Service design breakfast, case omaMehiläinen

by Riku Seppälä

Service design breakfast at Aalto University

I attended the service design breakfast on March 13th as part of the current topics course. These morning sessions are hosted by Aalto University and Startup Sauna.

This morning’s case was about Mehiläinen (a big Finnish private health care provider) and their service design partner, Idean (a Finnish service design/user experience agency, ).  In 2011 Mehiläinen launched a service concept, omaMehiläinen ( for their customers in Finland. omaMehiläinen is a digital service portal which contains health care data of Mehiläinens’ customers. The case was presented by Mikko-Pekka Hanski from Idean and Miia Engberg from Mehiläinen.


The customer problem

People do not remember their personal or their family’s medical treatment history, medication used in treatments, vaccinations, or doctors who treated them previously.

The solution

Launching a web service for customers which contains historical information about customers’ medical data, information about their family’s medical history, and personal information such as weight control. The service requires some input from the customer such as updating personal data and family data.

Service design process used to get customer insights

Service design journey started in March 2011 with the use of mind maps and creation of customer personas, and participatory design workshops (16 people, two sessions) with end users to find out what is really valuable to users. I would have liked to see examples of the personas used in more detail; now they were just briefly mentioned in the presentation.

Special areas to consider in medical web services

–          The medical information is very precious to the end user

–          The tone of voice of the service and the experience is neutral

–          Safety and security issues in high priority

The truth of the service

–          Quality/value  of the service to users is only received once the service was launched

–          Feedback from customers has been positive

–          Although only 5 % of doctors are using the service –> major challenge within Mehiläinen to get doctors to use the service. Is there a way to force doctors to use this channel within customer reation?

–          Medical business is regulated by legislation –>  What kind of medical treatment recommendations can be given?

Conclusion and key takeaways

I would have liked to hear more about the actual design process in more detail, now the process itself was just scratched from the surface.

Two main takeaways from the morning’s session to me were:

–          Designers need to be part of the concept from the beginning and continue after the service is launched to the public.

–          Solve relevant and practical customer problems

All in all, I recommend all SID Laurea students to participate service design breakfast sessions to get to know people from the field and find out how Finnish organisations are developing services.

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