Apps are everywhere and ever-reaching into the little nooks of our lives to improve some aspect of our experience. Want to plan your meals by the cycles of the moon? There’s an app for that. Want to order delivery Thai food without having to speak with someone or exchange cold hard cash? There’s an app for that. Want to have a group light-saber battle with your friends and family and divide the group among Jedi and Sith? You get the idea: from fun to food delivery, apps are diverse and serve a variety of functions. But, there’s a decided lack of apps on the market that support someone in their struggle against acne – until now.
Epiduo® Forte Gel (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide), 0.3%/2.5% is a once-a-day prescription topical acne medication with two active ingredients—adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. The powerful combination works together to treat tough acne and help prevent recurring acne from forming by unclogging pores and killing bacteria. Epiduo® Forte Gel had an existing app on the market called “epi-tracker,” but they were in need of a new set of eyes and a complete application refresh that really engaged users and retained their attention to the app. They wanted something that was user-friendly, and an app that partnered with healthcare providers to bring about better products and services.
When acne patients visit their healthcare providers, there is rarely enough time for the patients to become educated on their acne, or how best to treat it. In addition, it is crucial for acne patients to use products as directed to see a change in their condition. So, our app needed to continue to educate patients about their acne and encourage them to maintain their Epiduo Forte treatment plan to best manage their skincare.
Going into the project, we knew that the patients using the myForte app were in a vulnerable state. Living with acne is a very personal battle that can have a powerful, negative impact on those suffering from it. So, we wanted to build an app that supported patients in their pursuit to treat their acne and gave them confidence to take control of their acne.
Before kicking off the app, we needed a name. To quote Shakespeare (sorry), “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” While we agree with big Bill, naming a healthcare app can be tricky, mostly because healthcare nomenclature can sometimes be incredibly sterilized and devoid of emotion, but treating acne is not an emotionless battle. We wanted a name that reflected the user’s personal stake in their health and one that empowered them to treat their acne. We ultimately chose “myForte,” which gives the user ownership of their acne and its treatment. It also plays on the word “forte,” which denotes a person’s strength or positive abilities. When added together, “myForte” gives the user confidence that they can treat their acne, and that they’re going to do a great job in the process.
One of the biggest hurdles for those battling acne is staying consistent in their treatment, and regularly applying their medication. So, we built an app that gave patients the resources and reminders they need to stay on track to achieve the best results. We developed daily motivational messages that send users motivational messages to keep them engaged with their acne treatment.
All of the positive reminders and tips are paired with illustrations that take place in natural settings for the teen or young adult patient. The illustrations are inclusive of everyone facing acne. It was important to us that we didn’t bombard users with real acne imagery, which can be discouraging to see all the time.
Additionally, we felt that it was important to give users the ability to track their progress, which helps them see their improvement and gives their dermatologist the ability to observe their journey during follow up visits. We built in a calendar function that helps users track when they applied Epiduo® Forte Gel, but also asks them to record how they feel about their skin each time they interact with app. This way, we’re encouraging users to stay engaged with the app and to take time to reflect on their progress.
The split view function of myForte allows users – and their healthcare providers – the ability to measure the patient’s progress against any picture they’ve taken in the app. This small function is incredibly powerful for helping people track their progress and gives their dermatologist a larger view of their total improvement.
It’s easy for patients dealing with acne to feel downtrodden and made helpless by their skin condition. Often, these people have struggled with acne for years and feel like they’re out of options. When we created this app, we wanted to help patients suffering from acne take ownership and control of their acne treatment. With the myForte app, patients have the education and encouragement they need to confidently tackle their acne with a smile.