ExpressMS is a custom keyboard for iOS and Android devices. It promotes thoughtful debate about the hidden symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. ExpressMS aims to achieve better support for people living with MS from friends, family, colleagues, and doctors. It promotes increased knowledge and awareness of MS symptoms.

The invisible nature of MS Symptoms

People living with Multiple Sclerosis can experience a wide variety of symptoms. Some will be visible to those around them, but there are MS symptoms that are not visible. These symptoms can have an enormous impact on people living with MS. Their invisible nature can make them difficult to talk about. People don’t always recognise or understand the challenges or reality of living with them. Multiple Sclerosis symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Emotional changes
  • Problems with cognition
  • Skin tingling
  • Itching and pain. 

Smart auto-correct functionality

The custom keyboard uses smart auto-correct functionality to suggest more descriptive phrases. It provides a clearer picture of how Multiple Sclerosis symptoms feel. It integrates with the standard mobile phone keypad and functions with any messaging service or app.

Using descriptive phrases for better communication

All too often, the terms used to describe MS symptoms are ones that are common in society. Phrases such as “I’m exhausted” make it difficult to describe how those living with MS are feeling. Friends may not fully understand when they say that they’re ‘too tired’ to meet up. Rather than saying “I’m tired,” ExpressMS will suggest something else. Phrases such as “I feel as if I’ve run a marathon” describe the symptom in a more impactful way.

Helpful phrases to describe the symptoms of MS

The phrases were developed based on extensive online analysis of the most commonly cited invisible MS symptoms. Each of these formulations have been verified by people with MS. Key features of the ExpressMS keyboard include alternative phrases. They describe the five most commonly cited invisible MS symptoms:

  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Fatigue
  • Mood
  • Spasticity
  • Pain and itching

Technology partner for healthcare apps

Edelman appointed Milo as their technology partner to work on digital innovation projects in the healthcare sector. Our mobile app development team and Edleman's digital product development team were eager to work together right away. We worked iteratively on digital product development using agile methodologies to solve the problem for the target audience.

A high benchmark

A performant custom keyboard for iOS and Android requires a lot of specialised work. Both Apple and Google have set a very high bar for performance. We were tasked to create a custom keyboard, and it had to have a similar user interface and performance. This was not an easy task to complete given the time and financial restrictions.

User experience design 

Our UX team collaborated with the Head of Creative Technology to create a seamless user experience design. In a series of UX workshops, prototypes were tested with the intended audience. To iterate more quickly, our mobile app developers employed a JavaScript-based prototyping technique.

Functional prototypes and lean UX

Our mobile app developers produced several versions of prototypes. These were put to the test on the intended audience using the lean UX methodology. This was carried out in order to collect feedback and enhance the app's user experience design. We created an iOS feasibility prototype after receiving favourable feedback from our test groups. Then, it was tested and approved by the different stakeholders, whose comments were incorporated into the prototypes. This eventually served as the foundation for our subsequent round of iOS and Android mobile app development.

Mobile app development for iOS & Android devices

Our preferred framework for building mobile apps is React Native. However, in this case we needed access to the lower level APIs and the ability to build app extensions. Because of this we had to fully commit to native app development across iOS and Android smartphones. This was not an issue for our expert team of mobile app developers. They have been using native SDKs since the initial releases of iOS and Android.

App launch

The ExpressMS keyboard app is available to download on mobile devices in Germany, Austria and Italy. ExpressMS will be more widely available in other European countries during 2022-23. To find out more visit Janssen expressMS.

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App design & development services

User experience design & mobile app development

Access to low level APIs is necessary in order to create a custom keyboard for iOS and Android devices. As a result, we developed the app using native SDKs in order to produce the required app extensions.

User experience design

  • Wireframing
  • Lean UX prototyping
  • Functional prototyping
  • User interface design
  • User testing

Mobile app development

  • Native SDKs
  • Native keyboard APIs (custom keyboard)
  • Swift programming for iOS
  • Kotlin programming for Android
  • Multi-device testing
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Let's talk

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Our knowledgeable staff of app designers and software developers are available to answer all of your inquiries. No matter how simple or complex they may be.

Whether it is about digital product design, lean UX, or custom software development we can help.

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