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Merck Unite - Case Study


Web and mobile Medtech app built with Ruby on Rails.


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I was impressed by Monterail’s services. Not only did they 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 for the needs of healthcare providers in Kenya. Alexander Hoffman Head of Digitization Africa, Merck

Scope and Highlights

  • responsive-design-1Responsive design
  • 11team members
  • databasePostgresql

The Challenge

Merck Unite wanted to become the number one destination for any diabetes-related questions, advice, articles, events, research papers, and expert-led discussions in the field of diabetes. 

Apart from creating a functional, user-friendly platform for Kenyan doctors diagnosing and treating diabetes, Merck was also planning to extend the scope of the platform to build an online healthcare hub. 

Key challenges in this project include:


The Process

We felt the need to delve deep into Kenyan culture so that we could properly understand the people that we were to engage with the app.

Having conducted research on the Kenyan internet use habits, we found our that only 4% of internet users use fixed broadband, hence the need for the app’s responsiveness and fast data transfer. 

Bearing this in mind, we decided to go the full-SPA way and have Rails riding on the backend and only serving the API, which is consumed by Angular on the front.

Core activities at this stage included:

As designers, we allowed the Merck vision of community and our understanding of Kenyan culture to seed and transform our approach to the task. The excellent results of this approach are clearly to be seen in the fine product that we have been able to produce, both for Merck and also for the people of Kenya. Paweł Hawrylak Senior Product Designer

The Outcome

Merck Unite became the number one online forum for asking medical questions, and getting support from medical colleagues in Kenya and beyond.

It now offers opportunities for medical professionals to attend accredited e-learning courses as well as webinars where diabetes experts speak about various important topics and organize Q&A sessions. 

Merck Unite also provides access to content about diabetes, such as old and new treatment methods, scientific backgrounds and research papers improving participants’ professional development. 

The success of this project hinged on the following factors: