Health Empower app for Group IDEWE
Group IDEWE is the largest external service in Belgium for prevention and protection at work. The organization focuses on improving working and living conditions, physical and mental well-being and personal development of employees. For that purpose, IDEWE Group fulfills tasks in various areas, such as safety, health and occupational medicine.
The challenge: personal health advice for the user
Today’s healthcare delivery is mostly reactive and process-driven, with predetermined advice and coaching that does not really take specific demands and individual needs into account. However, a person and their individual needs should be at the center of healthcare, as should a proactive attitude. After all, prevention is better than curing. Moreover, it is important that people are sufficiently supported, so they can take care of their own health.
To this end, Group IDEWE has set up the Personal Health Empowerment (PHE) project in collaboration with KU Leuven, of which the mobile Health Empower (HE) app is a part of. With this HE app, Group IDEWE wants to enable people to monitor and improve their own health with the help of smart coaching and personalized advice. KU Leuven will provide the advice thanks to intelligent algorithms and data entered by users of the app.
Our solution: an accessible and secure app
Before starting the app’s development, we organized several brainstorming sessions with Group IDEWE and KU Leuven. This way, we created clarity for all parties regarding the concept and its technicalities. During these brainstorms, we set up some requirements for the HE app.
- The HE app has to be user-friendly and easy to use for a broad spectrum of users, and should never feel like a burden or a chore.
- The data of the users is personal and must always remain well-protected.
- To reach that broad target group as much as possible, the HE app has to run on both Android and iOS smartphones.
For the development of the app we chose React Native as a framework. Working with React Native has two advantages: a drastic reduction in development costs and a quick start of the project thanks to our previous experiences with React Native. With React Native we developed in the weblanguage React, with the final output being a native app on both iOS and Android.
Developing in one language means we only have to make modifications once, fix bugs once, and learn and maintain only one codebase. This translates into a lower development cost, while Group IDEWE can still put a cross-platform app on the market.
Personalized advice and continuous feedback
The HE app works with different questionnaires to receive input from users. There are two questionnaires with a clear time indication: MyDaily is a short, daily questionnaire and MySurvey is a longer one where users are given one week’s time to fill in the questionnaire. To keep the app as accessible as possible, the questions are short and easy to understand. The questionnaires update automatically and regularly within the app, without having to update the app itself.
As soon as a user has sent in their answers, the smart algorithms of KU Leuven start working with the data to formulate personalized advice. The more frequently the user sends in answers to the questionnaires and keeps the personal data in their profile up-to-date, the more accurate their personalized advice will be. That personalized advice is then sent back to the user and is available in the app. This way, Group IDEWE and KU Leuven provide users with continuous feedback on their health.
The next version of the app will also integrate with a Fitbit smartwatch. The data collected by the smartwatch, such as exercise, can then be used to give even better advice.
Focus on accessibility and user-friendliness
Accessibility is, together with user-friendliness, one of the most important requirements of the HE app. To meet those requirements, our development team followed best practices for the UX and UI. Users can for example tap directly from the homepage of the app to provide input, with the most frequently used functions in screens in the foreground of the app while others settings can be found in the background. Additionally, smart components ensure that users do not have to type in the app. Lastly, biometrics let users log in quickly and easily without sacrificing security.
Strong security of sensitive data
Because a lot of personal information is registered in the app, we also paid a lot of attention to the security of this data. For these security purposes, users are required to use a one-time password when logging into the HE app for the first time. This one-time password is sent to the phone number registered to the user at IDEWE. Once the one-time password has been confirmed, users are able to log in via biometrics or a pincode. The app automatically detects which options are available on the device.
To further secure user’s data, the app locks all data after too many incorrect login attempts. After too many failed attempts to unlock the data, the app erases all data for security reasons.
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