Merck Dora logo

Helping Fight Diabetes in African Countries

A lightweight application for the African healthcare market.

Merck Dora case study by Monterail

The company and product

Merck DORA is a product by the Merck Group, a science and technology company that focuses on health improvements with the help of tech solutions and scientific support.

The goal was to have a web-based application centered on helping fight diabetes in African countries. 

DORA stands for Diabetes Online Risk Assessment and is a tool that allows you to find out more about your risk of developing diabetes. Raising awareness by helping and teaching people how to recognize the symptoms, introduce treatment and avoid the risk zone with a healthier lifestyle.

Merck is actively involved in promoting the care and prevention of diabetes worldwide, as well as other disease prevention measures.

Client’s feedback

Merck Dora logo

Alexander Hoffman


Alexander Hoffman

Technical expertise and sensitivity to the cultural context

Not only did Monterail bring their technical expertise to the table, but they showed their sensitivity to the particular cultural context of this project by asking a lot of meaningful questions early on. Once they had fully and objectively analyzed the problems, they set about producing an original and extremely adequate application solution.

Scope and Highlights










The Challenge

Merck DORA needed to overhaul and improve their existing web-based application, which promotes global health and helps identify diabetes-related problems.

Taking an existing app and making it work requires extensive research of the target market. There were important aspects to keep in mind for this app development, such as Internet connection performance, which is extremely low in many areas of the continent. This required a lightweight but still visually appealing application.

Key challenges

Developing a lightweight application using Ruby on Rails and Vue.js.
Creating a brand new interface following client guidelines.
Making the app available in multiple language versions, including Swahili and Amharic.
Developing a lightweight application using Ruby on Rails and Vue.js.
Creating a brand new interface following client guidelines.
Making the app available in multiple language versions, including Swahili and Amharic.

The Process

Our research showed that over 90% of DORA visitors use mobile devices, with 60% specifically using Opera Mini because it helps reduce data plan consumption by compressing data and bypassing JavaScript scripts.

Moreover, the research showed that DORA visitors use a range of devices which, in turn, translated into a plethora of resolutions. Our software development needed to include screen sizes from 720x1280 pixels all the way down to 360x640 pixels, which meant that the app had to work on some very old mobile devices as well. We decided to implement a separate version for the Opera Mini browser, and use Vue.js to optimize frontend performance.

Core activities at this stage included:

  • Preparing new designs of the app.

  • Implementing Ruby on Rails and Vue.js, optimized for slow Internet connections.

  • Using Kanban to organize our work in order to stay agile, flexible, and under budget.

merck dora application screenshot

Team’s voice

Monterail logo

Wojciech Maciejak


Wojciech Maciejak

Great challenge

The Merck DORA application sorely needed to be optimized to account for slow internet speeds and diverse capabilities of user mobile devices in Africa. It was a great challenge, and I think we came out on top!

The Outcome

Originally, Merck DORA was only available in Kenya. After our partnership, the application became available in eight other African countries, and with different language variants.

We delivered a thoroughly redesigned, lightweight version of the app in Vue.js that sticks to the company’s corporate identity, weighs only 0.7 MB, and helped Merck find new partner—pharmacies in Africa.

Our involvement with the DORA app resulted in further collaboration with Merck on three projects: Merck Unite, Merck Life Science, and the Fertility Online Risk Assessment. We are convinced that our work on these medtech products will contribute to better access to high-quality healthcare.

The success of this project hinged on the following factors:

  • Flexible approach to resource planning.

  • Extensive research and intense testing to help us learn more about the client’s needs and make data-driven decisions.

  • Improving UX and UI to deliver a product that would appeal to the target market.

merck dora application screenshots
Grzegorz Hajdukiewicz | Chief Delivery Officer

I'm here to gather your requirements, answer all your questions, and push your idea into development as fast as possible.

Grzegorz Hajdukiewicz | Chief Delivery Officer

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