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April 29, 2021

Interview with Digital Health Student Design Competition Winners | #HCS2021Symposium | Bonus Episode

Recorded on April 21st, 2021, hosted by Nick Room…


Recorded on April 21st, 2021, hosted by Nick Roome with Sofia Noejovich, Dhivya Umachandran, and Anna Linden.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society once again invited students to participate in the "Mobile Health Applications for Consumers" Design Competition in conjunction with the 2021 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care. Join us as we talk to the winners (Team Mothership)!

Sofia was born and raised in New York and came to Wisconsin to study industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She's been in human factors research for 2 years under the supervision of Dr. Nicole Werner and 1 year under the supervision of Dr. John Lee. She is fascinated by the relationship between people and technology and hopes to facilitate the use of technology for the betterment of humanity.

Dhivya is an undergraduate in Industrial Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison graduating in the Spring of 2021. Involved in Human Factors Research through the Werner Lab at UW-Madison. Joining full time with SPX Flow in their Global Manufacturing Operations Rotational program in June.

Anna is a first year PhD student at UW Madison in Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a focus in human factors. She is interested in the intersection of design, technology, and health care systems. Anna formerly worked as a research analyst for Mayo Clinic’s Health Systems Engineering team, and in 2019-2020 completed a Fulbright with the Karolinska Institute in Sweden on the physical and psychological demands of home health workers, and has been working in the Werner Lab since fall 2020.

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Transcript

| Disclaimer: Transcript provided by OtterAI and YouTube automatic Closed Caption. Any inaccuracies or errors are not attributed to the Hosts or contributors to Human Factors Cast. |

hey everybody welcome to a bonus episode of human factors cast I’m your host Nick Roome and I’m joined today by team mothership they are the uh digital health student design competition winners uh on the line today we Sofia Noejovich, Dhivya Umachandran, and Anna Linden.so uh hello everybody welcome to the show hi nick nice to meet you nice to meet you all on the show um so we're going to get into some questions here and I figure we can just kind of go around the table here uh Sofia you are the team lead for team mothership um I have a couple questions for you so what I’ll do is kind of ask these questions and we can just kind of go around here uh so would you just let everybody kind of know what your background is how did how you found human factors uh what your current position or role is and what brought you to the healthcare symposium this year yeah so I am an undergraduate industrial engineering student at the university of Wisconsin-Madison I work in the cognitive systems lab under professor john lee and I work in the warner lab under professor Nicole Werner I was brought to the symposium this year for the design competition and also just a general interest in the health and well-being of others and the use of technology to bring well-being to others great uh anna what about you what uh those same questions what's your background how'd you find human factors uh what's your current position and uh what brought you to the healthcare symposium this year yeah so my background um Dhivya and Sofia are both undergrads I’m a first-year PhD student in Dr. Werner’s lab and my undergraduate background is in psychology um and I went to like a very liberal artsy school so I had no idea that industrial engineering existed um but I found human factors because I was a couple years into doing psych and kind of realized that I didn't want to go the clinical route and I didn't want to do kind of neuro science stuff like that I wanted something a little more applied and so um I ended up doing an internship with the health systems engineering team at mayo clinic um and they're all awesome they're a lot of like badger alumni there so they kind of got me connected to human factors and the Madison program um and then I ended up at Madison so yeah it's my first year as a PhD and working in the lab with Sofia and Dhivya is kind of like how we all got to know each other and form the team and stuff for the competition great anything else bringing you to the healthcare symposium this year or just the competition yeah just a competition and I didn't even get to go because I like I couldn't make the presentation so it's like I didn't even get to go but I've been to the I went to the one in 2018 um in Boston it was like the first time I ever presented a poster I think was at the healthcare symposium so special place in my heart great well I have a I have a confession too I was actually unable to make the design competition uh zoom call as well so we'll get into that in a minute but we also have Dhivya on the line would you mind uh telling our listeners what your background is how you found human factors what your current position or role is and uh what brought you to the symposium this year sure uh hi everyone my name is Dhivya uh first question is background so I am a senior at UW Madison um I'm originally from Chennai in India but I only lived in India till I was six and I've kind of moved around you know to Malaysia the UAE so I lived in Dubai for the last 10 years and then came to school at Madison to study industrial engineering and I'm doing a six sigma certificate so that's been fun um a little bit about you know why I was interested in human factors engineering is I joined the Werner lab about two years ago which is in the industrial engineering department headed by Dr. Nicole Werner and they focus on human factors applications in healthcare and you know industrial engineering as a major is really diverse you know you have so many different applications data analytics manufacturing healthcare supply chain you know the list goes on um and I was really excited to see how I could have like a tangible impact on human life uh you know there's a sense of like empathy and kindness that comes with being in a human factors research role that I think I really developed over the last two years and I can definitely see how I'm viewing things through a different lens uh so it's been it's been it's been a wonderful two years um in research and um I think the third question can you repeat the third question to me third was your current position sure so I'm a part-time student uh at UW-Madison just finishing up school and I'm also a part-time employee at SPX flow I'm going to be joining them full time in June uh but they primarily manufacture industrial process equipment in the food and beverage uh industry that's the main sector uh but they have applications in other industries as well um so yeah that's my current I guess role uh and um the fourth question I know there was a fourth question yeah anything else bringing you to the healthcare symposium this year well Sofia and I actually uh met as you know I think it was uh sophomores uh through tutoring it was and we became great friends and we worked on some research uh posters in the past and then now it's just hey this would be really fun to do and then I got to meet anna through this which was awesome uh so yeah all of us met at the uh at the lab and you know in in the industrial engineering department so that's kind of what brought me to the to the design competition I thought it would be exciting to apply it in a different I guess different area yeah so let's talk about the design competition Sofia I want to ask you just give us a little bit more background about the design competition what is it um you know kind of what is what was the what is the design competition let's start there yeah so the objective of the design competition I think was for human factors to really engineers to really brainstorm um how we could create technology and design specifically apps um for consumer for consumers so this is for non-healthcare professionals we're focusing on everyday folks who could benefit from the use of technology focusing on their personal health and for the design competition we each got to focus on a particular facet of health our team decided to focus on determinants of health that we that were established by the national institute of health focusing on individual behavior and social circumstances so individual behavior being self-efficacy how people are able to support themselves and also social circumstances how people are able to improve their interactions with others and so that brought us to thinking about supporting working mothers during the pandemic okay so I guess my question here is the problem space of the design competition kind of fairly broad or is it narrow with mothers during the pandemic like was that the prompt for this year was that something you guys came up with that was a prompt we came up with um so we got to decide which specific group we wanted to focus on and actually Dhivya um really came up with the inspiration for focusing on working mothers if you want to speak to that Dhivya oh sure so I think it was um I think it was November or October right when we really started talking about this competition uh you know there was an influx of posts on LinkedIn about working models and you know the burnout they're experiencing due to the pandemic and I was also watching that kind of unfold with a lot of uh well like mothers in my own family right my extended family relatives and so on and I was actually living with family at the time in Minnesota um she was a stay-at-home mom uh the person that I'm referring to but you know I kind of I kind of saw how care work just isn't given enough credit or importance or validation and I just felt like we needed to address that right and just LinkedIn kind of just reinforced that that there's a problem at hand and we need to do something about solving it so that was kind of the inspiration behind it just helping models cope with managing so many different aspects of their life there's their health their kids their you know partner and then the goal in the future is to also make this app more accessible not only to mothers but the stay-at-home parent the person performing care work in the family uh that's the larger goal but at the time we were trying to narrow the scope because you know the way society is structured right now a lot of the time the woman is the one or the mother and the family is the one taking up the obligation of care work but you know we're extremely progressive a bunch of people so we wanted to you know we want to in the future roll it out and hopefully you know people are going to you know other gender identities are going to take up that role in the future that's the hope um so yeah the burden doesn't fall on one you know section of society yeah sorry yeah I was gonna say that our um the lab the Werner lab that we're all in is really um focused on caregiving um and patient work and so that was kind of a space that we were all coming from is these projects that we've been developing and working on around how to support caregivers and people who do care work outside of institutions like hospitals and they're often under-resourced and under-supported and so I think that was also kind of what brought us together as a team initially was that we knew we had that shared interest and reaching out to caregiving um populations and then the fact that it was women and working mothers um was also like not a surprise it is like definitely a an area of interest for all of us I think yeah so let's talk briefly about the solution so the problem obviously is working mothers care caregivers um those demographics now how um what is the solution to that right like what have you come up with for uh this design competition Sofia we'll go back to you I was messing with the mute button yeah the emblem of 2021. um so I guess I kind of want to take a step back and talk a little bit about how we got to the solution so that it sort of makes sense how we uh came up with our final app but we followed something called the double diamond framework which is a four-step process the first being discovery defined and then we move into development and deliver we started really broadly in the discovery phase speaking to a very wide range of mothers some with very young infants some with older children and we had learned through that research that um some of the struggles that mothers were facing was with perfectionism so a lot of times feeling frustrated that they can't get to all their tasks throughout the day there was frustration with consolidation of technology and apps also with dividing work amongst family members I had a great quote during one of our interviews where a mother said that running a family should be like running a business especially during the pandemic um so from that process we had determined that we wanted to focus on the aspects of health that we could support mothers in so our app um when you open the interface the first thing you see is a task allocation page where you can see your schedule for the day and there's also the ability to allocate tasks to other members of the family and I don't know if you want to speak more of that attribute because I know it's something you spent a lot of time working on

yeah so we had a few different themes kind of emerged like from the discovery process with our interviews and affinity diagramming and stuff so the three themes that we tried to tackle the app were task management community and then access to professional resources um and I can see like briefly about the task management so the idea was kind of a space where working mothers or parents could see at a glance their tasks what they had to do for the day alongside the rest of the family and so that you have a sense of keeping up to date of what everyone is doing and then also when you add a new task you have the option to either add it to your list add it to someone else's list or there's an option to kind of auto assign so you'll put in two members of the app and then click auto assign and the app will auto assign the task to someone who has room in their calendar or has fewer tasks on their schedule for the day so the idea is to kind of not um automatically assume that certain tasks you know domestic tours or meal time tests would be performed by the mother you know when you're auto assigning you can hopefully the hope is to take into account actual workload as opposed to subconscious roles um and so the idea is to kind of validate all of those tasks that women have on their plate as actual work that could be performed by any member of the family and so that's kind of where the task assignment function comes in yeah can I ask a little bit more follow up on some of the task management piece right because there's a lot of tasks that parents mothers have to go through on a day-to-day basis a lot of them are repeat tasks something like cleaning up the living room when your toddler throws their Legos all over the place um so is I guess is there a way in the app to set up some of those repeat like every night you got to make dinner every night you got to clean up the living room or something like that and then what does that look like um from the perspective of the app like what happens so I guess there's two questions here one it's their repeat app or repeat tasks and then two what happens I know the purpose is to kind of validate all the tasks that a mother has to do and most of the time is on autopilot what does that look like when you have sort of that information overload of all these different tasks that you have to do around the house

yeah that's great so the first question you can set um you're able to set a due date and you can set up repeating so you can set it to repeat as often as you want it to um yeah and the second question is really good if one of the things that we tried to be really intentional about with this app was not treating task management as another chore so we try to really reduce the number of steps that the user has to go through in the interface to add a new task and to be able to see everyone's tasks and one of the ways that we tried to address that was integration with google calendar and other external calendars as well as like Fitbit and apple watch and so the idea is to kind of bring in other management technologies that the user might already be using to keep track of these things so that they don't have information um in all these different places because I think we all kind of know how that contributes to like mental overload and so our hope was that the way that people would use the app would be as a way to keep all of that in one place um and then an additional feature was the addition of um what did we call it I don't remember like accomplishments tab but like I was just going to talk about that yeah Stephen’s accomplishments I don't even really called it just has a little star in the app oh yeah I like I remember just the star page but um but when you cross something off the task book or you say what to do it shuffles over to another tab where you can go then see your accomplishments for the day weekend month we really wanted to like give mothers a space to actually take in like look at how much you are doing and how much you are accomplishing um because sometimes in the day-to-day you know it kind of gets lost and so we wanted to provide um a space not only for them to organize but also to like validate um yeah respect the work that they are doing yeah um I'd also like to add to that I know there was another part to that I don't know if this falls exactly under tasks but we had a start of the day and end of the day feature in our app that so the start of the day feature would uh would let you a lot you know time for self-care so whatever that may look like meditation or maybe going out for a run um and at the end of the day would have a list you know list of uh tasks that you either need to complete our um you can swipe to say that you did complete it's like a reminder itself as a reminder at the end of the day to say that okay uh these are the tasks that you had to do you know did you finish them uh serves as a reminder so that kind of keeps them in the loop um and the point of integrating Fitbit and apple and a smartwatch feature is to show that you know if they make time for exercise you know those metrics are being tracked on the same platform and they can kind of access it all in the same place so it was also while they're doing their tasks also thinking about health metrics are they taking care of themselves while doing all of this care work or are they just taking care of people around them because with mothers a lot of the time they're very giving and affectionate and sometimes they lose track of you know okay I need I need to sleep and I need to eat and you know I need to take care of myself so that that was that was a huge driver for us

and oh sorry no go ahead go ahead just to tie that all back like full circle um in the beginning I talked about those attributes of health focused on self-efficacy and on social interaction um I think anna and Dhivya really beautifully laid out um how it brings it back to those core values of we're promoting self-efficacy through accomplishments and validation of work and also improving social interactions by optimizing how mothers are able to allocate work um in their families yeah so I want to dig into a little bit more about this app you mentioned the kind of three I don't know if you want to call them pillars or areas there was the task management there was the resources and I'm forgetting the third one community uh do you want to talk about maybe like community next and kind of how um that played a role in the app design yeah so um I was inspired actually by um mural boards I had seen worked on throughout the semester um our community tab what it does is it posts a daily um message such as you know what are you looking forward to the for the weekend and mothers who are using mothership within their area can post post-it notes uh with comments and mothers can post on each other's comments on each other's post-its um and can interact with one another just to reduce any loneliness or isolation that mothers might be facing on a daily basis this was something that came up in our interviews so again promoting a sense of community amongst mothers it also provides opportunity for mothers to connect with one another their twitter handles are available on their profiles if they choose to have that information we also have an option for anonymous anonymity

I think I tripped on that word during our presentation.

um just to give mothers that flexibility of you know maybe they want the interaction but they don't want the social media aspect just really thinking about preferences that our users might have yeah and just to add to that I know that so we did a little bit of research on that you know the society aspect of it and you know people's interactions with their family friends co-workers has a direct impact on their well-being and the whole goal was with the community tab was to create this you know safe positive space in which mothers can interact uh you know just to serve as like a happiness booster and feel like they're not alone uh in whatever they're doing and the prompts would kind of help get that conversation going

yeah, that all seems like that community aspect really seems critical especially during times like these where social interaction is very limited um and then of course the last one you mentioned was access to some of these professional resources what does that look like

yeah so I guess I can take that one um so our resources tab has three sort of mini tabs within it there is a page um for like articles um which is just kind of a news feed of articles that are aggregated um and some of them are targeted to mothers about motherhood but there's also an option for you to choose your interests and the articles that come to you will be based on those interests and what we really wanted to do with that was provide a space for moms to be to access information and articles outside of their role as a mother you know they can they have interests related to um productivity or yoga I think is one of them and trying to think like outdoors like hiking things like that so like encouraging them like even though this is a motherhood focused app and a lot of the tasks are related to motherhood um there's so much more that um of their identity that we want to affirm and then the other page is professional resources so access to mental health help lines and counselors in their area just suggested resources you know encouraging them that community is great and self-care breaks are great but accessing mental health resources is so important during this time too and destigmatizing that as well just making it a common feature of that and this was uh I think one of the best parts of our app was this is actually an instance where we got to integrate user feedback into our design so we did usability testing at the end of the design and one of the mothers mentioned or two of them I think that they loved the resources but they wanted an ability to search and actually save them so they could refer to them at a later time if they wanted to schedule like a family trip or something um so we were able to integrate that into our design immediately which is you know great to see that yeah so at this point I want to be respectful of everyone's time uh so at this point I just want to open it up one last time anything else that you want any of our listeners to know about this app and we kind of talked about the three main areas I want to make sure that if there's anything we forgot we have a chance to address it

I think uh just one thing I'd like to add about our problem statement is um there's a lot of research right now indicating that um the lines between work and family is going to be blurred beyond the pandemic so after all of us are vaccinated we're going to find ourselves in these virtual work environments so we think our app while it was inspired in supporting mothers during the pandemic the impact will really move along with those changes in work balance that we're going to see in the future

yeah agree all right well um that's going to be it for today everyone uh thank you to our group uh team mothership for uh coming on the show and talking about winning the digital health student design competition from the human factors healthcare symposium uh 2021 I'm gonna go around the room here Dhivya where can our listeners go and find you if they want to find out more about your research sure I would say primarily on LinkedIn uh but I will little disclaimer I am going to be working in the manufacturing sector moving forward but I know for sure that if I come back into academia human factors is going to be something that I loved you know field I'd love to work in especially you know when it comes to integrating that into manufacturing environments right we already know they exist with those error proofing systems uh but yeah definitely you know still on my radar uh we'll see how that goes um but I'll try to use you know my goal is to view things through a human factors lens when I'm working in manufacturing environments because that is so important um so yeah I hope to do that you know hope to apply it uh moving forward excellent anna where can our listeners go and find you if they want to keep up with your yeah research as Dhivya I think LinkedIn is the best place um yeah and I'll be doing uh human factors in healthcare at Madison for who knows how long however long the PhD um yeah maybe even in person someday so that's where I'll be they can come find you in the labs over there all right and Sofia where can our listeners go and find you if they want to keep up with your research yeah so um my website is sofianojvich.com um I'm also on LinkedIn and I will be hopefully applying human factors to the technology space so if anyone wants to ever chat with me about that let me know all right well thank you all for being on the show at the end of the show we like to say it depends that's how we kind of sign off because in human factors that's a pretty common answer and everything depends on something so I'm gonna count us down from three on zero we will say it depends ready three two one zero it depends

Anna Linden Profile Photo

Anna Linden

Interviewee

Anna is a first year PhD student at UW Madison in Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a focus in human factors. She is interested in the intersection of design, technology, and health care systems. Anna formerly worked as a research analyst for Mayo Clinic’s Health Systems Engineering team, and in 2019-2020 completed a Fulbright with the Karolinska Institute in Sweden on the physical and psychological demands of home health workers, and has been working in the Werner Lab since fall 2020.

Sofia Noejovich Profile Photo

Sofia Noejovich

Interviewee

Sofia was born and raised in New York and came to Wisconsin to study industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She's been in human factors research for 2 years under the supervision of Dr. Nicole Werner and 1 year under the supervision of Dr. John Lee. She is fascinated by the relationship between people and technology and hopes to facilitate the use of technology for the betterment of humanity.

In her free time, she plays guitar, runs, cooks, experiments with text analysis, and reads books about psychology and historical figures.

Dhivya Umachandran Profile Photo

Dhivya Umachandran

Interviewee

Undergraduate in Industrial Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison graduating in the Spring of 2021. Involved in Human Factors Research through the Werner Lab at UW-Madison. Joining full time with SPX Flow in their Global Manufacturing Operations Rotational program in June.