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UnitedHealth Group, 2021—2022

Optum Virtual Care: designing a Telehealth app

I was tasked with revamping the app design end-to-end, handling everything from planning to execution by myself.

28 M+
virtual visits post redesign, up from 1.5M
saved/patient on emergency costs vs. in-person visits
increase in user satisfaction
bookings/day from 100



Mobile (iOS & Android)


Product Manager

UX Researcher

UX Designer (me)

What I did

Revamped the platform end-to-end

Made iterative changes post-launch

UnitedHealth Group
(my employer)

UnitedHealth Group aims to modernize healthcare for 152 million people. Optum Virtual Care allows eligible patients to schedule online and chat with a provider 24/7 for urgent and primary care.

What is the Optum virtual care?

Getting sick isn't planned. Whether day or night, virtual care (telehealth) is a convenient option for consumers whoneed sudden care for themselves or a loved one.

Optum Virtual Care cuts patient wait times, enhancing efficiency for care teams, doctors, and patients by:


simplifying appointments

ensuring professionals can multitask without missing them.


integrating patient records seamlessly

so professionals don’t keep switching systems like before.


adding chat for patients & members

to coordinate, solve IT issues and respond queries.

Due to COVID, our company saw a surge in virtual consultations

would leave their current doctor for telehealth services.

Sourced from the official company case study

of consumers are interested in using virtual care.

prefer virtual visits to in‑person visits.

To meet demand, we redesigned the system for efficiency and scalability to handle millions of calls.

The experience before:

In a nutshell, I was tasked with

revamping Telehealth platform end-to-end

focussing on efficiency and scalability.

integrating patient records

so professionals don’t keep switching systems

making iterative changes post-launch

solving new problems based on customer feedback

I engaged with the Product Manager to gain an understanding of the project goals. To ensure clarity and alignment, I also communicated regularly with developers and understood their capabilities and technical constraints.

The design approach I adopted:








Test & Repeat!

I interviewed 5 healthcare professionals

to identify previously unknown struggles

The goal was to shape an archetype and add value through design principles.

Mary Williams

In-house doctor

Key tasks:


Writing prescriptions

Checking patient records


Communicating with medical assistants

I want to know my immediate appointment and give my full attention to my patient. I don’t want to struggle to keep up with a soaring burden of administrative tasks.

some additional major issues I found:

Missing appointments

while juggling between tasks.

Admin tasks are challenging due to

constant system switching.

Coordinating with team

on mobile while attending patients.

IT issues

during virtual visits leave patients and doctors hanging.

Incomplete pre-visit

work by assistant forced to switch systems.

Why did we choose the dashboard to address these issues?

because doctors were busy and needed a single system where they could effectively multitask.

How might we simplify appointment management

for providers to multitask without missing them?

How might we integrate patient records & forms

to minimize cognitive load?

How might we simplify  emergency alerts?

How can we integrate chat and note-taking for doctors

to coordinate with colleagues & respond to patient queries?

We A/B tested 2 layouts

to ensure the layout was easy to navigate for doctors in a hurry


puts spotlight on the next meeting

but makes navigation confusing


all appointments in a list

the easy navigation made it a clear winner

Despite its detail, the layout was distracting for hurried doctors.

The list improved navigation and presented information clearly.

As a trained graphic designer, I love collecting references

such as ongoing apps or concept mockups, for my mood board.

These references expand my creative thinking and enhance my visual inventory during system design.

Selected design approaches that served as the foundation

The dashboard is the central hub for

managing appointments, emergency alerts, patient summaries, and communication because doctors were busy and needed a single system where they could effectively multitask.

Doctor’s dashboard

Patient's dashboard

I broke down complexity with visual cues

The human brain processes images faster than text!

Color codes quickly reveal complaints.

establishing behavioral patterns.

Profile pictures aid in quick identification

of meeting participants.

Chat made it easier to

co-ordinate with team members

convey complex medical terms to patients

solve IT issues

There’s more to multitask!

Seamless addition of

patient’s information

Color-coded improve response efficiency.

& indicate wait times

I aimed for a clean, simple interface that's easy for both doctors and patients

Doctor’s Virtual Care

Patient’s Virtual Care

An intuitive and predictable design facilitated multitasking and eased development.

Some accessibility contributions I made making it more inclusive and universal.

As Telehealth apps are used by people of various backgrounds.

quickly address patient compatibility issues

without waiting for IT support.

alerts with audio prompts

for quick user notification.

Auto captions improved comprehension

for hearing-impaired people and in low-volume situations.

With my development background, I know how complex designs can be prone to errors

To minimize mistakes, I provided precise measurements.

Additionally, I tailored the app for tablets and mobiles(iOS & Android)

Selected design approaches that served as the foundation

The central hub for multitasking

The dashboard is the central hub for managing appointments, emergency alerts, patient summaries, and communication because doctors were busy and needed a single system where they could effectively multitask.

Seamless addition of patient’s summary saved resources, cost and efforts.

The chat feature allows swift and convenient interaction for addressing queries and concerns.

Color-coded notifications streamline patient prioritization for providers, indicating wait times and improving response efficiency.

Visual status chips, beyond color, ensure noticeability for color-blind users by offering contrasting information.

2. Virtual Care

We aimed for a clean, simple interface that's easy for both doctors and patients to use, making consultations focused and efficient.

Adding the patient's summary seamlessly saved resources, costs, and efforts.

Additionally, we tailored the app for tablets and mobiles, providing cross-platform flexibility.

3. Accessibility: The Biggest challenge

Alongside the UX Researcher, we created journey maps to pinpoint where users were struggling, and we discovered that accessibility was one of the core issues.


Making the interface elderly-accessible, as they constituted 70% of the patient user base.


Patients struggled with simple controls like volume adjustment, toggling the mic or the webcam.

To address these issues, I implemented the following solutions that significantly improved the user satisfaction rate:

I created alerts along with audio prompts to quickly inform the user about what's wrong.

I provided doctors with a new dashboard to view patient environment details and suggest quick fixes for controls.

This is just a glimpse of my design approach; we crafted the entire interface from login for providers to slot booking and call termination. We also optimized the app for tablets and mobiles, ensuring cross-platform flexibility.

To this day, UnitedHealth Group continues to use and evolve the app

I developed a comprehensive design system

that included all design assets, such as colors, typography, icons and animation guidelines.

After design and development, UnitedHealth Group's Telehealth provider rapidly grew

from 100 to 2000 daily bookings due to overwhelmingly positive customer response.

Smart appointments and seamless report integration led to 97% of urgent care seekers booking same-day appointments with an average wait time as low as 3 minutes and 13.47 minutes across states.

28 Million+
virtual visits logged in 2022 from 1.5M
saved/patient over emergency costs
increase in user satisfaction
bookings/day from 100
Sourced from the official company case study

Our virtual care program, along with online scheduling, enables simple and straightforward access to care. Our providers are seeing over 1,000 patients per day across the program. Optum Digital Scheduling has enabled virtual urgent care access for patients in need — and we have plans to continue to expand the program.

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