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Category Winner


AFLO Respiratory Health App


Big Motive

Sarah Pannasch



App Design



Sarah Pannash (Lead designer) Rebecca Walsh (Service design and user research) Jonny Willis (UX design) Pearse O’Neill (Content design)

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

Aflo is a connected health startup on a mission to provide a better life experience for people living with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By 2025 asthma is predicted to affect over 400 million people worldwide and by 2032, COPD is predicted to be the world’s leading cause of death. In the UK and Ireland alone, over 5.9 million people have been diagnosed with asthma and over 1.4 million live with COPD and depend on inhaled medications. Meta-analysis has concluded that 86% of inhaler users make at least one inhalation error daily and that 50% experienced a critical error leading to poor symptom control, increased risk of hospitalisation and a higher risk of mortality. Our challenge was to create a simple experience that could improve daily inhalation technique, medicines adherence and provide critical data to inform clinical decision making.

How the brief was fulfilled

“We worked with a wide range of stakeholders to understand the problems facing people living with respiratory illnesses. We created personas, documenting needs, motivations and goals before recruiting an inclusive user group. We carried out several rounds of research to understand patients’ daily experience, their challenges and frustrations. We created user journeys and tested them – refining each into detailed storyboards. With every iteration, we met with our user group, accumulating over 100 conversations and deepening our empathy with people living with chronic conditions like COPD.

Following this research phase, we devised a holistic solution – illustrating system maps to show the interplay of three interfaces: a companion app (that could help users by providing essential content, advice and data); a smart inhaler (that could promote better inhalation technique); and a clinical dashboard (that could empower clinicians to monitor treatment adherence and optimise care). Our goal was to design and develop each to orchestrate as a single connected experience, enabling medicines adherence, preventing hospitalisation and lowering the risk of mortality.

We then designed and tested prototypes with users to refine our thinking and add fidelity to each as we learned how our solution might support better respiratory health.
The final solution combines a ‘smart inhaler’, a patient-centred app and a data analytics tool so that healthcare teams can glean real time feedback from patient engagement and inhalation.

Aflo is a glimpse into the future of healthcare – a revolutionary connected health experience that aggregates inhalation data with air quality and viral data to help users identify and deal with potential asthma attack triggers.
By combining instructional content design, an intuitive mobile experience, sensor tech and big data, Aflo is helping patients to manage their life-threatening asthma and COPD symptoms.

“There are thousands of apps out there to help with Asthma and COPD. The value Aflo adds is the longitudinal data to start building patterns. This is why design is so important. Big Motive took the time to fully understand the patient and co-design an incredible solution, which has really made a difference.”

Susan Kelly – CEO, Aflo


A strong creative solution, rooted in understanding the problem well.



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