Sun Diego Drive-Through Care Research & UI/UX Design

Receive healthcare with minimal physical contact via drive-through

About the Project

The emergence of COVID-19 led to healthcare facilities adopting drive-throughs as a healthcare delivery method on the fly without having the logistics figured out nor having had the facilities to be designed for such delivery method. But what if there were healthcare facilities with permanent drive-through elements that would provide patients with beyond what is offered in drive-throughs today?

do we need drive-through healthcare?

• Faster throughput of patients
• Better infection control

to create a contactless experience?

A combination of: 
• Mobile apps for patients and providers
• Way-finding screens

would use this kind of healthcare?

• Patients who want it done fast
• Patients with mobility issues
• Patients who don't trust tele-health experience

Design Process
Project Scope

The project can be divided into three sections:
1- Research
2- Product Design
3- Architectural Design
This page will discuss the research section as well as product (UI/UX). To read more about the architecture side, please click here.

Research & Analysis

Research Goal

The research aimed to validate the concept and evaluate users' attitude towards the use of drive-throughs as a healthcare delivery method.

Research Methods

Survey (174 participants)
Interview (5 sessions)


Published in HERD Journal

Survey participants

Demographic Info
Scope of Services
What services should be offered?

Majority of people tended to believe they have least chances of getting infected with diseases in hospital-acquired diseases if they wait in their cars.

What are some of the services you prefer to receive via a drive-thru urgent care facility?

What are some of the reasons you might prefer a drive-thru doctor visit/vaccine/testing?

What are the reasons you have ever visited an urgent care? (multiple choice)

Waiting experience
Nobody likes to wait, but:

Survey showed users heavily tend to prefer to stay in their car when visiting an urgent care center. This required a system that would allow a virtual/in-person queueing system as a well as a triage system to allow patients to check in virtually and stay in their car while they wait for their turn.

General User Attitude
Happy patients = Returning patients

Participants were asked to rate their preferences and attitudes toward using drive-through services. Responses indicated neutrality regarding the convenience of receiving medical services in their car. However, there was concern about the integrity of care and confidence levels if medical services were provided in this manner. Participants leaned toward disagreement regarding the perception of having more privacy in a drive-through setting compared to an exam room, as well as the perception of drive-through care being more sanitary. Additionally, there was a tendency to disagree with the idea of receiving healthcare-related services in a drive-through setting post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Where possible, it is more convenient for me to receive medical services in my car, compared to an exam room.

Receiving medical services in my car makes me feel less confident about the quality of care I am receiving.

I feel like I have more privacy in my car compared to an exam room.

It would be more sanitary to receive medical services in my car compared to an exam room.

In a post-pandemic world (after COVID-19 situation is over) I would like to receive as many medical services as possible in my car, instead of going to the facility in person.

Meet Margaret

73 / Retired / Georgia Suburbs

“...I feel terrible asking people to help me get in and out of the car and this happens even if I need to do something as simple as a blood work...”


Mobility Issue Solution: Margaret's mobility challenges hinder her from reaching traditional healthcare facilities, leading her to ask for more  convenient options.

Fewer Infections Risks: She faces discomfort and inconvenience in crowded waiting rooms, worsening her physical limitations.

Pain Points

Navigating Technology: Margaret's previous experience using technology concerns her that she might not be able to effectively navigate through the app.

App Vs. Phone Call: Margaret is concerned what would happen if she needs to make a phone call to the support number while she is in the middle of registering in the app.

Meet Alex

31 / Architect / Cleveland, OH

“I do appreciate things that streamline my tasks, allowing me to focus on what truly matters”


Seamless Integration: Alex values the product in its seamless integration into his daily life. It complement his existing routines and workflows.

Follow-up Care:
Alex appreciates that he has the ability to access his past history and navigate through the app to learn what he needs to do when he leaves the visit.

Pain Points

Estimated Time of Waiting: Alex doesn’t like it when he has no information on how much longer he needs to wait for his appointment when visiting a typical healthcare visit.

Privacy Concern:
Alex is concerned her information may be too easily shared given the situation of the screens and the setup.

UI/UX Design

Project Breakdown

The UI/UX is comprised of three sections as below

Style Guides

The app incorporates primary and secondary colors of sunny orange and ocean blue to evoke the vibrant and refreshing vibes synonymous with San Diego beaches. Inspired by the city's coastal charm and laid-back atmosphere, the combination of warm orange hues and cool blue tones creates a visually appealing interface that resonates with users.

Project Breakdown
Visitor App Information Architecture
Check-In Experience
Scan & Get In!

Upon entrance to the drive-through lane the patients see a screen in front of them attached to a gate mechanism that can go up and down. They will first start registering themseleves by scanning the QR Code they see on the screen.

After the QR code is scanned, the patient will proceed into registering themselves and providing basic information about the reason of their visit. The information can later on be used by the physicians for triage purposes and to override the queue should they see the need.

Waiting & Way-Finding Experience

The waiting experience is design around a familiar concept, traffic lights! While patients are waiting the app is able to give a relatively accurate estimate on the waiting time of the patient based on the ESI levels of the previou patients and how long they have been in their visit.

Gate moves up once it's your turn.

Once it is the patient's turn to enter the drive-through station, the gate mechanism moves up to allow the car to enter the drive-through lane. LED lights on the floor, as well as screens on each station allow the patient to find their way into the right room.

Follow-Up Experience
Keep in touch after the visit.

After leaving the facility, patients will immediately be able to access how they need to take their prescriptions. They will also have access to their history of visits and to schedule new appointments. The app will allow them to communicate with a healthcare professional through a chat box should they have any questions.

Project Breakdown
Healthcare provider app's information architecture
Schedule Management
Heads up on patients

The app allows healthcare providers including doctors and nurses to manage their schedule and find out where they need to see patients. They can also move patients up and down in the queue if they see certain patients need to be seen faster.

Patient Overview & Prescription
Prescription made easy

With the architectural features the patient's weight and temperature are measured automatically and then communicated with the app for the physician to assess. Prescriptions are done in the app and immediately available to the patient to see.

Lessons Learned and Conclusion

This project was extremely complex considering the innovations that were proposed for an extremely conservative field (healthcare), but the research shows it patients and healthcare providers could extremely benefit from it. Here are some key takeaways that I collected during the journey:
Emphasizing Infection Control and Efficiency
Drive-through healthcare can significantly reduce the risk of infection and improve the efficiency of patient care. Emphasizing these benefits can help attract and retain users.
Ensuring Seamless Integration
The healthcare provider app should offer features that allow for efficient schedule management, patient overview, and easy prescription handling. The process must not feel like an additional burden to users.
Leveraging Familiar Concepts
Utilizing familiar concepts like traffic lights for waiting times and QR codes for check-ins can enhance user comfort and ease of use.These elements can make the drive-through experience more intuitive and reduce user anxiety.

Next Steps

The following are steps are to followed to bring the project into reality and adoption by healthcare providers across the country.
Technology IntegrationDevelop Mobile Apps
Build and test the mobile apps for both patients and healthcare providers. Ensure that the apps are intuitive, easy to navigate, and seamlessly integrate all necessary features. Implement way-finding screens and other digital interfaces in the drive-through facility. Test these components for ease of use and effectiveness in guiding patients through the process.
Pilot Program ImplementationSelect Pilot Locations
Identify strategic locations for the pilot program, focusing on areas with a mix of demographics, including both young and elderly populations. Set up drive-through healthcare facilities in these locations, ensuring they are equipped with all necessary technology and infrastructure.
Raise Awareness
Develop a marketing campaign to raise awareness about the drive-through healthcare service. Highlight the benefits such as reduced infection risk, convenience, and efficiency. Engage with local communities to build trust and encourage adoption. Host informational sessions, Q&A events, and provide materials that explain the service in detail.
Regulatory Compliance
Ensure that all aspects of the drive-through healthcare service comply with local and national healthcare regulations. This includes HIPAA concerns, safety protocols, and quality of care standards among many others.

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Copyright Parsa Aghaei Twenty24
Parsa Aghaei
Product Designer