Improving the neural health of people with Huntington’s Disease with the creation of a drum training app.

Illustration of the HD Drum App

HD Drum

Based on pilot research showing benefits of drumming on cognition and neural pathways in people with Huntington’s Disease, KD worked with Cardiff University and Jaime Canterato to design and build a working proof of concept, tablet-based app for use in clinical trials.

The engaging and playful design immerses participants in the drumming exercises as they progress through the program and data capture and analysis allows monitoring accuracy and progress of participants over time.

Smiling woman putting up post-it

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease is an inherited, neurodegenerative disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. The work of Dr Claudia Metzler-Baddeley, of Cardiff University, has shown potential promise of drumming training as effective therapy for patients diagnosed with early Huntington’s disease.

As a result, KD were tasked to work with Cardiff University to design and build a working proof of concept of a scalable platform to engage people with Huntington’s disease and deliver drumming training to study participants, encourage compliance and collect data to evidence effects on symptom progression. 

a hand testing the hd drum app

App Design

The app was designed with a personable look and feel to increase user engagement and emotional connection to the drumming experience. In parallel 22 unique session identities were introduced to encourage curiosity and progression within the user, implementing a celebration of progress within the app to encourage retention and increase engagement.

blonde man with headphones on holding a mic and smiling at a laptop

User Testing

KD iteratively refined the design to meet the needs of people with Huntington’s Disease. Working closely with the Cardiff University team, internal testing at varying fidelity levels was conducted  to assess usability and design performance. In-clinic testing was used to validate design assumptions in order to establish a final deign for use in clinical trials.  The findings from the trial will inform development of a what is hoped to be a widely available new therapy for people with Huntington’s disease.