Building a Better Journal My Health In Partnership With You

Recently, our development partner Chariot Solutions wrote about their experience building out the Journal My Health app. It was part of a column on the importance of using a minimum viable product (or MVP) to collect user feedback and get to a better final product more efficiently.

In reading that piece, I was reminded again of the importance and power of our user community. You have been an engaged, instrumental part of the Journal My Health journey from day one. Your input and feedback have helped us refine the app and ultimately give you back a better solution, more adept at helping you navigate your own chronic care journeys.

Too many times, healthcare businesses become sidetracked and put out offerings that overlook the realities of a patient’s life. This omission of what matters most to you as a patient can lead to a disconnect with a product or solution that would otherwise prove valuable.

That’s where Journal My Health can help fill the gap for physicians and healthcare companies. By introducing new tools and features that have their ultimate customer – you – in mind and at its center, we deepen the connection and collaboration between you and your physician throughout your healthcare journey.

To best achieve that goal, we’ve deliberately created a phased development strategy for our mobile app with ingrained feedback loops so that we’re always adding the features and benefits that matter most to you. We build an MVP, listen to your thoughts and feedback, then iterate. It’s a rinse, wash, repeat approach.

By putting an actual app in the hands of our users, we could get a critical headstart on design input for future iterations of the product.

The Journal My Health period tracker is a great example. This was our most requested user feature. Initially, we thought we could simply integrate to an already-available, high-quality period tracker along with Apple Health’s planned period tracker.

But the more we researched and the more we spoke with users, we realized these existing trackers were primarily intended for monitoring pregnancy and sexual health – very different from our intended use at Journal My Health. Our period tracker was envisioned as a simpler “do you have your period” yes or no answer. The goal being to determine the impact on or relationship between one’s period and their symptoms.

So, we built that basic functionality, pushed it live, then waited for your feedback. Surprisingly, we heard back that it actually served as a preferred replacement to the many other period trackers you were already using. By boiling down the functionality, we made it more useful for you and helped you actually consolidate the apps you were using to support your health.

The key learning was that what we thought might be optimal integrations would actually have created mismatched data fields and entry. By creating our own, simpler tracker, we actually simplified life for you, our users.

We’ll follow a similar game plan for our soon-to-launch blood pressure cuff integration – the second most requested feature by Journal My Health users.

In our research, we found there is no clear leader in connected blood pressure cuffs. There are so many different types and not all of them have associated mobile apps or Bluetooth connectivity. This fragmentation made it impossible to choose one or two optimal integrations because that would likely cut off many of you from using it.

So instead, we’ve created a field for you to take your own blood pressure using whatever system you already own, then enter the data directly into the app. Even though manual data entry is not our preferred option, it seems to be the best one that will work for most people and multiple early user tests have confirmed this. 

Still, we’ll stick to our wash, rinse, repeat strategy of rolling out the feature then modifying based on your feedback.

This approach tracks to our ultimate mission of putting people back in control of their own health. In order to best achieve that, we need to design solutions that work best for you – not dictate that you use whichever we feel is the best approach.

The truth is that we’re in this together. We win as a business when you feel seen and heard, when your voice and active participation help drive a better health outcome. 

So keep the feedback coming – help us design a better Journal My Health for a better healthcare future for all.