF missions following Iraq/Afghanistan where you never needed to really do medical planning well: this is more important than you would think
  • Possible incentive for this product usage in Special Forces: Notifications or a game-like structure
    • To increase medical assessments that are actually done (not just out of immediate necessity): send an alert when you are near a clinic with 4-5 basic Y/N questions that you could fill out quickly, with the option of “Do you want to continue and complete a full medical assessment”
      • You might be able to tie in incentives to the number of assessments that are completed, or the number of clinics who are tied into this product
  • Possible partner or resource: Spatial Networks, which works a lot with layout of geospatial data and guiding people through information collection per region
    • Could be useful for getting clinics involved, as well as for overall expertise- not sure if they do anything medical focused right now

Interview #2 Ethan, Cadet (New User)

  • Feedback: Likes the format of the input form. Would like to see popular suppliers or most important information in a list (supplies, distance from airport/helipad).
  • Enemy forces could be an addition so you can see where you wouldn’t want to fly over. Map is cluttered and would benefit from having a near me button.

Interview #3 Rose Ann, Ret. Army Reserves Nurse (Repeat)

  • Need to figure out how to get past ArcGIS blocking because it’s hard to just tell what it can do from the pictures we sent.
  • Information that would be helpful includes operation hours, address, phone number, names of doctors, or website. Also, knowing what services certain assets have is essential.

Interview #4, Samuel Williston, Former 18D, Consultant @ Raytheon (Repeat)

  • Sam has deep knowledge into the implementation and acquisition of military manuals from his 18D transition to an advisory role at Raytheon. He works with the ATAC test office to vet new vendors and capabilities
  • Thoughts on cost/resources:
    • Suggests looking into the AITI (Army Innovation and Technology Initiative) for funding and participants/resources
    • Concerned about the compliance/legal components to the app
    • Cost/benefit model not viable here because the benefit is hard to measure in the short-term
    • Interested in seeing if PE firms would mind setting up infrastructure and fund initial resources
    • Wondering if there there are similar services for doctors and if provider groups can be brought in to test
  • Good start to a complex problem, will likely need to obtain extensive approval from Army legal and compliance offices before use

Interview #5, Ben Davies, 18D (retired) transitioned from BCT ranger school (New User)

  • Ben has deep knowledge into the implementation and acquisition of military manuals from his 18D service. He works with the VA system to implement TriCare for all military retirees.
  • Thoughts on cost/resources:
    • Suggests looking into gov’t subsidies to help fund the product. Several gov’t subsidies such as the TriCare Tech Grant to create tools to help 18Ds
    • Concerned about the application of the service for all medics
    • Cost/benefit model not viable here because the benefit is hard to measure in the short-term
    • Interested in seeing if PE firms would mind setting up infrastructure and fund initial resources
    • Wondering if incentivizing families of medics would be a good way to go. Give wife/dependants access to tools.
  • Suggests a key partner would be the acquisition group that invested in Data Miner (current tool adopted by green berets) as a proof of concept

Interview #6, Jon Carpenter, Implementation Architect, Raytheon (Tech Expert)

  • Jon has deep knowledge into the implementation of military software architecture. Previously he worked with the US Navy on the AEGIS defense system used on DDR ships. He is currently with Raytheon working with the small liabilities innovations group that funds small pilots for the military in ad-hoc projects.
  • Thoughts on cost/resources:
    • Suggests finding a key advocate to vouch for the product. Says he’s never seen a successful pilot without a key advocate. Person must be someone of influence and doesn’t have to be military. He’s had Dr. Sanjay Gupta as advocate for a Army EHR system through partnering with CNN.
    • Concerned about the application of the service for all medics
    • Cost/benefit model not critical because implementation in a relevant environment isn’t going to require too much lift.
    • Interested in providing peripherals as hand-outs to gain users and incentivize adoption of product. Suggests giving out branded bandages, fanny packs, water bottles as peripherals
    • Wondering if the app can be a smaller size 50mb or less. This way it can be loaded and stored on local phones and web browsers in Humvees or other carriers easier.
  • Suggests a key partner would be large hospital systems in the area that have large patient base. This way it can be validated and tested on wide range of civilians without needing to involve and incentivize many military. Civilians are easier to incentivize.

Interview #7 Jeremy, Captain (New User)

  • Senior leadership within AFRICOM said that his job does so many things that are classified and real world missions so could not share information in an open source manner.
  • Indicated that the medical information we’re working with could be classified to a difficult extent during product development.

Interview #8 Shengquan Zhang, Medical Insurance Analyst  of CCT in Morocco (Repeat)

  • The percentage of resident who own the smartphone is about 70%.
  • Except for private users, many institutions are also interested in the updated medical information in Morocco, such as homecare companies

Interview #9 Liz, Captain (Repeat)

  • “The progress on the user form for putting in medical information is HUGE! I love it.” Emphasizes that the user component of the app should be expanded on further with points or some kind of acclamation given to users when they put in information that is verified and up-to-date.
  • Emphasis on visual aspect of the user component of the app
  • Color code users based on how many assets they have verified

Interview #10 Chris, Former 18D Medic (New user)

  • This is “a very logical solution in this day and age to a problem like this one”
  • Can user profiles be differentiated based on whether a person is a private citizen, military officer, hospital, NGO, etc? (The military officer ID should only show up for the “mil-ium” version of the app of course). This will help understand the context of information for military officers making plans.
  • Can’t access map yet because it was blocked but make sure to be able to move around map with ease

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