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A healthcare-oriented Web application

Merck Dora Case Study


A lightweight application for the African healthcare market

Tetiana Drozdenko - Project Manager of Merck at Monterail
Tetiana Drozdenko Project manager of Merck

Like what we do? Let’s talk about your project and build something your users will love.

Alexander Hoffman - Head of Digitalization Africa at Merck
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. Alexander Hoffman Head of Digitalization Africa at Merck

Scope and highlights

  • 0.7mb app's new size
  • 4years of collaboration
  • 60%opera mini users

The Challenge

One of the core missions of Merck DORA is helping fight diabetes in African countries. In pursuit of that mission, they approached us to overhaul their existing web-based application, which promotes global health and helps identify diabetes-related problems.

The challenge was to take the app over and… make it work. The app required extensive research of the target market. There were some things, however, that we were aware of from the start, including that Internet connection speeds are extremely low in many areas of the continent. So, we were acutely conscious of the fact that we needed a lightweight but still visually appealing application. The challenge before us entailed:

Merck DORA mobile app - Monterail Projects
Merck DORA web app - Monterail Projects

The Process

In the course of our research, we learned 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 used a range of devices which, in turn, translated into a plethora of resolutions. We had to keep in mind—from 720x1280 all the way down to 360x640, which meant that we had to make the app 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:

Wojciech Maciejak - Ruby on Rails Developer at Monterail
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! Wojciech Maciejak Ruby on rails developer

The Outcome

When we started our efforts, Merck DORA was only available in Kenya. Currently, the application is available in eight more African countries in 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 partners—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 projects will contribute to better access to high quality healthcare. Our success hinged on three key factors: