Healthcare is well-known as a stressful industry for both its workers and patients. Thanks to machine learning and cleverly designed user interfaces, it doesn’t have to be this way.
UX healthcare design often struggles to be friendly to its users. There are too many steps involved to execute a simple task, like setting up an appointment or changing insurance information. Complex medical terminology and the inherent stress that comes with payment makes matters even worse. This results in an influx of customer service calls to medical settings and unsatisfied patients who want different options.
Experience in healthcare means the journey should be equivalent to the destination. Here is what happens to digital health without the user experience and what you can do to stand out.
Funding In The Digital Health Space
Without the proper funding, the digital health space will lack effective resources to bridge medical care and patients together.
Forbes revealed digital health startups to have raised nearly $150 billion in 2021 so far. Funding needs to encompass different layers of the UX design experience. While earlier iterations of digital health resources were more basic, standards have risen much higher nowadays.
Electronic records, for example, are a vital resource for patients that don’t always have the time or money to visit in-person. Telehealth is another important aspect that bridges the gap between customers of different backgrounds and budgets.
Finding Qualified People To Create User-Friendly Apps Is Difficult
The first hitch on the way to improved UX healthcare design is finding qualified people. Businesses today have more options, and more obstacles, than ever when hiring workers.
UX designers these days are intimately familiar with the step-by-step process that goes into the patient experience, from logging in to editing a profile. They’ve mastered the art of putting themselves in a user’s shoes and identifying their pain points, which is crucial in building tools that get patients the treatment they need.
Over 215 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2020. Once you find qualified UX designers, you already are on the right track to standing out in a competitive market.
Related: COVID-19: The Unsung Heroes
It’s A Buyer’s Market For Patients These Days
There’s no need for a business to pretend it’s the only option out there. Patients today are well aware of how many healthcare apps are on the market, meaning you have to get very creative to earn their loyalty.
The pandemic has peeled back the already flawed layers of healthcare systems, exacerbating shortcomings and driving home the need for better options. Telehealth apps have boomed in the age of the pandemic, providing people with outlets they otherwise can’t afford or can’t find in their area. User-related feedback is a vital component of the relationship between medical institution and patient, a detail that separates successful applications from forgotten downloads.
Too Much Automation In UX Healthcare Is Not Ideal
A common complaint by buyers today is a lack of human oversight when interacting with businesses. Going overboard with automation in UX healthcare will cost you patients in the long run.
Ask yourself a few questions about your current healthcare design approach. Is it accessible to ESL speakers? How about Deaf or HoH patients? Do your clients struggle with a high influx of customer service calls asking very basic questions? Too much automation is an extreme result that actually creates more work down the line, making patients feel isolated and unheard.
UX healthcare design should complement human interactions, not replace them entirely. Telehealth services, for example, still utilize live video calls, phone calls, and emails to stay in touch.
Save Yourself Time With A Partially Hands-Off Approach
To follow from the previous section, too much automation doesn’t mean you should have none. A partially hands-off approach to healthcare design offers much-needed breathing room for everyone involved.
The function of automation is to take administrative strain off of healthcare workers and give them the energy they need to focus on complex tasks. This looks like automatic status updates, such as through the cloud, or personalized messages tailored to each patient’s health. Electronic medical records are one of today’s most in-demand features, as few people enjoy having to call a clinic just to get a refresher on their past visits.
Personalization Is Key For UX Design In Healthcare
Boston Scientific is a leading innovator in the medical field, targeting a variety of medical conditions with personalized, technological solutions. These include neurological surgery products, diagnostic monitoring, and customer service support.
This personalization crops up in a few ways in today’s UX design apps. It can be as simple as an app providing personalized updates relating to the patient’s health, such as helpful reminders to monitor their blood pressure. It can mean gearing the UX design to be more legible to those who are colorblind.
Regular surveys are proving to be a gamechanger for healthcare facilities, allowing them to gather information on a rolling basis and update their services accordingly.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for pain and neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease. Each patient’s needs are unique and personal, which is why physicians need customizable treatment solutions (Paul Grewal, Danae Digiulio).
Personalization is how you connect with people on a deeper level and show them how helpful your applications are to their lives. A balance between a hands-off approach (such as machine learning) and a human touch is ideal, particularly in such an intimidating industry. The best way to learn about what’s working and what’s not is to request ongoing feedback from patients.