The mental health sector is underserved with regards to digital solutions. Electronic healthcare record solutions cover the administrative dimension but lack actual treatment instruments, nor do they involve all stakeholders. Furthermore, the Belgian quality law requires therapists to have a secure client record system that connects to government systems for data exchange as of July 2022.
Research in the mental health industry has shown that self-help and feedback instruments can positively influence the therapy process. We tapped into the vast years of scientific and clinical experience of Nele Stinckens to build a digital product that would alter psychotherapy practices for the better.
We decided to combine the best of both worlds: one platform to manage client records and bundle all therapeutic activities in collaborative treatment pathways with active involvement of patients and their affiliates. We embarked on a mission to discover this peculiar industry inside-out, with great attention to confidentiality and privacy.
During my search for a reliable product development partner, Panenco truly listened to my story and quickly grasped the mission of QIT online. Together we embarked on a rewarding journey in which we combined clinical experience, scientific insights and state-of-the-art web engineering.
Mental health is unique in many ways. What struck us the most is its non-diagnostic nature; there’s no straight path in the healing process.
We gathered all instruments from our playbook to define the problem and mission statement and a product-solution fit. We shaped the initial functional requirements through iterative visual prototyping with a point of view from every persona: therapists, organisation admins, government actors, clients, affiliates and others.
Through a fully clickable product design, we were able to do user validation before writing a single line of code and refine our product definition based on feedback from the field.
With clear functional objectives and a delivery roadmap in hand, we mapped out a software architecture consisting of many external privacy-sensitive APIs and would be suited for high data volumes.
We gathered a dedicated team of software and data engineers, product designers and a growth marketer under the supervision of a product manager, steering the daily operations and defining the longer term planning.
We opted for Google Cloud Platform web and data infrastructure. In order to achieve high quality standards while shipping frequently, we wrote extensive automated tests and configured error and performance monitoring solutions to proactively detect user misery or technical errors. The ci/cd pipelines brought all of these dimensions together and still assure to this day that we can perform continuous production releases without a need for manual QA involvement.
As we continue operating in a sensitive environment with regards to information security and privacy, we put operational and technical checks in place to conform to the ISO 27001 standard. We are working on data interchange with the broader healthcare system through Belgian government APIs.
We officially brought QIT online to market in early 2019 following validation by our early adopters. Due to the nature of our audiences, we opted for a B2B2C model where we sold to therapists and large hospitals who would then invite their patients.
To attract new users we launched various growth marketing tactics and we built intrinsic growth triggers in the form of a referral program. Once users sign up for free trial, we make sure they are blown away by the onboarding journey onto QIT online with a product tour, an extensive help center and relevant drip campaigns.
Scaling up requires a refined model for practical dimensions such as legal documentation, billing procedures, financial reporting lines and customer support. We set up an environment in which we measure every interaction and observe every touchpoint as we want the product to be effective for all ends of our user spectrum.