Role: User Researcher & Designer
Type: User Research & Design
Skills: User Research Techniques & Figma
This project was initiated by Dr. Shelley Rankin, Head of Diagnostic Services at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital.
The diagnostic lab provides a wide array of traditional diagnostic services to veterinarians, but Dr. Rankin wanted our team to explore the possibility of a direct-to-consumer model for providing pet owners with at-home diagnostic services.
Dr. Rankin, as well as my team, viewed this project as an intrapreneurship opportunity within the PennVet ecosystem, and as such, we treated the prompt as though we were building a new venture.
This work arises as a proposal from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, which consisted in designing a in-house laboratory testing service for pets.
To finish understanding the problem we were facing, we conducted a number of remote user interviews -the COVID-19 outbreak brought limitations to the project-:
Many apps have emerged in recent times that allow pet owners to consult their veterinarians, but with some important limitations still. When it comes to animal testing, you lose the 'magic' of having a completely remote experience since the owner must bring the pet to the clinic for testing.
HomePetLab is an at-home diagnostic sampling kit that enables diagnostic testing to be performed in remote televeterinary relationships. The kit contains everything a pet owner needs to collect samples from their pet and send them directly to the PennVet Diagnostic laboratory, where they will be processed and the results shared with the televet so she can make a proper, informed, diagnosis.
We knew that we needed to convey a sense of security & trust, while also transmitting a sense of playfulness and joy for the user to not feel they are putting their pet at risk.
Users would arrive to our website by their vet's recommendation, who will share the product's url with the owner to finish the purchase.
Once the box arrives, the user collects the samples, creates an account, and registers the box in our system so we can identify and match the sample with the pet owner.
Finally, you and your vet will be able to access all the tests and results from a dashboard for record keeping and sharing. This platform should also have an API to seamlessly integrate with tele-vet apps if necessary
The concept is currently in pilot testing in the PennVet ecosystem, allowing Penn-affiliated veterinarians to send kits to their clients that they can send back for testing. Considering this is an entirely new business model, the team has also developed a plan to prove the value proposition, validate the market need, de-risk the implementation of the product, and grow the customer base.