Case Study

Jigsaw

We developed a way to store, assemble, and visualize medical data algorithms for Outcomes Insights.

Jigsaw interface design compilation

Premise

As a consulting firm specializing in biomedical data analysis, Outcomes Insights sought to expand the capabilities of their services through a custom web application. At its core, the platform would help healthcare researchers translate natural language questions (How many diabetes patients had outpatient surgery in the year leading up to their diagnosis?) into something machine-readable.

Successful translation of these questions into algorithms would open the next door: Assembling data sources, settings, and algorithms into a study cohort in record time.

Discover

  • Wireframes
  • UX Design
  • Prototypes

Design

  • Branding
  • UI Design
  • Data Visualization

Develop

  • Ember
  • Ruby on Rails
  • D3

Goals

Prototype to Production

Outcomes Insights had a handful of prototypes and a stellar founding customer, and it was time to pull all of their ideas together into a polished version one.

Complex Question, Simple Chart

Converting medical research questions into SQL is as tricky as it sounds. A successful interface would handle most of those complexities behind the scenes and empower more potential users.

Helping Hand

For the non-intuitive portions of the application, a toolbox of maps, documentation, and defaults would go a long way towards helping users (new and old) out.

Gridded moodboard of Jigsaw design inspiration
Jigsaw study timeline sketches and notes in a notebook

Discover

ConceptQL Certification

We kicked things off with a crash course on ConceptQL, Outcomes Insights’ high-level language used to define algorithm SQL. Catching up with their standard was our trailhead for translating over to a guided interface with the same features.

Started From the Bottom

The first piece of the puzzle sat on the bottom of the stack: The algorithm builder, a flowchart-esque combination of algorithm possibilities. With that successfully solidified, we were freed to move up the feature chain towards directories and study builders.

The Visualization Gamut

Algorithms with (potentially) hundreds of nodes made most of this phase center around prototypes. Interactive trials were moved into the browser as quickly as possible for team feedback.

Initial algorithm builder wireframes
Jigsaw's algorithm repository digitized wireframes
Algorithm iconography
Finalized Jigsaw branding and colors

Design

Branding

Jigsaw like the saw, not the puzzle. We cleaned up the core concept and underlying colors to help the product stand on its own beside the consultancy.

Keeping the Interface Clean

The lion’s share of project resources went toward development, but that didn’t detract from multiple interface iterations as new features spun up. Interactive timelines and documentation helped communicate difficult concepts.

Algorithm builder interface, featuring a flowchart-like diagram
Algorithm repository view, with an attached diagram
A zoomed-out view of design compositions for the project
Study builder index and algorithm selection

Develop

D3 and Ember Trees

Pairing Ember, D3, and JSON, the algorithm builder was part flowchart, part map. The SVG foundation made zooming and panning seamless, and allowed the completed project to be exported as an image.

A Repository of Algorithms

Above the algorithm builder sat Jigsaw's algorithm repository: As the name implies, the underlying algorithms were organized into a directory to support metadata, filtering, and study selection.

Combining into Cohorts

The top of the pyramid was reserved for the Study Builder. Here, researchers combined algorithms and myriad settings to define a medical cohort.

The Envy Labs Jigsaw team attends a client call in a conference room

Results

Three Ideas, One Application

For the first time, Outcomes Insights’ custom take on assembling medical study data could be defined end-to-end from within the product.

Future Foundations

Beyond being usable at launch, the platform supported and received continued development around new features and configuration options.

Across the Finish Line

The completed product came with an improved means of demoing to potential customers, soon adding Amgen and the National Cancer Institute to the software.

“The entire Envy organization are excellent partners, and we look forward to working with them in [the future].”

Mark Danese
Founder // Outcomes Insights