Designing Pathology Sharing for the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium

Designing Pathology Sharing for the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium

Client

Blackfynn, a neurology software startup, in collaboration with the:
Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), and:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

 Early sketches describing user interactions of the platform

Early sketches describing user interactions of the platform

Problem

Biopsies (small collections) of children's brain tumors are recovered in surgery. This precious resource is studied by scientists to research causes and treatments for care. Brain tissue samples are stored on glass slides in a biobank. Researchers can then send requests to "check-out" the slides. The samples are shipped to the researcher who studies the slide and then ships it back. Each researcher conducts research in isolation. 

Leaders at CHOP and the CBTTC asked Blackfynn to create a platform where researchers could digitally "check-out" these samples, view the work done by past researchers on the same slides to reduce duplicate efforts, and overall create a digital community for researchers of the CBTTC,  a consortium of 16 children's hospitals.

How might we create a familiar but new and novel environment to share findings?

 Re-creating a physical "slide tray" on a digital interface

Re-creating a physical "slide tray" on a digital interface

My Role

Director of UX Design

  • User research 
  • Ideation of Solutions
  • Prototyping
  • Visual Design
  • Stakeholder Collaboration
  • User feedback sessions
 Research scientists wanted familiar ways to measure slides that mimiced yet improved the phyiscal slide process they were familiar with

Research scientists wanted familiar ways to measure slides that mimiced yet improved the phyiscal slide process they were familiar with

PROCESS

I began this process by speaking with researchers about the current pathways and needs. I loved this leap of trying to create a new digital system out of the systems they knew so well in a physical lab. Researchers still wanted to be able to look at "trays" of many slides at a time, zoom in at the same rates as a physical microscope, and measure abnormalities with the same methods of marking. 

I then created these visual prototypes to show users, in order to get feedback on the vision before our engineering team began to build in any specific direction.

 Users can scan over annotations made by past research scientist and collaborators. 

Users can scan over annotations made by past research scientist and collaborators. 

OUTCOME

The CBTTC and Blackfynn collaboration is now underway to create these digital capabilites to advance the children's brain tumor research.

 A sample consult email where a user can send a request to a collaborator to comment on a biopsy finding

A sample consult email where a user can send a request to a collaborator to comment on a biopsy finding

 Users can create new annotations on slides. These annotations can be turned on/off, or the user can ask a colleague to agree or comment

Users can create new annotations on slides. These annotations can be turned on/off, or the user can ask a colleague to agree or comment

Additional Links

See more about my work with Blackfynn

Website for Blackfynn.com

Learn more about the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium

Designing a User-centered Clinical Trial Activation process

Designing a User-centered Clinical Trial Activation process

Designing a Neuroscience Data-sharing Platform

Designing a Neuroscience Data-sharing Platform