UNMC Sickle Cell App


Integrating the use of smartphones into an existing birth registration program for newborn screening and tracking of SCD


SCA (Sickle Cell Anaemia) is one of the most common and severe of all inherited hematological disorders, causing substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. More than 3/4 of all children with SCA are born in sub-Saharan Africa – at least 270,000 births each year, with over half of these originating from Nigeria alone. The goal is to provide solutions for early SCA diagnosis through point-of-care testing and mobile device registries in health facilities.

To integrate the use of smartphones into an existing birth registration program for newborn screening and tracking of babies with SCD (Sickle Cell Disease). The smartphone would be used for automation and transmission of read-out from a point-of-care device for the diagnosis of the SCD.


Nov 2017 - Dec 2018


For this phase, I wanted to first learn more about the current way of collecting diagnosis information so I could have a better understanding of the issue, I proceeded with a visit to the clinic for the first week to observe current ways of doing things. Then I came up with a general high-level overview of the process.


Together with a Product Manager, we broke down the obvious tasks into user stories. I then started creating skeleton user flows on paper that satisfies those stories.

The product manager has 5 years of domain knowledge, so he was able to give feedback on the user flows refinement.


I created several wireframes in Balsamiq to test concepts, flows, and information architecture. These were validated by printing them on blank sheets and walking 2-4 doctors through on each visit.

While testing, I had to change some texts to reflect the medical domain. Some notions also changed. Notably, because babies would have issues with fingerprint, the fingerprint search only works for the guardian/parents. And since they could also have more than one child, my initial 1-1 mapping had to change to many-many so I could compensate for this in the design.


Designed for unanticipated occurrences: Empty states, Max states, Error states e.t.c I leveraged material design language to allow for ease of component conversion by developers and created compelling/elegant interfaces that are easy to use.


The initial assumption for 1-1 mapping for the search wasn’t scalable, we ended up with a realistic many-many scenario and then ideated physical cards as backup.

We had several discussions around the choice for split view or full view for the patient list landing page, we ended up with a full view.

Communicating high fidelity design interactions to developers was difficult at first: Material design possible interactions and Principle came to the rescue, This also made it possible to test high fi prototypes with users.