Ideomed is a software company focusing on disease management platforms. We designed and developed their flagship application, Abriiz, which tracks doses for children with asthma. We are currently working on the mobile component, which includes a game that rewards children for taking their medication.
A Great Idea and a Great Obstacle
Ideomed is a West Michigan start-up specializing in innovative, personalized health management solutions. Their founder, Keith Brophy, spearheaded efforts to create abriiz, an asthma management platform for children and their guardians. Abriiz is a web and mobile application which provides reminders and incentives for scheduled medication, as well as accurate reporting for the child’s physician.
When Ideomed began talks with Mutually Human, they didn’t feel confident about the implementation of their current version of abriiz. While they weren’t comfortable with the code base, they still needed to make progress toward a version 1.2. It was during our work on version 1.2 that many of the underlying issues came to the surface. For example, we discovered functional issues with their database. A bug caused data containing specific characters to become corrupt. They needed help restoring this corrupt data and understanding why those issues were there.
Ideomed was seeking a company with a solid reputation for successful application development, someone they could trust to put these issues in their place. The original version of abriiz was written in Java, so proficiency in the language was obviously another important consideration.
Bringing the Application to Life
As a startup preparing to launch their pilot product, Ideomed had some important objectives in addition to bug fixing and maintenance. They needed features that would build interest and identify their unique place in the market. They wanted abriiz users to be able to log important information about their asthma on a daily basis, such as the triggers that caused specific attacks. This kind of information is valuable for both assessing potential risk factors, and for reporting to a physician. Ideomed also wanted to expand these features to mobile devices, which is essential for reporting doses and attacks as they happen.
One of our first steps with Ideomed was to establish a consistent communication and a regular development process. We began daily talks with them to review work and discuss the next milestones. Though Java was not our primary language, this level of communication helped us set expectations and estimate our hours accurately. Over time, we earned Ideomed’s trust. This trust was important when it came time to propose a bigger project, rewriting abriiz in Ruby on Rails.
There were problems inherent in their existing platform. A majority of the code was crafted by hand rather than relying on tried and true frameworks. This added to the complexity of maintaining the application.
We knew that rewriting abriiz would allow us to function much faster when implementing new features and resolving errors. Ideomed really stepped up and gave us the freedom we needed to make positive changes in their application and our workflow.
When rewriting the program, we were able to integrate a solid design strategy with back-end development, thanks to our in-house designers and UX experts. Together with the power of Ruby, we rolled out a number of successful and beautifully designed features. Once the primary features of abriiz were established and tested, the application successfully deployed in September as a pilot program.
Features that Matter
Two features we’re particularly proud of are Trends and Goals. Trends log the patient’s behavior, including how often they take both regular and rescue medications. The application prompts patients to stay on top of their regular medications so that the rescue doses aren’t needed. We built and deployed this feature in less than a week.
Goals are intended to provide rewards for dosage compliance. The parent or guardian can define Goals to incentivize responsible asthma management in their children. We are proud of this feature, as it encourages regular medication for asthmatic children and reduces the frequency of attacks.
Our most rewarding success, however, is our continued relationship with Ideomed. We are proud of our partnership with them and their insightful product, abriiz.
Building on Success
In the future, we plan to work with Ideomed to monetize the app by enabling an e-commerce feature. This feature would enable Ideomed to package abriiz with insurance companies or employers who would like to offer this as a benefit.
Ultimately, the goal for abriiz is to make asthma management fun and palatable for the children who suffer from the condition. We’re considering more kid-friendly features, such as games that award points for compliance. Ideomed has some great ideas for expanding their features in this direction, and we look forward to those challenges and possibilities.