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My Work on Citrix PatientConsult

PatientConsult — A Citrix Healthcare Experiment

PatientConsult — A Citrix Healthcare Experiment


PatientConsult is a new secure communication tool for doctors that allows them to discuss patient cases with specialists and other doctors in a HIPAA-compliant environment. To the doctor, it simply looks like a sleek mobile app, rather than a corporate system. Using familiar chat-style communications, clinicians can include patient data, images, audio notes and more. The project came out of the Citrix incubator with the initial goal of exploring the future of healthcare and IoT. 


Over the course of 90 days, I’ve collaborated with two technologists from Citrix R&D team and conducted ethnographic interviews with doctors, patients, and medical specialists, brainstormed with cross-functional teams hundreds of wildly different ideas, created low-fidelity prototypes to test out early concepts, and worked with illustrators to create storyboards of how these new solutions would fit into the lives of customers. Subsequently, we focused on refining the business model by testing core business assumptions with our potential customers and stakeholders, before embarking upon high-fidelity design and technical implementation of the beta app. Going through the incubation process helped us zero-in on one specific concept - PatientConsult, that we developed in collaboration with and sponsored by Customer Insights and Citrix Labs. 

Let me know if you have any more questions → olga@bluefiglabs.com

– Olga Dotter

Designed a prototype of the initial concept and led it all the way to the final implementation of the iOS app, PatientConsult  

Role: Ethnography, Prototyping, Concept Development, Interaction Design, Product Management


  • Product: PatientConsult app (iOS) with a HIPAA-compliant ShareFile storage solution 
  • User: Doctors and specialists in small to mid-size hospitals in the U.S. 
  • Business: freemium model with “pay-as-you-go” ShareFile backend storage solution 

Read an in-depth article about the process of creating PatientConsult and lessons learned.

Use Cases

The PatientConsult team found a need to improve the patient experience for remote care based off of my initial research. I developed a set of use cases based on 100 interviews with doctors and specialists that I used to create our first prototype to test and validate our initial assumptions.

As I began interviewing physicians it became clear that they did not want an app for patient/doctor collaboration as they felt it would create difficulties when it came time to bill the insurance companies. However, I uncovered an interest for a better alternative for secure communication between their colleagues.

Convenience Trumps Compliance

End-users will find ways to circumvent security measures put in place by their IT departments, especially if they feel that those measures are hindering their productivity. Through interviews and testing of our initial hypothesis, I uncovered that some physicians and specialists had been breaking federal regulations that prohibit the transfer of information through insecure networks and apps as a means to serve their patients more effectively, despite having compliant alternatives at their disposal.

Low Barrier to Adoption

A competitive analysis revealed that the most likely common alternative to PatientConsult was text messaging. We knew that the app needed to be easy to sign-up for and use quickly without a lot of training. The value prop needed to be communicated quickly, clearly, and be compelling enough for the user to abandon the competition. Security and authentication processes that we had to implement to be HIPAA compliant would only be a hinderance to quick adoption.

Prototyping & Testing

I went to work exploring as many ways as I could think of to make the workflow a cohesive experience. I created paper prototypes to test and refine my designs. After refining the paper prototypes, I created the first lo-fi working prototype for them that they demoed during our pitch day. The prototype was very well received by our executives and our team received funding and resources to continue developing and testing the app.

Initial concept for SmartSpaces (which would become PatientConsult )

Creating the MVP

We were granted a very short window of time to design and develop the first release of the app. I served as a product manager representing the Customer Insights group and a liaison between design and engineering teams to audit the prototype and define the next steps we needed to take. We identified the main features to include what we thought would be most useful to test with physicians for the first sprint.

The first component that I prioritized was building the case flow. We established what data we thought would be relevant for a physician to pass along to a specialist based on the research that I had previously gathered. I then worked with our design team on e a case build that felt intuitive and would allow the physician to pause at any moment in the flow.

We also wanted the app to be intuitive and help the end-user complete their task with less effort. We implemented a “smart filtering” feature that would parse through the text that the doctor entered and try to understand the context of the case. Based on what the doctor typed, the app would filter the type of specialist it thought that the doctor would want to consult with. An auto-complete function was added to strategic fields for adding that would draw from the database to reduce errors and redundant data.

Messaging was the next component that I prioritized. I reviewed other apps in direct competition with PatientConsult, as well as the noncompliant alternatives, to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The physicians that I interviewed tended to rely on text messaging as a first form of communication and email as a second form of communication. I wanted to design a communication platform that included more robust features than text messaging, but still felt lightweight and conversational.

The MVP was launched in Q3 of 2015 and is currently being tested with a group of doctors and specialists.

My Work on Citrix SparkPark


SparkPark is an innovation incubator designed for enterprise teams. SparkPark specializes in developing innovators through early product and market explorations, services, and customer-facing experiences such as sales and marketing. As part of this effort, I have integrated design thinking and lean startup – trusted customer-focused innovation practices. SparkPark

participants test Desirability, Viability & Feasibility assumptions in an environment that provides:

• Safety – space and time to do their most innovative work

• Urgency – time-boxing and weekly deadlines

• Community – learn from and share ideas with peers

• Advocacy – help to navigate corporate obstacles and make use of corporate resources

Learn more about innovation initiatives at Citrix: http://beta.ctxs.co/ and http://startupaccelerator.vc/silicon-valley/ 


SparkPark is a 3-month hands-on program where internal enterprise teams sprint through rapid cycles of Design Thinking and Lean processes. Teams should expect to dedicate a minimum of 30% of their time to their project over the course of the program. Each SparkPark begins with an in person 2-day kickoff event in the Bay Area. The remainder of the program is conducted in weekly 3hr workshops, which can be attended online or in person. The program closes with a final presentation session – an opportunity to share lessons learned and to pitch to their own company’s executives for ongoing resources and support.

Each team can expect:

• 12 weeks of Customer Discovery, Prototype Testing, and Business Modeling

• Cohort of 10 external and internal corporate teams

• 50+ customer interviews

• SparkPark Innovation Canvas

• Multiple MVPs

• Mentors and Advisors 

• Demo Day

Role: Founding Team Member, Project Manager, Experience Designer, UX Researcher (conducted pre- and post-program evaluation through surveys, interviews, observations, and constructed a participants’ journey map) 

Program assets (visual overview, innovation canvas, multiple iterations on the journey map): 

My Work on Gratitude.is


Gratitude.is project captured hundreds of anonymous expressions of gratitude solicited from online contributors that resulted in an interactive iBook. The project explored how the process of expressing gratitude can change how we see the world. Leading happiness research shows that keeping a gratitude journal can result in increased well-being and better health. Inspired by this growing movement, the book and an accompanying website are a meditative space with online submissions to the daily question of “What are you grateful for today?”, reflective essays, illustrations, hand-made felt landscapes, videos, and a unique soundtrack by Buddhist monks. You can download the Gratitude iBook from the iTunes Store for free: http://itun.es/ibf8PX 

Role: Project Founder, Research, Prototyping, Interaction Design, Product Management

My Work on Stitch.es


Stitch.es is a curated micro-publishing website with built-in community rewards. It’s a Bay Area- based startup that I co-founded several years ago and now advise: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/stitch-es

Role: Research, Prototyping, Concept Development, Interaction Design, Product Management

My Work on NovoEd


The NovoEd learning platform replicates the experience of great in-person learning online, making it possible to teach soft skills at scale. With the NovoEd online learning platform, online training is as effective and engaging as offline, but at half the cost. You can take on-line courses from top institutions and organizations including Stanford University and IDEO U: https://novoed.com/

Role: Branding, UX


  • Product: User flows, landing page re-design, logos, assets for the investor pitch deck  
  • User: Students taking free online courses 
  • Business: Course completion, future conversion to paid classes 

My Work on Design For Change 


Design for Change is a global design movement that I helped establish while at the Stanford d.school to empower communities throughout the world to design and implement solutions for social problems. Stanford has partnered with the Riverside School in India and IDEO Education to first launch DCF in 2010. Since then, it has reached 25 million people in 30 countries and has won the prestigious Index Design Award. I currently serve on the jury panel for this global design contest. Learn more about Design for Change: http://www.dfcworld.com/ 

Role: Founding member (collaborated with IDEO and Riverside on creating a pilot program), Researcher, Experience Designer