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App design and development - Tonic - A patient-led health and wellness app

A patient led health and wellness app for the connected age. Product and Service Design by digital agency Furthermore.


A patient-led mHealth app for the interconnected age

Project: Business and product design for cross platform app

Client: Tonic by Cadense

Sector: Health & Wellness

Concept visioning, Identity development, User experience, User journeys, Strategy architecture,  Prototyping, User testing and Visual UI design. 

The challenge

Leading physicians from the USA came to Furthermore with a start-up idea that they believed could serve a gap in the market. The challenge was to create an app that provided on demand, patient-led health and wellness information through access to “quantifed-self” actionable insights to provide opportunities for individuals to improve their health and wellness. The nature of the team and project meant we needed to work in a highly collaborative manner but fully remote with a time difference of +5 hours. All that existed at the start of the process was the beginnings of an idea, a logo and team who believed.


Our approach

In a marketplace where brands struggle to create meaningful differentiation and engagement, those who are able to identify customers’ expectations and address them via authentic emotional values, see tangible increases to bottom-line results, it was important to talk to the platform’s potential users.

We carried out extensive desk research as well as  face-to-face user testing in the UK and online user testing in the US and Canada which fed into the next user experience and design sprints. Within each sprint we sketched, designed, prototyped and tested our ideas with users. Findings from one sprint were always fed into the next. 

Some of the insights we uncovered included that the trend of self diagnosis via online health information wasn’t going away and the American health-care system meant that patients were avoiding going to the doctor at all costs and if they did go, they were spending a significant amount of time researching physicians online beforehand. With smartphones overtaking laptops as the most popular device for getting online and record ownership and use transforming the way we communicate, creating an easy-to-use app in a health market saturated with awful mHealth applications was the right way to go.

Another interesting element was the trend for medical or health interventions to only consider the physical symptoms suffered by patients so we looked at a “wheel of wellbeing” which looked to address actionable insights for holistic patient-led health and wellness management. This also helped to inform the content strategy which was an important part of ensuring the success of the project.  The fact is that there is a huge amount of mostly useless health information out there, and there is an increasing need to help users “cut through the bullshit”.

We looked at Nutritional health, social connectedness, education, physical activity, mood and mental well-being, the feelings of safety, employment and self-worth, friends and family, money and of course, time.

The results

Our concept envisioning phase realised a brand new health app which analyses behaviour and real-time data to provide patient-led care. Customer data and insight is core to an organisation’s successful communication with its users so we worked with the client team to define the types of algorithims that could turn the right data into effective and relevant actionable insights, easy-to-understand resources, tips and tricks to enable the users to manage their own and their families health and wellness and particular diseases such as Obesity, Asthma, mental health issues amongst others.

We played with the idea of ‘donating your data', to what would hopefully become a huge community. We created a very simple UI that is simple, positively addictive and rewarded you for getting out and about and taking part. A notifications strategy was core to the idea; we envisaged asthma sufferers getting morning alerts on high-pollution or foggy days. 


We developed the logo into a much wider identity to include, iconography, motion design, that helped to convey the overarching message of managing your health and wellness through “daily doses of wellbeing”. We also looked at the best onboarding process and how we could encourage sign-up and set-up from the get-go.


Adopting the style of a social-fed is proven for engagement and providing in-line recommendations of like-minded individuals to follow who hoped helped the feeling of connectedness. We stripped the UI right back to allow easy interaction.


Content was tailored to your preferences, which you could easily select and add to as the user became more engaged with the platform. Relevancey and usefulness would increase and allowed the user to be in control of the best daily doses of wellbeing.


It was important that the navigation was well-labeled and easy to use.


Recommendations on content to improve your holistic health were provided through status wheels, encouraging users to engage with wider topics to ensure a “well-rounded” improvement to overall wellbeing. Content was surfaced in easily digestible and bite-sized cards, swipeable and notifying you each day of your 5 things to work on - if nothing else.


Alongside the mHealth platform Tonic, we also envisioned the mechanics of a B2B ad management platform for health brands and services to engage with new audiences. Read more about that project here >

The app is currently in development by the Tonic’s internal team. Stay tuned for more news.

Get in touch with Hana & Steve to discuss your idea, project or business.

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