Launching a service solution for the identification of genetic diseases

What if you could early detect potential diseases in your child? At first, it may look easy to answer this question, but as we found out it is not that simple! Looking at genetics-based medicine as one of the possibilities for the future of preventive medicine, our challenge was to help CBR Genomics define the value proposition of one of its services (a genetic test for the identification of genetic diseases in babies).

Client

CBR Genomics

Challenge

Co-create end-to-end solutions for the identification of genetic diseases

Impact

A clear vision of the real needs of parents and pediatricians, together with new ideas for the service offering and a tested prototype.

Understanding the perspective of parents and pediatricians

Before thinking about the service offering, we started by remotely empathising with parents (including future parents) and pediatricians. At this stage, we gained a clearer context on both sides –  having a baby and being the doctor responsible for a baby’s health. We uncovered the needs, motivations, pains, and gains of both the parents, who may consider having their child genetically tested, and pediatricians, who may advise and prescribe the exam and whose opinion/recommendation on important topics is taken seriously. 

All the information from the in-depth interviews was analysed and organized on the user side of a Value Proposition Canvas (VPC).

Genetics is a complex ‘pandora box’

Parents want the best possible for their children, especially when talking about health. Being aware of all the available treatment options shows to be a top priority. We found that genetics can be a notably grey area, with a lot of unfamiliarity, complexity, and ethical/legal issues, where different parents and pediatricians can have very distinct opinions. 

 

Despite the normal existing concern for the baby’s health, some parents also assume that everything is OK until they are told otherwise. Furthermore, there is a tension between the desire to have tools to prevent and improve a child’s health and the anxiety it can cause. The information and results need to be adapted and transparent, written in a common language, and reinforced with scientific evidence.  

 

From the pediatrician’s perspective, this type of preventive exam only makes sense if symptoms are involved, and there is an available medical treatment for the analysed disease.

 

All of the factors above made this challenge even more challenging. We had to give space to all the perspectives and try to answer questions that did not have a black or white answer. Nevertheless, it does not invalidate that we should listen carefully to customers, especially in sensitive topics such as health.

From insights to a tested prototype

After digesting all the research insights, it was time to sit with CBR Genomics’ team to ideate on the service side of the VPC. Focusing on the insights considered most relevant, we generated several ideas that could target those needs, pains, and gains.


In order to test the concepts developed for the parents during ideation and further explore the parents’ opinion towards a service of this kind, we conducted a Design Sprint. Throughout the week, the team reflected on assumptions, benchmarked the concepts, prototyped several website pages that included the ideas (a Q&A page and a filtering criteria page), and tested them with real people. 

 

Since this is a service that touches on a complex and unknown topic, we felt the need to take a step back and include more general information. This way, and with some research results incorporated into the prototype, parents could also give a more focused opinion on how the service is presented. 

At the end of the week, we managed to collect a new set of valuable information that came to provide additional direction for CBR Genomics. From understanding the necessity of extreme transparency on every decision made by the service provider and why, to the fact that parents appreciate videos with professionals due to the credibility, comfort, and closeness it transmits. In addition, the filtering criteria for the genetic exam were not understandable for parents, and, therefore, they need further iteration.

Koos encouraged us to participate in several stages of the process, including listening to people's feedback which was very fruitful and insightful. This way we could adapt the narrative and the communication materials and formats to the needs of our target audience, even before the launch.

— Cátia Dourado Life Science Marketing & Communication, CBR Genomics

Conclusions

Asking for customer feedback when developing a service may not be as easy as it seems, but it is definitely valuable! Even though CBR Genomics already had many things thought out, it was possible to gather information that clarifies and validates some points and find complete new insights that will be important in upcoming decision moments. By questioning the service before launching, it is now possible to rethink, readjust and polish some edges of the offering, having in mind parents, pediatricians, and business requirements. And the CBR Genomics team already started adjusting and altering a few features based on the user test results!

 

CBR Genomics team appreciated being involved in the process and attending the user tests since it gives them a stronger and deeper sense of what the users feel and need.

 

As next steps, it can be essential to test concepts with pediatricians (important stakeholders with significant impact on parents’ decisions) to see if and how they answer to the research findings. In future developments, the goal is to make similar processes for the other services that CBR Genomics plans to launch in order to include customer feedback from the beginning.

Interested about how to make your service customer-centered?

From fully functioning services to future value propositions, there is immense value in bringing real users and stakeholders to make sure our solution fits their needs and beliefs. Interested about making your service customer-centered? Get in touch!

The brainpower behind this project

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Ece Ozenir

Olya Vashchyshak

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