The National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), a part of the Military Health System’s Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, was established to leverage cutting-edge technologies for psychological health and traumatic brain injury initiatives, products, and programs.
With a substantial portfolio of military community-facing behavioral health technologies and initiatives, T2 wanted to incorporate user experience into existing, upcoming, and future technology initiatives. To that end, T2 built an innovative, full-service usability lab to add a new line of support offerings to both T2 personnel and DOD-wide organizations.
TIAG planned, executed, and managed T2’s usability lab program by pairing customized, human-centered design processes with a combination of user research and design best practices. We ensured T2 had user-friendly, relevant, and engaging behavioral health technology initiatives, products, and programs to support those who serve. Collaborating with key T2 stakeholders, we instituted, managed, and measured a robust usability lab program for the organization and DOD. We created a human-centered design approach that included stakeholder workshop collaborations and scoping meetings, extensive user research, and design methodologies. We managed, implemented, and updated recruitment strategies for usability testing with behavioral health and health care providers, veterans, and military families, including children aged 5 to 17. We acquired, maintained, and managed lab accessories, hardware, and software. Finally, we designed and provided an education and training program for T2 personnel and leadership on user experience best practices and human-centered design processes and methodologies. Working with onsite subject matter experts and in-house developers, our UX staff implemented a comprehensive sought-after usability lab program that jumpstarted T2 and DOD-wide interest in user experience and HCD initiatives.
The usability lab service program generated more than 200 service requests by T2 subject matter experts and external DOD entities. The four program service lines described above influenced and enhanced dozens of applications as well as hundreds of concept and product validations, expert evaluations, and design initiatives. In addition, senior-level user research and formal usability testing activities were conducted with a combined total of almost 2,000 soldiers, behavioral health and health care providers, veterans, and military family. More than 50 formalized satisfaction surveys given to T2 personnel and stakeholders who used the lab’s services indicated that the UX team overwhelmingly met or exceeded their expectations.
T2 leads the development of telehealth and technology solutions for the Department of Defense and its mission to be the Center of Excellence for identifying, treating, and minimizing the short- and long-term adverse effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and mental health conditions associated with military service.
Aware of the key challenges mobile apps posed for government agencies, T2 sought to leverage this evolving technology to create psychological health mobile applications that could be used anytime, anywhere to improve the lives of our nation’s service members and their families.
TIAG worked with T2 to build, design, test, and deploy a wide range of mobile apps. We leveraged an agile/waterfall hybrid process to give our team of experts the ability to continuously enhance and advance the functionality of T2’s cloud-connected, cross-platform mobile apps. This process, in combination with traditional milestone-driven software engineering strategies, resulted in mobile platforms that helped users self-identify PTSD and TBI-related symptoms and practice different methodologies to help mitigate their symptoms.
We developed more than 22 intuitive and easy-to-use applications for T2 since 2012. This work transformed how our nation’s warriors and their families are being treated for PTSD and TBI-related issues. From mind, body, and spirit-focused apps to others that contribute to a soldier’s overall health and resilience, these tools continue to positively impact lives today while protecting the data of those who serve our country.