success story

Children’s Minnesota is transforming physical therapy for pediatric oncology by leveraging Virtusa’s kick-start UX Design program

Children's Minnesota enlisted Virtusa to bring a human-centered approach to their pediatric cancer care program through at-home physical therapy. 

A diagnosis is only the beginning of a patient's cancer journey. The recovery process requires intensive physical therapy and rehab that can be challenging for many children and their caregivers. To address this significant gap in pediatric oncology care, Virtusa partnered with Children’s Minnesota to develop Pivot, a solution that enables care coordination between the physical therapists, oncologists, and impacted families in the convenience of a patient's home.

The Challenge

Pediatric cancer care improves for patients and families by taking a human-centered design approach.

Cancer is a clinical diagnosis that's always difficult to hear. And when it's childhood cancer, the prognosis takes on a whole new meaning. Children’s Minnesota recognized challenges for pediatric oncology care, including: 

  • Physical therapy efficacy
  • Adherence to physical therapy
  • Family barriers
  • Patient barriers
  • Provider barriers
  • Infrequent and inconvenient care coordination
  • Insufficient data to manage protocol changes
  • Lack of focus on behavior modification
  • Isolated care journey lacking community support

These challenges were causing a disjointed clinical care experience, and with patients and their caregivers lacking the support they need, they were less likely to complete recovery. 

Pediatric oncology solutions
The Solution

We used human-centered design and design thinking methods to create a useful and usable solution for patients, families, and physical therapists.

Using Design Kickstart, we collaborated to create a conceptual prototype to test with children to see if our solution helped them complete their physical therapy routines in the comfort of their own homes. Complete with the provider portal and mobile application, Children’s Minnesota tested the initial usability of Pivot with their pediatric oncology patients.

The provider portal will give PTs:

  • Daily patient overviews with multiple sorting options
  • Secure messaging capabilities
  • Treatment plan and medical history details for each patient
  • Goal-setting abilities and progress updates
  • Access to real-time that syncs with the app
Pediatric oncology solutions
Pediatric oncology solutions

The mobile application for patients and caregivers will offer different user experiences. Each interface will give users:

  • Easy to follow instructions for the most up-to-date treatment plan
  • Progress monitoring against pre-determined goals and milestones
  • Secure messaging capabilities
  • Access to details about in-person clinic visits
  • Additional PT resources 
The Benefit

Enabling providers and empowering patients and caregivers with Pivot: Engineered for Adoption

Using Design KickStart to develop Pivot, we were able to keep children and caregivers at the focus of the solution. With these capabilities of Pivot, Children's Minnesota is investigating delivering benefits that include: 

  • PT care coordination between patients, caregivers, and providers
  • Improved likelihood of patients to complete PT programs at home
  • Reduced delay time between patient progression or degression and recovery plan modification  
  • Increased support for patients and caregivers throughout treatment
  • Decreased reliance on in-person care 

By connecting the providers, caregivers, and patients in a real-time, at-home setting, we will be able to kick-start the transformation of pediatric PT for Children’s Minnesota.

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