How to establish advanced treatments quickly and safely?

With the design of a lean digital service for physicians, the pharmaceutical industry can efficiently assist and enable physicians to improve patient outcomes.

What we’ve learned

As we all know, the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated. Therefore, digital services are often outdated and "designed by permissions." The big challenge for product creation was to simplify a digital service experience without infringing regulations. AI can be helpful and a straightforward, enjoyable user experience as well.

The situation

Xircles is a product of Medicinisto AG. Medicinisto AG is a startup and wants to reinvent medical customer engagement and service. As a young company operating in an established business, Medicinisto investigates every detail of the relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry.

Throughout several engagement projects, we discovered the need for a dedicated customer service platform. This platform will really take the needs of physicians into consideration, help the pharmaceutical industry to identify knowledge gaps better, and deliver medical support and education directly to medical customers (physicians). The task of the product team was evident. Provide ideas and solutions for such a platform.

The healthcare industry does not effectively communicate with physicians. Digital conversations are cluttered.

The discovery

With interviews, we started to investigate the routines of physicians in their everyday lives. Based on our first findings, we have understood the need to go physician-centric as far as possible. (See Beyond the Pill Matters for Patients AND Physicians. Why?) Combined with our early activities to launch a pilot project with a pharmaceutical company, we got closer to the needs of pharmaceutical managers (medical affairs, commercial managers, product manager, etc.) regarding customer service and customer insights. Through these activities, we have revealed three significant insights. They were our fundamental impulses to start ideation:

Physicians don't have time to browse for answers in expert portals; they would appreciate a quick, direct way.
Medical affairs want to know if physicians are going to use the new product or therapy, so they really want to provide a place where physicians can get in touch with them between daily routines.
Commercial managers want to gather information about the acceptance of the product and improve prescribing service, education, and medical support.

For us, it was clear: It's all about give and take, it's all about requests and responses, and it's all about questions and answers.

The ideation

If you talk about questions and answers, a conversational user interface powered by AI or a chatbot lies close to hand. However, the difficulty lies in providing a sophisticated experience that fulfills the expectations of physicians to ask complex medical questions and enable them to request instant answers. When we looked around, we realized these use cases are often split (ask a question and FAQs) and poorly implemented.

We wanted to build a system where the physicians don't need to care about it, where they just can write, and Xircles understands as fast as possible and gives feedback.

Therefore, there is only one principle to learn for physicians. Xircles will guide them to the right answer, whether it is instant or takes 24 hours with a human takeover. This single principle has another advantage for digital service in the healthcare industry. It can easily be monitored to secure pharmacovigilance.

The flow for instant answers

The flow for medical inquiries

As a second useful principle, we store every request and its respective responses or conversation in a ticket. All answers can then be traced, accessed, and organized by the physicians efficiently for later use. This can be very useful for complex responses.

Requests or conversations can be accessed and organised with tickets.

The design

Prototyping the experience

Multiple iterations of prototypes helped us to understand the principles of our approach deeply. We were able to undertake individual user tests and receive useful feedback to refine the Xircles service.

Defining the brand

Before we were able to go in the round for the final design, we needed a name and a visual identity for the platform. With Xircles, we found a name that transfers the idea of expert circles (a commonplace for medical information) to a new digital experience. And we were able to get a .com domain.

Logo with predefined free zones

Based on the name Xircles, we started creating a visual brand identity.  Learn more here.

We derived from Xircles the names Xia or Xio for our AI avatar. So the AI can be female or male and is very close to the brand.

A female or male AI name

Crafting the product design styleguide

Based on the brand identity, we created the design foundation. We incorporated the ideas of material design to provide a modern user experience with reasonable effort. The main focus during the product design lay on the design of the components.  We aimed for a mobile-first experience, but we also wanted an attractive appearance as a service widget on a desktop browser.

With smooth animations and transitions, we were able to underline our aspiration to create a new seamless user experience. The look and feel of the new product distinguish it from common pharmaceutical solutions. (See

The outcome

Xircles provides a new seamless conversational user interface to leverage medical customer service and engagement. It identifies keywords or intents and suggests instant answers.

Which is apparently pretty similar to a known chatbot but Xircles aims for more. It is just the peak of the iceberg. It creates traceable request tickets for complex medical inquiries. Physicians can follow their request transparently and getting faster feedback. It helps pharmaceutical companies to learn and deliver educational content based on insights and learnings. It is a channel for medical product providers to engage medical experts for co-creation of content and medical support.

Get in touch

Ralf Chille, c/o The Future, Brunnenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin