The UX Boot Camp: Emessence, November 18-21 in San Francisco.

A guest post by Emessence Co-Founders Ryan Bloom and Raman Talwar

"I find myself asking 'How will I feel today?' just about every day."
-Christie, patient with Multiple Sclerosis

Christie’s experience with Multiple Sclerosis isn’t unusual. Many patients describe the disease as unpredictable, debilitating and painful. We recently started our company, Emessence, in an effort to enable something unprecedented: symptom-free management of MS. That’s a tall order, and we have our work cutout for us.

Right now, we’re developing a blood test that could monitor the activity of Multiple Sclerosis and match patients with the particular drug therapy that has the highest likelihood of success. As we work on developing this product, we regularly face tricky questions that any startup faces like:

  • Will insurers pay for this test?
  • Will prescribing or performing the test fit into the neurologist’s workflow?
  • Are we giving the physician information that could increase their liability?
  • Are there any stakeholders who may lose money or patient visits if this test is prescribed?

While navigating our complex web of decision-makers and stakeholders, it is sometimes all too easy to forget about the most important person at the center of it all: the patient!

That is why we were thrilled when Cooper offered to help us move our product vision forward by focusing their November 18-21 UX Boot Camp on the patient experience of Multiple Sclerosis. As a chronic disease that many people live with for 40 years or more, managing MS becomes a lifestyle. Through coordinating the many physicians involved in their treatments, staying compliant with constantly changing drug regimens, and managing their diet and activity level, patients have a full workload if they want to ensure that they are staying on top of their disease. This burden is compounded by frustration when no treatments seem to be working, and the patient has little insight into how their doctors are making decisions about their health. With the help of UX Boot Camp participants, we hope our product will provide a holistic solution that will empower patients by providing more support, information and visibility into their health and habits.

The task won’t be easy though – patients with MS vary widely in age, technological savvy, engagement with their treatments, and even their desire for social support. Negotiating this complex landscape to create a great product will require rigorous application of proven design methodologies as well as creativity, teamwork and tenacity. We can’t think of better people to take on this challenge than the amazing team of Cooper facilitators combined with all of the enthusiastic participants who have signed up to be part of this UX Boot Camp.

Can’t wait to see the results!

If you’re interested in participating in the Nov. 18-21 UX Boot Camp in San Francisco, a few seats are still available! This workshop is best suited for design practitioners, developers, and product managers who are familiar with the basics of UX design but want an opportunity to challenge and refine their skills by working on a focused project together. If you’re interested but can’t make it to this one, sign up to be notified about future UX Boot Camps.

Image sourced from US News & World Report