Image by Luke Chesser



Inflammatory bowel disease (Morbus Crohn) is a life-altering condition that patients must learn to cope with for the rest of their lives as there is no cure.

For a global pharmaceutical company that manufactures a disease-controlling drug, we developed a patient-centric solution to help patients learn to cope with the disease during therapy and daily life.  

Especially in the first years after diagnosis, patients need to learn how to manage and control their disease. The course of the disease and its outbreaks can vary greatly, so each patient has to find the right path for him or herself. This idea is also at the heart of our solution. It provides the person affected with a global network of services and information interfaced by a voice assistant and web-app. Through none intrusive interaction between the voice agent and machine learning, personalized advice on how to coup and control the disease is provided. 

Data such as physical condition, stress, daily routine, symptoms, and outbreaks are captured and transformed into personalized information, services, and advice.

Here, the voice assistant plays an essential role. On the one hand, speech can be used to communicate more naturally with the patient, and on the other hand, a great deal of passive data, such as voice pitch, can be recognized and utilized. Our research has shown that patients interacting with a human-like voice assistant helps them cope better with the disease, especially in the first months and years after diagnosis, which often occurs at puberty and young adulthood. Especially conversations with parents, friends, and doctors can be difficult at those times.

As part of the project, we designed the overall solution, conducted relevant user research with patients, healthcare professionals, insurers, developed a voice-based prototype and developed onboarding processes, business plans, and concept changes for the respective different healthcare systems.