Product Manager & UX Researcher re-imagining patient identification & healthcare data tracking during medical outreaches in rural settings

3 faces.png

Catalyzing Equitable Eyecare By Democratizing & Optimizing Affordable Indigent Patient Data Collection Off the Grid


Manali Kulkarni

UX Researcher & Product Designer
Aishwareya Venkatramani 

Product Designer & Engineer

My Role

Product Manager
UX Researcher
Business Developer


Minimum Viable Product, Qualitative UX Research Synthesis & Documentation, Initial Concept Sketches & Test Experiments Outcomes Documentation

Time & Skillset

Winter, Spring & Summer 2020

UX Research 


Partner Management

Product Management

Networking & Business Development

We know that of the 7 Million blind people in Africa, 50% are suffering from needless, curable cataracts.

With the incidence rate of cataracts in indigent populations increasing at 1.5 M a year, eradicating needless blindness requires higher accessibility, efficiency, and quality of eye-care in remote areas.

To join the fight against needless blindness, we are working to make high volume surgical outreaches more efficient by streamlining patient tracking & data collection while improving accuracy. 


A healthcare worker would spend an estimated 1 hour per patient noting down their information during a high volume cataract outreach campaign [= the number of 6 surgeries]


Asset 8.png


An off-the-grid digital health record system that pairs with a patient wearable using NFC technology. 

This product is focused on providing three main values to different stakeholders

Optimize patient care in medical outreach settings

Asset 16@4x.png

Provide NGOs who fund outreaches with more reliable data to make better decisions about their operations

Asset 14@4x.png

Leverage anonymized aggregate health data from indigent populations to help further medical research & industry 

Asset 15@4x.png


Following through the design process and making sure our user comes first has helped build an equitable and impactful solution. Coupling it with business development and product/market fit analysis helped with scalability.

One important additional aspect being a small self-managed team is focusing on establishing team rapport and speedy processing by following

a 2-week design sprint schedule and the agile process.


My team and I conducted 25 initial interviews with local healthcare workers, ophthalmic surgeons and biostatisticians in Ghana, as well as program directors and ophthalmic fellows from the NGO headquarters in the US. 

During these interviews, most healthcare workers confirmed how overwhelmed and fatigued by the high volume of patients, repetitive tedious tasks, and long hours. This fatigue leads to them making mistakes (writing /reading) or not completing the form (surgery complications).


"I.T. and EHR are a blessing because data can be entered and analyzed for results so quickly." 

Dr. Bo Wiafe - Ghanaian Ophthalmologist


"There is a lot of room for human error ... And there is inconsistency in how people take pre-op visual acuity measurements- a key metric in outcomes evaluation" 

Pamela Clapp -

Deputy Director of Programs


"Sad and unfortunate situation - losing people who we screened & are at risk for blindness -  and we don’t have any way of keeping track of them" 

Dr. Geoff Tabin - Stanford Ophthalmologist & Founder of Himalayan Cataract Project


"It can take up to an hour to document patient data and the surgery only takes 10 minutes.You’re wasting time to make sure you don’t work on the wrong patient all the time." 

Jessica Adinkrah -

Ophthalmic Nurse

We Went from ...


Physical Empathy Building

Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 1.04.18 PM.png

Virtual Empathy Building


Synthesis & Problem Definition

to working on 3 different verticals concurrently

Solution Concept Sketching & Testing

The Team went on to conduct 5 co-design sessions with multiple stakeholders. This varied from brainstorming with experts, ideation with other students and finally brainstorming sessions with US based partners and Ghanaian healthcare workers & physicians.

This resulted in 7 solution sketches fulfilling the product constraints and requirements [both functional & non-functional] and started the following process of testing those solution concepts for desirability and usability. Almost 10 user experiments were conducted from moderated walkthroughs to prototyping with analogous users. 

Asset 13.png

Business Development & Product Market Fit


In order to ensure business viability, scalability and sustainability of this solution, the team went on to examine the business aspect of the solution. We participated in a 5 day business accelerator called Hacking 4 Recovery in order to examine the different hypothesized value propositions and business models.

The process included connecting with potential customer segments like:

  • Google Health

  • Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation [by The Gates Foundation]

  • Quantum Insights - CEO & CSO

  • 2 Public Health Data Centers

  • Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund

  • American Red Cross

  • Unite For Sight


We also connected with multiple experts to examine the project further including professors in Global Health, Global Biodesign, Networks in Rural Areas and others.

Prototyping & Testing 

Together with exploring business viability, and after honing on one desirable solution concept, we began multiple rounds of prototyping and iterating were we connected with analogous users like Med Students and Residents working in EMRs or Field Clinics.

we also started prototyping the interaction and service flow. We connected with potential field pop-up clinics where we can pilot test as well as during smaller size eye-care outreaches in Ghana and established clinics.


So Sometimes the only thing we have to identify a patient is that they have an eye problem

Our Amazing Mentors


Stuart Coulson

Adjunct Professor in Management & Investor


Manasa Yeturu

Design Strategist & Design Lecturer


Nell Turner

Associate Director of Design for Extreme Affordability


Sarah Stein Greenberg 

Executive Director at Stanford d.school


Dara Silverstein

Projects Manager at Design for Extreme Affordability

Craig Seidel.jpg?itok=mV97TBVi.jpg

Craig Seidel

Senior VP at Movie Labs


Tom Bedecarre

Co-Founder & CEO of AKQA, Business Lecturer


Steve Blank

Entrepreneurship Lecturer & Author about Lean Method

Steve Weinstein

Founder & CEO of Movie Labs, Management Lecturer


Marlo Kohn

Associate Director of the Product Realization Lab

In Partnership With:


This project was part of multiple Stanford courses & incubators