Actify. Workshops, communication, and trust. HealthTech case study. - DO OK

Actify. Workshops, communication, and trust. Case study

Actify was founded as an initiative by a health insurer in The Netherlands. Actify aims to help people live healthier lives by building healthy habits in small steps. As DO OK we work with the client on two projects: Actify Vitality Coach and the Actify Bewegen app.


What product do you develop?

We are working on Actify, a digital vitality coach that aims to help people get healthier lifestyle habits step by step. It’s a health coach system, supported by mobile applications that support healthy habits without drastic changes to an individual’s everyday life.

One of the features is suggestions for healthy food recipes. Another element that we implement is a module focused on guided audio coaching for meditation and mindfulness. The second application is the Bewegen app, which aims to increase the physical activity of participants through a system of fun challenges, goal-setting, and positive reinforcements.

We are responsible for developing API, back-end and front-end of the system, integration with existing company’s products, mobile application, and CMS. The evolutionary architecture has allowed us to start the project as a monolithic system and with the increasing requirements, we switch towards the microservices. The application and the entire system will be highly scalable, ready to process vast amounts of data from users. We use React Native on the frontend, and DDD, Python, Kafka, and evolutionary architecture principles on the backend. There is also a plan to develop an AI module text interface and a loyalty program. The app is available on Google Play and the App Store.

How long have you been working with the client, and how does the cooperation look like?

We’ve been working with Actify’s team since the middle of 2018. During this time we had several meetings and workshops, but mostly we work remotely from Poland. The last workshop we’ve had was at the beginning of June. Every such meeting is an opportunity for direct interaction, strengthening the relationship and getting a broader view of the project we’re working on. Working closely with the client allows us to develop better cooperation model, design features and technical solutions that match their strategy. That means better understanding the needs of the end-users.

Our recent visit to Leusden in the Netherlands was an excellent opportunity to observe a bit of different culture, which has a significant impact on work. Stepping into and experiencing Actify’s company culture we realized how it’s positively affecting the project. Let us explain: We celebrated everyday meals and the walks after. During this time we talked not only about the project. When we were going back to the office, we had refreshed and oxygenated our minds and they were ready to work. We have realized such daily routine supports our project which is about such small changes to improve our lives in a significant way.

Everything in the client’s office promotes being creative, efficient and focused on work. Unstable chairs stimulate the body to maintain balance, so the brain is active all the time. Ideas and notes can be written everywhere because walls are covered by whiteboard paint. That was extremely helpful during our workshops.

How big is the team?

Depending on the requirements we involve programmers and experts with a different skill set to the project. Currently, we work closely with the client’s side in a small, agile team of 7 developers.

What is particularly valuable while working on this project?

We appreciate the fact that the client sees us as a real partner, a part of his team. We create the product together, exchange knowledge, give feedback at every stage of the work. This lets us develop both technical skills and our direct cooperation with the client. The client’s team is young, very creative and extremely focused at the same time. They are interested in novel solutions. Such a mix makes our work even more pleasant because we exchange expertise, share experiences and learn from each other regularly. Everyone has a hobby and is interested in something extraordinary outside of work.

What skills are necessary to cooperate with the client?

There are a few things important in every IT project: communication skills, having an open mind, and a deep willingness to understand business goals from the client’s perspective. We do not feel afraid of asking questions to follow the domain and fit in the solution. Sometimes the proposed solutions come from different industries, so having an open mind is important. Then we analyze and test available paths, and implement the one that fits best.

What is the major value for the client?

The Actify team treats us as a tech partner - they count on our experience and proactive approach. We’ve built trust based on delivering high-quality solutions on time. We launch new features regularly, so the client can see the constant progress in provided solutions. We know how important from the business perspective is the continuous delivery, test coverage, improvements and code optimization piece by piece. The solutions we work on are used daily by thousands of users.

Special thanks to Thomas Rekers, Piotr Olejnik and the team.

Main photo credentials: Epic Ebike

Author: Katarzyna Leszczyńska-Bohdan

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