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Helping patients
walk again

See how Nova designed the medical device user experience of the Alter G anti-gravity treadmill, a rehabilitation tool for patients and athletes.

Client
Role

Product design, user research, user testing

Industry
Health tech, Medical devices
Results & Outcomes

North star vision

Product validation with testing committee

Scope

Patient treadmill and physical therapist experiences

Project length
9 months

Physical

therapy 

audiences

alter g user audiences physical therapist avatar

PHYSICAL THERAPISTS

” I need to be able to see my patients progress in real-time, and use that data to make more effective plans of care. “

alter g user audiences patient avatar

REHABILITATION PATIENTS

” The Alter G treadmill helps me lessen the weight on my knees when I walk, but it’s also hard at times to know if I’m making progress.”

alter g user audiences professional athlete avatar

PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

” Whenever I get injured, I use the Alter G treadmill to maintain my fitness, and it gets my game back to 100%, faster. “

Problem

How do we create a medical device user experience for an innovative treadmill that makes it easier for physical therapists to treat patients in order to improve their ability to walk and run?

health tech alter g user research

Product discovery

In order to understand the patient product experience better, we went to their facility in Fremont, CA to see what it feels like to run at half your body weight.

You can see that the patented shorts zip into a an air tight bag that fills up with air. In order to calibrate your body to the machine, the device will modulate the pressure of the bag, creating the “weightlessness” that patients experience during a session. 

 

The treadmill

If you want to see what it’s like to use an Alter G, this video shows you how it works.

Wire framing the digital interface

 

After a workshop in Tulsa, OK, put together a rough prototype that we would test with physical therapists and clinicians in the local area to get their feedback. 

health tech alter g wireframe 1
health tech alter g wireframe 2

North star vision

Once we received feedback, we began to create high-fidelity walkthroughs that we would use to demo to prospective customers, board members, and team members. Having a hands-on prototype really helps get actionable feedback.

Starting a session

Starting a session entailed having the Alter G machine calibrate your body weight to create the feeling of weightlessness..

A real-time analysis tool

 

When we’re able to capture different camera angles of a patients gate, and combine it with data like pain and bodyweight %, we can create meaningful analysis about a patient’s progress in-session, in real-time.

In session

A session was made up of several tools for the clinician, but it also contained several different views for the education and entertainment of the patient. So we created nature scenes and training materials that would help them engage with the machine while in-session. 

Progress analysis

Clinicians and patients at the end of a session will go over their progress. So we included several different ways of looking at their progress.

Onboarding

physical therapy

We also worked on the physical therapist experience that included onboarding and setup of their facilities. 

 

10,000 ft.

view

For admins, being able to see how several different facilities are engaging with the Alter G treadmill is important for performance benchmarking. So we created a multi-location view that gives meaningful insight into the broader medical device user experience. 

 

health tech alter g mock 1
health tech alter g mock 2

Training

and education

Admins and physical therapists would also work together to construct custom training videos. These videos would be included in the Alter G treadmill sessions directly impacting the patient in-session experience and plan of care.

Patient view

Being able to see all of the patients in one view allows for quick access to important information on overall progress.

health tech alter g mock 3