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Apr. - Nov. 2017

PSS to Improve the Quality of Sleep for Sleep Apnea Patients

Development of system with CPAP (sleep machine) and mobile application for proper treatment and management of sleep disorder

Keyword : design research | UX/UI design | design scenario | strategic design | health care


- Collaborative with: MEK-Ics, Nextcore, KIDP

- Period : Apr. - Nov. 2017 (8 months), South Korea

- Team : Design researcher 5, visual designer 1 

- Role : Design researcher for KIDP 

- Contribution : user research, UX/UI design, design scenario

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* This project has been supported by the R&D programme for Design Innovation Capability of the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology(KEIT) for 3 years




- Desk research

- Field research

- Persona

- Stakeholder Interviews

- Service safari

- Service blueprint



- Co-creation workshop

- Positioning map

- Kano model

- Idea prioritisation



- Service scenario

- As-is / To-be model

- App UX tree


Need to popularize CPAP machine for effective treatment

The development and popularisation of snoring and sleep apnea therapy is essential to improve the quality of life through healthy sleep. However, most of the patients do not know the seriousness of their symptoms. In addition, they are not aware of their need for active treatment with medical devices.

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CPAP Machine

It is now known that the most effective method to help with sleep apnea is the use of CPAP (Continu-
ous Positional Airway Pressure).

The healthcare company participating in this project is the only one in South Korea to have developed CPAP.

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High Price


The treatment process
is long and complicated.

Symptoms occur during sleep.

Do not know the need
for treatment.

Dependence on
100% income

Opportunity Identification


In order to understand the specific problems, we received help from two university hospitals located in Busan and Ulsan. A total 
of six patients who visited the hospitals were monitored for their use of facilities and medical checkups. Their behaviour and psychology were also recorded. Interestingly, most of the patients who visited the hospitals were more likely to come at the 
advice of their spouse or family, not of their own accord because symptoms of sleep apnea cannot be self-diagnosed.


CPAP machine usage

We tried to better understand the user’s Irrecognisable perspective by using products and experiencing hospital treatment.

Hospital experience

In order to recognise the right condition of sleep apnea symptoms, potential patients should visit to hospitals or sleep centers and it was quite complicated procedures and a lack of accessible for especially older people. Interestingly, we found out 


Contextual Interview

Interviews from stakeholders were intended to define problems and issues. A total of eight people were interviewed, followed by 
patients, medical staff, and CPAP sellers. However, it took a lot of time to recruit participants because very few patients were 
receiving sleep apnea treatment. To clearly define the relation of stakeholders and service contexts, the Service Blueprint was embodied with feedback from experts (nurses and doctors).

Service blueprint

The Service Blueprint was created to define the context based on research data. However, creating the Service Blueprint was 
not easy due to the scope of the service covered houses, hospitals and cafes where patients were provided with treatment.

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Affinity Diagram

Issues were grouped by compiling basic research including the service blueprint. Target persona and key problems could be defined.

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Concept Design


Depending on who was actively receiving treatment, five types of personas could be classified. Because we thought all of these 
personas were important, we searched for commonalities and differences, therefore finding opportunities for ideas.

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Co-creation Workshop

We held co-creation workshops and developed ideas. In the second workshop, we evaluated advanced ideas with patients and experts to create priorities through the KANO model.

KANO model: Evaluation for priority of ideas

100 participants (patients with experience using a CPAP and experts) performed a KANO model, which is a quantitative evaluation method for priority. We asked them to question the expected satisfaction and function of each idea.

" This was super great joureny hahahhaha"

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Value Proposition

PSS to Improve the Quality of Sleep for Sleep Apnea Patients









Diagnose their own symptoms and induce hospital visits

Provide manual service for long-term use of CPAP for after service

Provide information on treatment via smartphone

User-centered product that is easy to use on the move and easy to clean and store

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Design scenarios

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UX/UI design for application