Care Transformation Powered by Digital Services

2016 - Memorial Sloan Kettering - Strategy

May ~ November 2016 (7 month)
Vision & strategic service recommendations
How will cancer research, healthcare, technology and society change in 10 years, and what is the impact of the changes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center? Aging society, technology disruptions, consumer-driven markets and breakthroughs in cancer research suggests Memorial Sloan Kettering, an over 100-year old brick and mortal institution, to be more accessible and nimble. Breakthroughs in cancer research allow early detection of disease, and shift cancer as more chronic illness, meaning more and more people will be more engaged with preventive care and/or managing cancer as a condition to live with. As an institution whose focus has been treatment of cancer, how might we leverage digital technology to deliver cancer care outside of our physical boundary, and expand our reach to those who are beyond diagnosis & treatment in their care continuum? How might we develop a flexible and robust foundation of technology that can support evolving organizational needs & dynamics of cancer care? I led the effort to deliver answers to this question with team of designers and technologists at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
> Senior UX Designer (Project lead)
    UX Designer
    Project manager
    Visual Designer
    Design Researcher

in collaboration with teams institution wide

Care Transformation Vision

“Be bold.” was the guideline that was give to me when I met José Baselga, chief medical officer at Sloan Kettering with the proposal of digital strategy project. To stay truth to this ask, we focused on the future – where society, medicine and technology are heading to rather than what are current efforts that are happening within the institution. Prevailing consumer technology and artificial intelligence, rising power of consumers, healthcare reform, advancement in cancer research are all pushing cancer care center to think of new ways to deliver cancer care in digital ara, and cancer care will be different experience in 10 years.

2016 MSKCC vision posters

^  As part of the final deliverables,  the team have suggested three digital service concepts that can strategically move MSK from where we are now to where we want to head to in 10 years. Service concepts ware described as future scenario (a story of a patient and her journey) so that the human experience design can lead the development of our future.



Trend based collective intelligence

We started our discussion with 5 possible future stories that have components of upcoming trends in technology, society and medicine. Through a workshop with colleagues from across the institution, we discussed possibilities, pitfalls and excitement to refine future scenarios.

2016 MSKCC approach

^ Building scenarios based on trends: To foresee more probable and relevant future experience, the team has gathered trends in healthcare, technology and society that are relevant to cancer care and pictured future scenarios; Combine “high demand of oncologists” (healthcare) + “aging population” (society) + “drone” (technology) = what future scenario can you draw?


^ Supporting organizational goals: Design team made sure that the scenarios we brought to the workshop maps well with the growth strategy of the institution.



Additional Research

We have looked at other cancer institutions and their digital tools (patient portals) against the lens of functionalities. In parallel, we have looked at other digital services outside of healthcare to benchmark user experience.

  • How are other hospitals utilizing digital touch points in their care?
  • What are other examples outside of healthcare that engage their customers a way that we aspire?
  • What do we learn from examples in and out of healthcare?




^ Competitive Analysis: Analyzed 6 patient portals (3 top hospital enterprise solutions, 2 cancer care focused solutions and 1 homegrown portal) as well as digital service experience outside of healthcare that materialized and delivered the experience that we desire through our digital patient care.

Additionally, technology team analyzed current technology infrastructure and the gap between current  capability and our desired future.


Final Concepts & Recommendations



^ Strategic services: Analyzing trends, related internal initiatives, our team suggested 3 strategic digital services that can transform patient care at MSK across all patient journey from prevention and wellness period to during cancer treatment to survivorship.



^ Future scenarios: (Sample) Digital service can connect disconnected parties through digital and provide values for every connected party. The scenarios were put together to juxtaposed experience and benefits of patients and the institution, along with evidence (trends, related projects), capabilities to build, return on experience and challenges.

  • Workshop (vision, ideation) – competitive analysis – SME interviews – Analysis & concepts – Final deliverable


  • led the project from planning to delivering final report


  • learning complex hospital system in a short period of time


  • The final suggestions were well received by senior management at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Two of the three suggested services are being developed into new capabilities and offerings at the institution.