Web App

Developing a platform for diagnosing mental health conditions

Mental health platform

The client is a start-up operating in the mental health area, leveraging cutting-edge neuroscience, linguistics, psychology, and effective Machine Learning. During our cooperation, they were building a platform for a depression diagnosis.

Introduction
About the project

Initially, the client reached out to us looking for front-end development support to build the platform’s very early version. At this stage, we worked with them to build a solid AI-ready MVP. They were also looking for a tech partner to broaden their front-end development skills. In the end, the client returned to us three more times, seeking our support on the project’s next steps.

Our tasks

Front-end development

Creating the front-end part of the platform, a scalable set of functionalities for its basic version (including log-in/registration process, consent granting, patient dashboard, embedding tasks for users, etc.).

Solid MVP of a web app

Building a solid MVP of the web application that would allow the client to demonstrate its functionality to the stakeholders.

Enabling embedding in-app user tasks

As some of the project elements were not part of the platform itself but separate mini-applications, our task was to enable embedding them in the platform and collecting the data from those mini-apps on the client’s servers.

Ensuring data security

As the platform’s purpose was to gather sensitive medical data, it had to be fortified with proper security settings – aligned with GDPR compliance.

01

Challenges

1. Building features that would show that platform will serve its purpose and fulfill clinicians’ needs

The client came to us equipped with a list of features that should have been built to enable the platform’s functioning. It was supposed to be a basic version, showing how the platform can help diagnose mental illnesses. At this point, the main goal was to build an MVP to present it to the stakeholders, including potential clients and investors.

2. Building as much as possible within a short time and limited budget

When the client approached us for the first time, the first iteration was to be completed within only 4-6 weeks. They had a precise plan and list of goals crucial to them at this stage. They asked us to build solid foundations for all the features they needed (instead of building them entirely, one after another) so their in-house team could continue the work once our project ended.

3. Ensuring scalability of the platform

As the platform was supposed to grow with time, it was crucial to the client that every component we built would be fully scalable. It also needed to be AI-ready, as its functionality was based on AI and machine learning.

Excellent code quality and work ethics. We achieved more than we were hoping to thanks to the technical skills and proactive attitude of the developer who explored and implemented solutions which are a much better fit to our needs than what was presented to him as an explicit requirement from us.

Source: Clutch.co

02

Solutions

1. Building features that allow the proper flow of data and scalability

As per the client’s request, and as it was crucial from the AI perspective, we’ve built the features to allow the user output to be sent by the media server and saved in storage.

2. Polishing components prepared by an external developer

Before the client reached out to us, they worked with an external developer who built the embedded mini-apps for them. We polished and updated them, ensuring their flawless operation.

3. Filling out knowledge gaps

Apart from the development support, the client was looking for a tech partner to widen the capacity and skills of their in-house front-end development team. Therefore, our engineers worked hand-in-hand with the client’s team, sharing their advice and know-how.

4. Scoping workshop: preparation of a detailed plan of works

One of the steps of our cooperation was running a scoping workshop that helped the client map their requirements for the back-end and infrastructure of the platform. As a result, we equipped them with a complex plan, including a detailed workflow with technologies meant to be used at every step of the development process.

Technology we used
React
AWS
03

Project Results

Strong MVP allowing proper data flow

As a result of the first iteration, we have built a strong MVP of the platform that included the registration and log-in process, GDPR consent collection, user account, and patient dashboard and allowed the users to enter user tasks (mini-apps). Another important outcome of this iteration was the preparation of a proper data flow – enabling the collection of data recorded while users were interacting with the mini-apps. The MVP we built helped the client in closing a successful fundraising round.

New user task – customized form builder

In the second iteration, we’ve implemented a generic form builder that allows the creation of various types of questionnaires or surveys. We equipped the builder with several options and elements, such as the possibility of arranging polls in pages, a progress bar, open/closed/multiple-choice fields, a slider, and conditional field visibility. This feature became one of the user tasks, where the result – same as in the case of other mini-apps – was collecting a set of answers, helping in the diagnostic process.

Flawless user interaction and the proper collection of data

In the third iteration we helped the client solve problems with the user tasks (mini-apps). As a result, they worked as they were supposed to, allowing significantly improved user interaction and the proper collection of data. It was crucial, as the tasks are the core element of the platform, allowing the system to collect the data necessary for the patients’ assessment.

Positive reception of the showcase mini-app at the industry fair

The fourth iteration helped the client during the industry fair and allowed them to showcase one of the mini-apps (a mini-game) to the broader audience, explain the value of the platform, and prepare statistics from the data collected among people who played the game during the fair.

The platform was well received by the industry and has gained broad publicity – among others, it was featured in The Times.

Conclusion

I’m very happy that we had a chance to work on this project. The pandemic has demonstrated that mental health is a very important aspect of our lives. This client is at the forefront of using technology as a leverage to improve our mental wellbeing. We want to continue supporting them and similar projects in the future.

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