BIMA

Telemedicine in Ghana



Goal


Build a telemedicine service for lower income customers. Focus on Ghana, but make it reproducible elsewhere.


Where

BIMA operates in 16 emerging markets countries



My role


Service and product designer. I worked with 2 other designers and the BIMA Ghana team to conduct in-country user research (interviews, ideation sessions, prototyping) to inform the design of the new BIMA Doctor service and product. I also leveraged data analysis of customer data to inform our eventual design.


Focus

Focus groups during research

Synthesis

Daily synthesis sessions with the team



Learnings





Solution


A simplified BIMA doctor service. For less than $4 / year, customers get an in-person health screening and remote access to BIMA doctors (call or text via an Android app).

We focused a lot on designing internal tools (server space, infrastructure improvements at HQ, an open-source, secure CMS/ EHR) to ensure consistent (and not redundant) care across BIMA’s clinicians. But we also designed updated requirements for its Android app and devised an integration with WhatsApp and a set of partnerships with pharmacies (where many Ghanaians go for care) to improve service accessibility.

Shortly after completing our work, BIMA raised $97 million to expand its products in all markets.


App principles

Design principle for the app

Whatsapp

WhatsApp integration



Problem


In many countries, citizens below a certain income threshold struggle to access high-quality, affordable healthcare.

Ghana has a public health system, but many low-income earners do not use it because services are rarely free as promised, long lines, and there’s a collective distrust in its quality.

My client, BIMA, is a for-profit business, with operations in 16 countries, which primarily sells micro-insurance (pre-paid accident, life, hospitalization insurance) to low-income earners. And it had been testing out a new service in Ghana to provide customers with health services too.




Process


Our process followed a rigorous but traditional human centered design process (Plan > Research > Synthesize > Ideate > Prototype > Test > Repeat). And we prioritized working closely with and training BIMA staff on our process so they could use it in other countries too.

Timeline: 10 weeks with 4 in Ghana and 1 in London (BIMA HQ). We started with 1 week of planning and research before spending 3 weeks conducting user interviews in (primarily) Accra and Kumasi. Then we returned to Ghana after ideation sessions for prototyping work before spending the final part of the project refining our designs.


Ideation

Ideation results

Research2

Intercept interviews in Kumasi

Persona

Persona mapping after research

Research

Research methods we used