Elsa—Behind the Scenes, Part 2

Elsa—Behind the Scenes, Part 2

It is time to continue introducing a few of our colleagues who dedicate their days to developing Elsa. Who are they? What drives them and what do they want to achieve with Elsa as a digital tool?

Hanna: "I am not my disease, I am a human being"

I am a Health Educator and work as the link between Elsa and Elsa’s users. I want to provide more everyday tools for individuals living with rheumatic diseases, as well as give them hope for the future. That is why it is important for me to listen to what people want and need. 

In my role, I am continuously interviewing people who live with different rheumatic diseases, but also researchers and healthcare professionals in this field. This is to gather material for Elsa which results in programs, blog articles, and valuable insights for app development. I am also part of the team answering questions that our users send to us through the app. 

I myself have rheumatoid arthritis and have had it for over ten years. I know it is not easy to live with a chronic disease. I find it hard to accept that the healthcare system’s focus is only on my disease and not all of what I am as “Hanna”—how my life works, what I want to do, and how I can get there. I do not want to be reduced to just another blood test, that makes it impersonal. And I only want to be a “patient” for those few moments when I am in the hands of the healthcare system—otherwise, I want to be seen as me in my entirety, as a person. 

This is where Elsa comes in for me. I am not my disease, I am a human being. That is why I want Elsa to maintain a holistic perspective, and to always view each individual as one with unique experiences and needs. I believe that in the future, Elsa will be better adapted to individuals, and thus serve as an even firmer hand to hold during their journey with a rheumatic diagnosis, and in time, also for those with other chronic diseases. 

Olle: "Elsa must be in tune with the user's situation"

I am an Art Director & UX Designer, which means that I work with design and with molding the app so that it is based on what the person using it may need. I like to involve myself a little here and there, dig in, and deep dive into different areas to learn more and understand our users better—that is the foundation of designing something particularly great. 

Elsa as a tool has great potential, largely owing to the fact that we have such committed users who share their experiences, providing us with input and ideas. I want to make Elsa more intelligent, more adapted to where you are on your journey with your diagnosis and how you feel right now. If you are logging higher degrees of pain during a certain period, Elsa should be able to react to this in the future and follow up with appropriate questions so that you get the right help at the right time. Simply put, Elsa should be in tune with the user’s situation. 

My hope is that in time, Elsa will be a strong voice that can play a role in and create a more democratic healthcare system—one that is based on the patient’s perspective. A tickling question to ask ourselves from time to time is how healthcare would look if it was run by those who use it. 

Linda: "When I go to work I want to feel that I’m improving someone's life"

My role is the Head of Growth. This means that I am responsible for the Elsa app to reach as many people as possible who may benefit from it in their everyday lives. Therefore I am trying to understand how people use Elsa and how we can develop this service. 

My working day mainly consists of marketing and analyzing how Elsa is used. For example, we can see how many people are downloading the app, which features are being used, how many are logging their wellbeing, and how often. All of this leads to insights and helps us make decisions going forward. 

I really want to point out that we never see “Anna, a 32-year-old in a specific town in Sweden, is logging her pain six days a week”, all the information is anonymized. But in order to make Elsa even better, it is really helpful for us to be able to see that many people are using a certain feature, or that almost no one is using another. Then we need to assess why this is in order to create an app that actually adds value to people’s lives. 

I have worked in the telecom sector for many years but felt that I was seeking a higher purpose for why I work. When I go to work I want to feel that I am improving someone’s life. My mother has Parkinson’s disease, which creates a sense of urgency for me to work to improve the support available for people with chronic diseases. My goal is that everyone with a chronic illness should be able to use Elsa.