Posted on Nov 7, 2013 in , | 0 comments

The Mind Mentor app was a patient-physician-psychotherapist prototype built as part of a weekend Edge Interns project for the 2013 Health 2.0 Code-a-Thon in San Francisco. For my contribution, I helped craft the overall strategy for the app, designed 2/3 of the elements featured (see below), and delivered the winning pitch with Ivan Zhou and the presentation to over 4,000 healthcare professionals & investors at Health 2.0’s national conference in Silicon Valley. Our team won the 1st place award in its division, Sponsor’s Award, and best-in-show overall award.

My teammember Zach describes the app: “Despite the ready availability of health-tracking applications, few programs provide a fully integrated platform for monitoring both physical and emotional health.  Leveraging the built-in Validic API and the DSM-5, Mind Mentor provides a safe, user-friendly environment for patient-centric health evaluation.  From the administrative suite, doctors can schedule psychiatric appointments, therapy activities, create medication reminders, and monitor their patients’ health. Patients are empowered by continual reaffirmation, staying connected to their doctor, and by witnessing their own emotional growth.”

The 2013 Health 2.0 San Francisco Code-a-Thon: Power to the Patient was a coding competition designed around building new applications and tools that empower patients and consumers with access to their health data and further engage patients to take more control over their health. Developers, designers, health care professionals, biz dev and entrepreneurs joined forces for 2 days of rapid prototyping and creative health-hacking.

Our goal is to help patients understand their health data and benefits through their platform “Mind Mentor.”  Mind Mentor addresses the stigma of psychiatric care such as surveys and the like.

Interface design

Our team initially brainstormed around a series of sketches I put together regarding a potential workflow for an app that helps a patient and all members of their psychiatric care team — social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, and even the primary care physician — to track their health. I felt that so much of health tech (as of 2013) still revolved around quantifiable measures like heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. Not as much solid work has been done in mental health. Mental health is an underserved area that — according to ballpark estimates of my internal medicine & family medicine colleagues at UC Davis — affects over half of their patients.


The workflow morphed as Health 2.0 revealed more of the rules of the health contest. Much of the focus shifted on Validic integration — providing sensor data to health apps — and providing visualizations in the form of Health Tiles. The workflow above morphed into a prototype that Stephanie Harner and Diana Ly created for the first patient questionnaire portion of the application.

I created the designs and logos in Adobe Illustrator. The health tiles — adaptable for both small screen and large screen — correlate trends in (1) medication, (2) symptoms from DSM-5 assessment measures, (3) psychotherapy, and (4) physical sensor data over time. The designs were inspired by existing Health Tiles, Google Now tiles, and also Armen Arevian MD PhD’s research and commercial work at UCLA.


Ivan Zhou & Lydia Han assembled the final prototypes demonstrating how the app would function on the small screen:

While the patient tiles were more patient-friendly — incorporating reminders and suggestions and psychotherapy homework — the physician tiles provided more details. The underlying concept would remain the same, however: track trends over time, tracking pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and health sensor data. Bonuses would include highlights from the patient chart and homework (obviating the need to comb through paragraphs and paragraphs of progress notes).



The experience

What made the experience unique was Francis Kong’s leadership as the mentor assembling a team of phenomenal individuals. Eugenia Kang and Diana Ly provided support as the developers. Steffie Pardo Harner as a designer for the patient questionnaire front-end. Zachary Zeleznick designed, executed, and polished the project with things such as the website and the crowdfunding campaign on HealthTechHatch & IndieGoGo. Ivan Zhou handled business aspects such as crafting the slides, creating the speech, and delivering the pitch with me. Aside from Francis, Steffie, and I, half of our team were undergraduates from prominent San Francisco-area universities as part of Francis’s Edge Interns programme.


From Saturday morning through a frantic Sunday morning, we plowed through food provided by Health 2.0 and consulted with mentors who helped advise us on the direction of our project. Despite some roadblocks — one of our teammembers’ computers crashed resulting in several hours at the Apple Store, and other time commitments — everyone wanted to create a great experience and product. As Francis put it, our teammembers left their egos at the door and it didn’t interfere with team dynamics at all.

Presenting on stage

We delivered the final 3-minute pitch to over 4,000 healthcare professionals & investors at Health 2.0’s national conference in Silicon Valley. The experience was exhilirating: the chance to present on the same stage as prominent figures in health technology. Watch the Mind Mentor / Navi presentation on Health 2.0’s TV site (& below).

Ivan Zhou, Eugenia Kang, and the rest of the team intend to develop this as part of Navi, a startup focused on a health app platform with game elements.