DIY Healthcare

Empowering Patients to Manage Their Care


Improve the patient journey through their healthcare insurance system from end-to-end.


Two distinct strategic concepts for improved healthcare insurance services that offer patients more control over their health by incorporating do-it-yourself mindsets, ecosystems, and digital tools.

In today’s healthcare systems, patients often feel corralled into a one-size-fits-all care experience. Because existing consumer tools for purchasing health plans seem to focus on placing patients into pre-determined buckets of benefits, many feel as they are left over-insured or under-insured in key areas.

With the goal of improving their consumers overall healthcare experience, a large health insurance company partnered with Worrell to explore the ways in which they could help their consumers take ownership of their health through “Do it Yourself” (DIY) mindsets, ecosystems, and digital tools.

Worrell’s Research + Strategy team set out with the goal of understanding both how much control patients are willing to take in managing their own healthcare, as well as how much control healthcare providers are willing to hand over.

The research focused on those patient populations who had specific, pressing needs that could be addressed immediately with DIY tools. Worrell’s team interviewed more than 40 stakeholders; including chronic and event-driven patients, healthcare providers, and health insurance stakeholders.

Findings gained during this ethnographic research led the team to uncover key insights into the ways these DIY tools could be designed to serve both patients and providers. First, patients tended to value the opportunity to customize the world around them. Patients also felt satisfaction and value in sharing health accomplishments with their peers. Finally, newly diagnosed patients often felt that they didn’t have anyone to turn to for questions about managing their conditions.

Worrell’s Research + Strategy and User Experience + Interface Design teams used these key insights to develop two unique user-centered Service Design concepts. The first was a service model and user-facing interface design that gave health plan buyers a unique DIY end-to-end experience — allowing them to establish personal preferences, solicit bids from providers, and schedule procedures from one interface.

Worrell also designed a peer-mentoring model that would serve to facilitate patient-to-patient connections where patient-to-provider interactions were failing. The model utilized the latent talent of previously-diagnosed patients by pairing them as mentors with newly-diagnosed patients, thus supplementing information from providers and boosting treatment adherence.

Worrell’s research findings and end-to-end service design capabilities allowed this healthcare insurance company to envision novel systems and digital tools that could improve overall patient experience and care outcomes.