UX Challenges in Healthcare: Technology Changing Lives
Picture: Blue Latitude Health Director and Head of Customer Experience Elisa Del Galdo
This article was first published on Consortia.com
We live in a world of rapidly changing technology – an era of virtual reality. The real question is, can we keep up the pace?
Technology is shaping the way patients, healthcare professionals and businesses now engage and interact with each other. As we increasingly rely on technology, to ensure that technological advancements change lives, businesses will need to adapt their strategies to seize new opportunities and methods of communication.
In this Q&A, staffing agency Consortia speaks with BLH Director and Head of Customer Experience, Elisa Del Galdo, on the all-important topic of user experience (UX) in healthcare.
EDG: The health technology sector is one of the most dynamic in the world. As technology becomes more integrated, we will continue to need the skills of UX experts and will likely see the number of positions increase over the next few years. Medical industries are now increasingly using digital services, which means there will be an increased need for UX skills in research and design with the addition of a love for science.
UX is a key driver of the digital healthcare revolution and will continue to modernize and improve the way healthcare services are designed and accessed by leveraging their research and design skills. Technological developments will become more accessible and fuel innovation and continue to take advantage of new opportunities offered by technology.
It is an interesting career where you are always developing and able to work on many different areas and types of projects. It is also very rewarding, we are lucky to have the opportunity to have a real impact on patient outcomes and make a difference in their quality of life.
Healthcare is a complex industry. Patient needs are changing and an increasing number of patients want more control over their own healthcare. It goes without saying that health care and well-being is an incredibly sensitive issue for many people. We want to ensure that we take into account the patient’s expertise in their own disease and that they have confidence in the treatment given to them.
To solve this challenge, UX designers work tirelessly to bridge the gaps between patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and healthcare providers and meet the demands of a connected yet diverse set of stakeholders. There is also the added complication that this industry is highly regulated and risk averse. And rightly so. This impacts the UX practitioner, especially in research activities, but with experience these barriers can be more easily overcome.
The product, service, application or tool being designed will likely require the UX practitioner to have a deep understanding of the relevant science or medicine. Design projects begin with a research and analysis stage used to inform the design. The context and content for which you are designing must be fully understood, including the condition, treatments and challenges an individual may face.
One of the challenges facing the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is the growing number of apps and devices that monitor and track personal health. Although these interventions are an innovative use of technology, they are not regulated by medical professionals and this can be problematic. To increase trust in these applications and ensure desired results, genuine research with target users must be conducted to provide statistical evidence that demonstrates desired results for customers. Patients can now register for a GP service online, which would feel like an improved user experience to patients – no more going to a doctor’s office. However, once you sign up for this service you are referred by your doctor’s office and there are only so many things a GP can help a patient with in a consultation. remote line.
Closer collaboration between GPs using this digital platform and pharmacies would allow the patient to access a GP online and then visit the pharmacy in person. This could eliminate the need for the patient to consult the GP first. Or even the GP’s ability to determine if a surgical visit is necessary.
Not only would this save resources, but it would also provide patients with a streamlined and simple process that improves the user experience and makes good economic sense for health. Technology must be used to its full potential and continuously developed to ensure the best experience for all stakeholders, not only patients, but also general practitioners and pharmacists, as well as the healthcare system.
One cutting edge technology is the Proteus Smart Pill, also known as the Abilify MyCite Pill. The pill contains a sensor that sends data to a smartphone app and database, which the doctor can monitor.
The information allows doctors to see not only if the patient has adhered to his treatment but allows the collection of other biological data. This data provides essential information to the doctor about possible side effects or the ability of treatments to provide the desired result. It also gives caregivers the chance to have a lot more knowledge about the people they are caring for, for example a child. This chip-in-a-pill technology has many uses, from monitoring patients, to clinical trials, to understanding the impact of treatments, and just for those who forget to take their medication.
The quality of the user experience begins at home. It’s important to employ a UX researcher and designer who has a deep interest in the industry, no matter what stage a person is at in their career. Working in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry can be challenging – sometimes it’s slow and there are legal and medical regulations that impact not only research methodology but design as well. It’s also a very rewarding industry to work in and being in a situation where your research or design can make a difference to someone’s health or well-being makes it a privilege.
Blue Latitude Health are UX experts in healthcare and work at multiple altitudes in a variety of therapeutic areas. Get in touch with [email protected] to find out how we can ensure you achieve your goals.