A mobile app to improve peace of mind and safety among
solo runners and cyclists
Emergencies are not planned, phone calls and panic buttons are the usual solutions in these circumstances. Despite their change and evolution to more modern versions, their principles for action have fundamentally remained the same, relying on the user for them to work.
What if the user is unable to press the button or make the phone call?
Agatha (previously Salus) is a mobile application for Apple Watch and iPhone, able to send an alert message with geo-location to emergency services and next of kin, without the need of human interaction.
The app takes advantage of the built-in sensors on these devices, to measure movement, acceleration and heart-rate, and build patterns that allow it to understand when the user can be at risk, automatically triggering the alert in case they are unable to.
It aims to improve safety for runners, cyclists and active lifestyle individuals while offering peace of mind for them and their families, by speeding up response times, and in case of life-threatening scenarios, improve chances of survival.
From 2015 to 2018
I am the founder and only member of the project, turning this idea into a startup that I lead for over 3 years.
My activities spread through all areas of the startup: Product, Operations, Business and Customers.
- User and Market research
- Prototyping: Low & High Fidelity
- Usability Testing
- User Flows
- Technology Selection
- UI & UX: Apple Watch, iPhone and Website
- Architecture: High Level Design
- Business Model
- Business Strategy
- Business Canvas
- Customer Segmentation
- Brand Identity
- User Journey
UNDERSTANDING THE USERS
At the beginning of the project, there were several possible use-cases and user groups. Proto-personas were created from first-hand data collected through personal experiences as a runner, observation, and numerous interactions in the form of conversations, formal and informal interviews and stories shared with me.
As a startup looking for market fit, the process has always been very interactive, exploratory and dynamic; with a great amount of input from potential users, constantly looking to validate assumptions and gather data that could support or deny the rationale behind the product.
One of the key learnings from the carried research was, gaining a clear understanding of the way people think about and approach emergencies or situations that, in theory, could represent a serious risk.
Overall, people don’t tend to think they can be in a compromised position and, if given the case, they also believe they would be able to handle it by themselves.
This represented a serious challenge for the product, as it defeated its ethos. At this point, Agatha was a solution to a problem people didn’t consider as such.
However, additional and more specific research allowed to narrow the scope and identify two groups that seemed compelled and suggested solutions to their problem that positively validated Agatha’s value proposition.
The two groups were:
- Female Runners
- Runners affected directly or indirectly by an assault episode