People who have consistent doctor visits are susceptible to experiencing clutter and potential loss associated with paper medical receipts. How might we enable individuals to effortlessly and securely store their medical receipts so they can retrieve them when needed?
An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported people made an average of 7.6 visits to the doctor in 2016. Since then, the number of doctor visits has increased significantly, given the rise in global health challenges. Most doctor visits are because the person has a medical illness and is seeking treatment or is supporting someone who has. Sometimes, these treatments last weeks, months, or longer. People with consistent doctor visits are likely to receive large amounts of paper medical receipts, which can lead to paper clutter. Further, the lack of a system for tracking medical expenses can result in stress and anxiety when the data needs to be retrieved.
I conducted user research amongst 16 Canadian residents, and the data reported that people mainly store medical receipts for financial or health insurance claim purposes. Another insight gathered was most participants lack a consistent and organized system for handling paper receipts. Many participants reported dumping their receipts in a drawer or keeping them in a pocket and then forgetting about them. The research data also proved that people need a tool that organizes their medical receipts conveniently. 88% of the participants were willing to adopt a receipt storage and organization solution that is easy to use, easily accessible, time-saving and can store all receipts in one place.
As a Product Manager, I aim to solve this challenge by creating a simple digital system that organizes medical receipts so people can easily access them when needed.
User Pain Points
Using research data collected from 16 survey responses and 3 user interviews, I identified that the major pain points people had with managing receipts are it is complex, time-consuming and inconvenient. The research data further provided insight into how people prefer a digital process to storing their receipts rather than keeping the physical copies. Below is a picture that summarizes the research data into different themes
- Participants primarily keep paper medical receipts for financial and insurance-related purposes.
- Participants dislike keeping paper medical receipts due to the complexity, inconvenience and hassle associated with managing them.
- Most participants lack a consistent and organized system for handling paper receipts.
- 100% of participants who keep medical receipts emphasized digital storage methods as being easier and more efficient than physical storage
- 88% of participants expressed a desire to adopt a receipt storage and organization solution that is easy to use, easily accessible, time-saving and can store all receipts in one place.
The user research conducted revealed the following insights:
- A medical receipt storage solution is both a necessity and nice to have depending on the type of user and their health journey experience
- There is currently no solution that conveniently stores large volumes of medical receipts in Canada
- With paper medical receipts, the need to keep them diminishes after it’s being used for financial and tax filing purposes.
- Digital receipts can be stored for both short-term and long-term needs while paper medical receipts are only stored for short-term needs.
Landing on the Solution
Based on my target users’ pain points, I decided that the solution is a digital mobile app that lets users upload and organize their medical receipts. Users can take a picture of their medical receipt and log the entry on the app. If they ever need to reference it, the user can go into the app and search for it.
The following are the basic feature requirements of the app:
- As a MedExpense user, I want to be able to upload my medical receipts, so that I can store and organize them.
- As a MedExpense user, I want to be able to sort my medical receipts based on different categories e.g. date, name of medical provider, expense type so that I can save time in accessing them in the future.
- As a MedExpense user, I want to be able to view all my medical receipts on my profile, so that I can keep track of my medical expense history.
Explanation of Solution
With the MedExpense mobile app, a user can take a picture of their paper medical receipt, fill out details concerning the transaction and save it securely on the app. If the receipt ever needs to be referenced, the user can do a search or sort through different criteria to find their receipt
If I had more time to work on the solution, I would consider the following:
- Create designs on what the app would look like
- Research what kind of security needs to be implemented to protect user’s data, given the sensitive health information stored on the app
- Identify the best platforms that can be used for storing data e.g. AWS, Microsoft Azure.
Product Manager Learnings:
- Co.Lab was an exciting experience for me. I got to learn the importance of prioritization and identifying what the customer’s job to be done is. This made it very simple to narrow down my problem scope.
- Through Co.Lab, I developed confidence in building in public. I have been posting on LinkedIn every week since the DTTP program started. I share my learnings and challenges with my social network and the interaction from Sefunmi, Helen and my peers motivates me to keep working hard.