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Enabling digital innovation

AstraZeneca, like most big pharmaceuticals, is facing disruption from not only boutique biotech firms but all forms of digital healthcare products and services. To coincide with a repositioning of the AZ brand to focus on scientific leadership, they came to us with a simple question: how should we be using digital to put ourselves at the forefront of scientific leadership?

The answer was the AZ Digital Innovation Group, an innovation programme I helped design and launch. Working in a highly agile fashion in small teams of mainly designers and technologists, we introduced new themes into the lab every 8 weeks, researched the challenge, created a testable product and concluded by either agreeing to move on to a new challenge or pitching the potential digital experience to the client.

Projects ranged from new data services aimed at improving the process of clinical research to apps helping farmers in rural China get access to better preventative healthcare. I was closely involved in the testing, design, and beta launch of one of the first products - an app to help doctors and researchers have a better experience at medical conferences. Other apps included My3Weeks, aimed at improving a patient’s life in the first three weeks after a heart attack.

At any one time, several digital innovations were in various stages of the DIG pipeline. Often a high level of service design was required. You can explore one of DIG’s service design maps in Service Design.


UX Director
Service Design Lead

Design Team
UX - 12
Visual Design - 4
Service Design - 5
Content Strategy - 3

Service designs
Experience maps
Data models

Welcome to DIG

Conferences app

One of the first projects in DIG tackled how digital could enhance the experience of medical research conferences. HCPs could use the app live or in a playback mode afterwards. Watch the concept video below.

We validated the experience through multiple rounds of user testing, both in the lab and in situ at conferences. Explore some early WIREFRAME PROTOTYPES - use the Axure navigation on the left to view pre-, during and post-conference states. A later, more developed design route is below.

My 3 Weeks

Research shows the first 3 weeks after a heart attack are the most important for establishing new patterns. This app helps patients avoid falling back into old habits.

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