Pets bring so much joy to households, they are humanizing, and they are a source of happiness. Pet owners love and care for their pets and want to keep them around for a long time, but when their pets fall sick, it’s very hard to predict what’s hurting their pets unless they visit the vet.
How might we create non invasive ways to early detect diseases and illnesses in pets?
This project was created for Design2Disrupt, a design competition presented by Deloitte Digital. The challenge presented was: “How can IoT be a disruptive innovation within industries.” My team members (Toluwa Adowiya, Debbie Okaka, Utharai Thiyagarajah) and I started and completed our product solution within one week. Our vision to revolutionize pet health placed us second in the pitch competition.
— User Research and Facts
From secondary research we found that 57% of Canadian households own pets, this equates to 7.5 million households, out of 13 million.
I began the project by researching the current journey of pet owners detecting illness in their pet. I conducted user interviews with four pet owners and found that they want to know how their pets are doing but they have no way to actually monitor their health accurately. Therefore, diseases that could be prevented are not detected early.
— Competitive Analysis
I’ve also done an industry scan and found that there are pet trackers on the current market that only track the physical activities of dogs and cats. However, there is nothing in the market that monitors internal imbalances of pets to check for irregularities on your own. It’s hard to predict what is hurting your dog without going to the vet, and as a result vet expenses become very costly.
— User Personas
From the user interviews, I crafted a persona to tailor our solution for a specific audience. Personas help me to drive design decisions for common user needs before the actual design and development happens. I listed user goals and motivations, and frustrations.
— User Journey Map
I created a user journey map for Shanon and highlighted her pain-points in her journey. These pain-points help optimize the solution I craft.
— Further Research
Our team did further research and called into health clinics and uncovered an all-inclusive analysis by UCLA scientists has shown that saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are contained in blood. For that reason, saliva testing can show things like glucose levels, cancer cells, allergens and rabies with only a minimal amount of 3ml required — which is only about ¾ of a teaspoon.
— Hardware Decision
Our team has come up with is a two-part solution that monitors both internal and external activities.
Biosensor Water Bowl
The water bowl is designed to monitor internal activities of cats and dogs through collecting and testing their saliva. It has biosensors around the insides of the bowl where the saliva would be collected as the pet drinks water. This saliva will be tested and its data will be pushed to the Brave app that the pet owner will track. The bowl is designed to be shallow enough so that the pet will unconsciously lick the side of the bowl while drinking. There is a reservoir beneath the bowl where the water springs and there is an indicator by its cap tracking water consumption by the pet. This is a very important aspect to the product design because water consumption is one of the early visible symptoms of diabetes, which is one of the leading illnesses in dogs and cats.
3D Accelerometer Collar
The 3D accelerometer collar is designed to monitor external activities of cats and dogs through tracking irregularities such as temperature, heart rate, sleep patterns, and more. The collars are unique to each pet of the owner so they could keep track of their profiles through the Brave app. The collar and the water bowl work together to create a comprehensive analysis on the user’s pet(s), helping users determine possible symptoms of illnesses ahead of time.
— Digital Platform Decision
Taking the two hardware solutions, we needed to create a platform where it guides users through the installation of these products, store the data being collected, and interpret the data that is collected. Utharai and I decided to create an app that will perform these functions as most owners have smart phones to take photos and videos of their pets.
Tying the loop back to vet visit, I created an additional feature onto the app that tracks and gives alerts to the pet owner, this information can be sent to the vet so that both the vet and the owner can track the pet’s health. In this case, the veterinarian could schedule a visit according to the pet’s health or the pet owner can conveniently schedule an appointment. This mitigates the user’s frustration of relaying the health problems they observe in their pet to the veterinarian as all the data and pet’s health progress is accurately recorded. I also introduced the idea of creating vet’s website application where they can see their appointments for the day, track information about their pet patients and have a more extensive analysis of the pets’ internal and external activities collected.
— System flow
Based on the information seen, I created a system flow diagram of how the information will be collected and circulated to the different users. I made sure that every interaction had its purpose and our solution closes every loop of our problem.
— User Experience
Pet Owner’s view App:
Firstly, the pet owner would purchase the Biosensor Water Bowl and the 3D Accelerometer Collar as a package and they will receive a verification code. The user will download the Brave app, open the app, follow its on boarding process to set up their profile as an owner, set up the two products with their smartphone via Bluetooth to open it and set up their pet’s profile. After setting up the products for the first time, the devices will start collecting data and syncing the information to the user’s phone.
Veterinarian view Web app:
The data that is collected from the products will also be sent to the veterinarian with the consent of the pet owner. Providing this information for the vet will help them track how the owner’s pet is doing and alert pet owners according to their pet’s health. In addition, this will help the owner’s pet get the best treatment a vet can give, provided with the accurate history of the pet’s health progress.
Utharai Thiyagarajah and I designed the user experience of the smart phone app and web application by displaying information according to both users’ knowledge of pet health.
— Style Guide
Yellow is our primary colour for brand because it represents happiness, optimism, cheerfulness and play. As it is the brightest colour of the visible spectrum, it represents high energy, enthusiasm, hope and fun just as pets bring to every household.
— Final Mockups
Here are the final mockups which my team member, Utharai and I created on Sketch, featuring a trustworthy brand and a modern interface.
User Brave App
Marketing and Business
— Lean Canvas
As we were pitching our idea for Deloitte Digital executives, we decided to compose a lean canvas to provide a clear overview of our problem, solution and the potential impact on it’s market. The lean canvas also details our value proposition and ways to move forward with our idea if we decide to.