Modernizing Medicine

Saving doctors time with an intuitive mobile interface

The Challenge

Modernizing Medicine develops electronic medical records (EMR) technology for the healthcare industry. The company’s Electronic Medical Assistant (EMA) is a cloud-based, specialty-specific EMR with a library of built-in medical content designed to save physicians time. Modernizing Medicine came to us because its Dermatology EMR was facing challenges from upstart products with fewer features, but “slicker” interfaces. The company needed to leapfrog the competition in user-interface quality, while maintaining its business-critical differentiator: saving dermatologists’ time.


The most critical measurement of success for the redesigned iPad interface would be its ability to save time for doctors. Modernizing Medicine understands that any EMR technology must serve the doctors first. To do this, the interface must decrease the time required to examine, look up history, prescribe, report to insurance and generate reports and invoices. It must require minimal (if any) training to use, and therefore must be immediately intuitive to the medical professionals assisting doctors in processing patients.

We reengineered the interface of the iPad application by breaking down the tasks required to complete a visit and perform an exam into more discrete functions. Through a user-centric design approach, which began with extensive interviews and tests with dermatologists, we developed a new paradigm for the application that was more in line with iPad interface standards and resulted in a more intuitive approach.

Once a patient’s information is entered into the system, a dermatologist can use the iPad to quickly write or dictate notes, add diagnoses and take photos linked to a diagnosis to be saved in the patient’s records. We replaced sequential documentation with a 30-second interaction that allows doctors to “touch” a diagnosis, put it on a virtual body and add notes.


The adoption rate of the adaptive EMA Dermatology product grew by over 1,000%, bringing the total number of providers using EMA to over 2,000 in 2012. The surge in adoption required Modernizing Medicine to double its staff.