Launching a virtual-first primary care solution for Blue Cross Blue Shield

Closeknit Mobile App Images


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland serves 3.5 million individuals and groups. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the payer was eager to launch a mobile application offering virtual primary healthcare services, including preventative care, urgent care, and mental health services. Understanding that access to quality, convenient, and hassle-free healthcare can be challenging; we partnered with the client to design and launch CloseKnit, a mobile app that gives members free and convenient 24/7/365 access to comprehensive care.


Design & Strategy Lead

  • Discovery and requirements definition
  • Defined product roadmap
  • Led iterative design and usability testing
  • Design system creation and governance
  • Sprint planning and backlog management

9 weeks to launch

3 Big Takeaways

  • Designing a contextual onboarding experience
  • Delivering personalized customer-centric healthcare
  • Establishing an ongoing feedback loop

Designing a contextual onboarding experience

To empower CloseKnit's debut, we focused on deepening the brand's understanding of its audiences. Our approach centered on crafting actionable, needs-based segments—urgent care, primary care, and comprehensive care support—while mapping the user journey within each category. This process involved the development of detailed personas that articulated user needs and opportunities. The result was a bespoke, contextual onboarding experience that surpassed acquisition targets by 7.2%.

Delivering personalized customer-centric healthcare

At the height of the pandemic, virtual care via telehealth was experiencing widespread adoption, with state and federal mandates amending laws to expand the use of telehealth. The rise in telehealth created an opportunity for CloseKnit to deliver more customer-centric experiences by allowing patients to use CloseKnit as their primary source of care. A key aspect of the experience was to pair members with a primary care physician (PCP), allowing them to schedule visits with the same PCP each time they used the app.

Educating members and building trust was crucial to getting users to select CloseKnit as their PCP. By designing an experience with free 24/7 chat-based support, access to same-day appointments, no waiting to see your doctor, and longer appointments, we combined the best aspects of a physical visit with the convenience of a virtual experience. This unique combination positioned CloseKnit as a partner and ally in helping users navigate their healthcare journey.

Closeknit Mobile App Images
Closeknit Mobile App Images

Establishing an ongoing feedback loop

CloseKnit was rapidly developed and launched within a remarkable nine-week timeframe. Following this successful launch, we established a Voice of Customer (VoC) team as an ongoing source of actionable insights and user feedback to align stakeholders on product vision and priorities.

Ongoing analysis of user feedback and analytics data allowed us to identify and prioritize a backlog of features based on user needs and business goals. This process supported an actionable roadmap, guiding our post-launch efforts to refine and enhance CloseKnit.

Closeknit Mobile App Images

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