big tomorrow design agency


The Company: A small design agency in SF doing design for a healthcare startup.

The Brief: How might we design an at-home experience for elders to recover from knee or hip replacement surgery?

Quick Facts:

  • Elderly people often do not recover from hip or knee surgery correctly, resulting in complications and unnecessary operations.

  • There is currently no at-home system to keep recovering patients on track

  • We designed 3 iterations in interaction and visual design for Clarity Health based on this at-home recovery app idea.


The Story: The problem is manifold: prepping for surgery requires following strict rules and meeting a lot of needs about patient anxiety, and recovering from surgery also requires adhering to a strict recovery plan with physical exercises. Failure to either prep for surgery or recover by doing the exercises consistently can lead to complications. The healthcare startup we consulted saw the lack of support from hospitals post-surgery to support patients, who’s health and recovery were compromised.

Because they didn’t have enough contact, information, accountability, or encouragement from their healthcare providers after hip or knee replacement surgery, a significant portion of these patients suffered incredible setbacks in their health. Some of the consequences involve unbalanced hips as the hip replacement without proper physical therapy causes the new hip to heal wrong. The result is one leg can be shorter than the other. Other adverse recovery scenarios include lack of mobility in the hip or knee, ongoing pain, and even worse pain after the replacement than before, which defeats the purpose of surgery in the first place.

The result of this significant portion of patients failing to recover is that many patients are frustrated, hospitals lose money in various ways because of the failures, and patients lose money because of further operations, hospital visits, and therapy that would not have been required had they recovered properly.

The startup we consulted saw an opportunity here to help patients recover properly as well as save hospitals money by preventing the post-operation failures. They figured that if they could propose an interactive product that patients would use at home, increasing the rate of proper recovery, to the hospitals, then the hospitals would pay for the product because it would save them money and create more post-operative successes. We were called in as their design consultancy to carefully and quickly create this experience for patients in a way that satisfies the needs of the patients as well as the needs of the hospitals.