An estimated 3.6 million Americans delay or have difficulty obtaining needed medical care each year because they lack access to consistent, affordable transportation. This creates a barrier to healthcare, which for low income cancer patients could mean life or death.
Lifts4Lives began as a digital advocacy campaign that grew wings at the #HackCancer #HackSTDs hackathon hosted by Goodie Nation. I collaborated with four other women over 3 days to design a website, petition, branding, and a social media marketing campaign to raise awareness for this critical issue. During that 3 days we learned that raising awareness is a good start, but it doesn’t solve the problem. We needed a better solution, so after the hackathon we pivoted towards developing a nonprofit organization that partners with rideshare corporations like Uber and Lyft to provide a means for users to find or donate rides.
Research & Discovery
Our group founder conducted months of comprehensive research to define and validate the problem. I also added some of my own research to the mix to identify other primary user groups that may be affected by the transportation barrier.
- When patients are too sick to drive or they don’t own a car, they have to rely on family members, friends, public transit, taxis, or other rideshare services to get to and from their appointments. Friends and family aren’t always available and paid transportation can become very costly when a patient has multiple appointments, lives far from the hospital, or has little or no income.
- When patients miss their appointments, not only are they forgoing necessary care, but they are also costing healthcare providers valuable time and money.
- There are programs available that can help, but there’s not enough consistent funding and the enrollment process can take a long time. Cancer patients don’t always have a long time.
Together we identified three primary user groups:
We conducted a comparative analysis to get an idea of what kinds of organizations and programs currently exist and who we might be able to partner with to solve this issue.
Here’s what we found:
Because of the time constraints imposed by the competition we didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew. We really believed in the work these other organizations are doing so we felt like designing an awareness campaign to promote on social media and providing a platform to direct users towards these other organizations was a good place to start. I got busy developing a brand while the others worked hard on defining our cause and brainstorming the first iteration of our website.