Explorer Surgical – AG.digital

Explorer Surgical - Comprehensive UI System for a Healthcare Startup.

Explorer Surgical is a successful Chicago-based startup

Explorer Surgical helps surgery teams better coordinate with hospital management to improve workflow and increase the efficiency of a hospital. The team raised two rounds of investments totaling over $4 million and continues to grow, onboarding more and more healthcare providers from all over the United States. The key to the company’s success is creating a unique digital user experience that combines the efforts of every member of the surgery team, provides assistance with all possible issues, and helps surgery teams increase efficiency by constantly improving their techniques for performing surgeries. Here’a short video about the startup (the interface shown in the video is the v.1 interface created before our team started working on the project).

The Explorer Surgical digital service combines several channels:

  • A corporate website
  • A Web-based desktop application
  • An application for touch-screen TVs, set up in surgery rooms
  • An iPad app used during surgery by team members
  • An iPhone app

While working on all the digital channels and improving the overall user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of the services, the main challenge for our team was the iPad app. The most complicated part of the work is that UI elements used during a stressful process like surgery must look and function differently from the apps we use on a day-to-day basis. Such limitations include:

  • Obviously, all elements should be large and high-contrast.
  • Following federal healthcare regulations, devices used in surgery rooms must be sterile. To meet that objective, assistants put the devices into two layers of plastic sleeves. As a result, tapping elements is much harder and swiping is not an option at all.
  • While featuring comprehensive information about all the surgery steps as well as a detailed description of the tools and controls used to communicate with other team members and hospital administration, the app should be very simplistic to avoid distraction from the main process.

In collaboration with the Explorer Surgical team, we developed a highly-efficient user-friendly interface that is currently being integrated with all of the company’s digital channels. The interface seamlessly assists surgery teams to ensure that the process runs smoothly. The app also provides quick access to additional information as well as info on the surgical process and optional steps of the surgery. We believe that the digital solution we designed not only improves the workflow of hospitals, but also helps doctors save people’s lives.

After performing a series of field tests during real surgeries, we learned a number of interesting insights from actual surgery team members. Using this feedback and app stats, we performed two rounds of iterations to tweak the major functionality and layout of the app. Since then, we are constantly and systematically working on improving the UX of the app.

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