XPRIZE Competition: UX strategy leads innovative diagnostic app

The only Canadian team, we were selected as one of the top 7 finalists out of a total of 330 candidates worldwide.

The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is an international competition where participants are selected to create an innovative consumer technology and user-friendly mobile app that can diagnose up to 16 different medical conditions without a physician, and continually monitor five key vital signs for 72 hours. (Read more about the origins and background of the competition on our blog here: “Tricorder: Healthcare in the Palm of Your Hands”)

Pivot joined the Cloud DX competition team through Cortex Design to direct the user experience, develop the “brain” of the app, and create the complete user interface for this self-diagnostic tool.

We first conducted an analysis of competitors followed by a review of other web and mobile apps in the healthcare personal management and wearable industry. We discovered that few apps helped users make sense of their data, and even fewer provided users with actionable next steps towards improving their health.

Collaborating with the team’s medical director, Dr. Sonny Kohli, Pivot conceptualized and developed algorithms for diagnosing each of the 16 medical conditions with the idea that these flows would become the inner workings of the diagnostic app. The challenge was to ensure that the diagnosis would be accurate when a patient is the user with no doctor present. So we referenced medical journals and the latest evidence in the field to inform the process and create research-based algorithms.


Research-based algorithms

 From here, the interaction design phase was highly iterative. Working alongside developers and industrial designers, we created wireframes to dictate the user interactions, hardware interactions, and screen flows.

Wireframes of vitals screens


The priorities for keeping the visual user interface design clean and personable became the driving force to help guide users through the diagnostic process within the time limits of the competition. Clear hierarchy and smaller chunks of information would help users make sense of their data and identify actionable next steps. Colour and custom illustrations were used with restraint yet in the most meaningful ways to create a clinical, yet modern, approachable and trustworthy feel with the aim of making patients feel comfortable using the app without a doctor.

Select diagnostic test screens

Select diagnostic test screens

Out of 330 teams, we are one of the top 7 teams in the world and the only Canadian finalist. Now, in the final stage of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition, real people with real medical conditions will be using, testing and evaluating each device on user experience to determine the competition winner.

“Diagnosing patients without a doctor is the stuff of science fiction. Pivot’s wealth of expertise in design research, user experience, and interaction design helped us achieve the impossible. Their informed design approach and creativity helped us translate medical diagnostic algorithms into meaningful user experiences. We look forward to winning the competition with the app Pivot designed.”


– Dr. Sonny Kohli, Medical Director, Cloud DX



Stay tuned to our News & Events blog to find out more about the competition results.

Other Links:

Tricorder XPRIZE Submission 

Tricorder: Healthcare in the Palm of Your Hands