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Training doctors with a flexible, CME-crediting mobile app

The brief

“TXI orchestrated this thing really, really well. All of the communication infrastructure was already built out, and it felt really natural. It ended up feeling like one large team.”

Daniel Pickhardt, Director of New Product Development at the JAMA Network

For decades, JAMA®, the Journal of the American Medical Association, part of the JAMA Network™ family of journals, has kept doctors sharp — and licensed — by helping them earn their continuing medical education (CME) credits. What that looks like has changed over the years: from journal articles to in-person training to webinars, all of which educate doctors on the latest techniques in their fields. What hasn’t changed: physicians counting on JAMA as a source of information and a reliable way to get their CME credits.

Now, JAMA Network must provide the same education to a new generation of doctors used to getting everything on their phones. To create a mobile app capable of engaging these younger physicians, JAMA Network turned to Table XI and our agency friends at One Design. Together, we developed a dynamic app that’s informed by a modern set of needs.

Based on JAMA’s extensive user research, we decided to focus on building an app that would allow doctors to learn during their commutes or when they had downtime. That way they could tackle lessons in chunks based on their schedules, staying licensed without needing to block off several days to attend a conference or several hours to watch a webinar. The result gives medical professionals the power to earn CME credits in whatever way best suits them — and we’re only planning to improve from there.

The challenge

How we build trust, sometimes using Legos

JAMA Network came to us through One Design, a Chicago web design firm, who recommended TXI for developing the app’s technical functionality, as well as handling project management. Because JAMA Network didn’t really know anything about TXI, we knew we needed to start off by getting everyone comfortable with one another.

To do that, we kicked the project off with a two-day Inception designed to let us go deep on JAMA’s business, its users, and how the two sides’ needs would come together.

We started by getting people out of their comfort zone. One way to build trust is to try something new — and give everyone a space where they can feel safe failing — together. So we busted out the Legos and spent a few hours playing our Agile Lego game. That taught the JAMA Network team how to work in Agile, by building a Lego structure using the process, and gave everyone a chance to shake off any new-partnership nerves and loosen up with some laughs.


The solution

  • Physicians can listen to podcasts on their commute and then take a short quiz to earn CME credits
  • Physicians can work at their own pace, instead of having to set aside large blocks of time
  • Continue to collect data from app users and the research collected to improve and enhance the user experience
  • Equip every doctor with the best educational tools

Table XI brought lean startup and agile development principles along with a lot of discipline for executing them.

Conrad Caplin, CEO of Pronto

The outcome

Continuous improvement cycle

Based on JAMA’s extensive user research, we decided to focus on building an app that would allow doctors to learn during their commutes or when they had downtime. That way they could tackle lessons in chunks based on their schedules, staying licensed without needing to block off several days to attend a conference or several hours to watch a webinar. The result gives medical professionals the power to earn CME credits in whatever way best suits them.

Even as we’re testing the app out on our first real users, we’re working on the next set of features. JAMA has big plans to transform continuing education for physicians, and we intend to be right there along with them, helping to make it possible.

Let’s start a conversation