The Hinge Health Enso is the most advanced technology for electrical nerve stimulation. In the past, non-invasive forms of electrical stimulation delivered low frequency impulses that provided limited pain relief. In contrast, high-frequency pulse devices deliver more immediate and long-lasting relief, but historically required surgical implantation. Enso is a non-invasive, non-addictive wearable technology relieving pain for thousands of members by delivering electrical impulses that includes high frequency components.
Enso is a connected device that provides non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief through electrical impulses. Integrating Enso into the Hinge Health experience provided many design challenges.
In our first release, our focus was fast, consistent bluetooth connection, and intuitive control of the device. In our minds, when a Hinge Health member is in need of pain relief, sometimes desperately, the Hinge Health should meet them in that moment every time, by efficiently connecting to the Enso device and allowing them to easily control the intensity of pain relieving electrical impulses.
Key to designing and developing with these goals in mind was to first understand the technical aspects of the device. Working closely with our engineering partners, we gained insight into the inner workings of the device and potential areas of complexity.
Understanding how bluetooth connects across iOS and Android, and the different connection states was essential to designing a connection flow that would be rock solid even when things went wrong. Our engineers worked on bolstering the connection flow and we introduced error states and connection status to clearly message users.
Once connected to the device, controlling it in an intuitive manner was our next priority. First, we needed to learn how Enso fit into the daily lives of our users. We used Usertesting.com to implement a diary study with early users. This two week study allowed us to gain insight into daily use. Video journals revealed our users' joys and frustrations with the Enso experience.
Users generally found Enso effective. Issues with bluetooth connectivity hindered progress and often meant individuals dropped out of testing. This reaffirmed our focus on bluetooth connectivity and pointed our solutions more toward the first time user experience.
A common refrain among users was lack of clarity and even some anxiety around how long they should treat and at what intensity. In the app there is guidance for each pain area given before treatment. However, that guidance goes away when you start the treatment. It also didn’t include guidance for length of treatment.
While we have many long-term concepts that will help guide users, we identified a near-term fix that added guidance to the main treatment screen.
At first, we only had the maximum target intensity. When we tested with alpha users, we heard that they felt like it was too high. We added a low and high range to the guidance which helped users understand they could start low and work their way up to the upper range.
As we march toward our launch date, we continue to create concepts for the future of Enso. Making it easier to understand treatment guidance will help our users adopt Enso as a pain relief tool. And integrating with the Hinge Health experience will help engage our users and promote long-term healing. However, we realize that we will learn a lot from shipping the first version of Enso. We’re excited to learn from our users and come up with new ideas to make Enso truly a beacon of hope for our members.