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Trends in Healthcare and what they mean for designers

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What are the key trends in the healthcare industry? What implications do they have on the design solution? If you are a product planner, business analyst or designer you may already be familiar with these questions. Lately, my projects cialis 20mg have been focused in the healthcare space. Because of this, I have been studying the key trends and analyzing their implications on the solutions I design. In this post, I’ll share my learning and outline how I use them to guide my design process.

1. ePatients are here to stay but not every patient is an e-Patient
Easy access to information is encouraging patients to go online and learn, share, discuss their health conditions. The PEW Internet study suggests 61% of the American adults have gone online to learn about their health condition. However, our experience (also supported by industry research) shows that not all patients are e-patients. Some do not have access to the Internet, a few do not want to try new technologies and others do not want to know more about their health condition. Creating solutions for these varied information needs is a challenge.

Design guideline: Identify the information needs for all target patient categories. Understand their behaviors and attitudes toward technology.

2. Clinicians do not buy zithromax want ‘more’ data
Clinicians are already drowning in data. Clinical documentation, tracking patient’s test results and staying abreast with new treatment guidelines and most recently, with social media are a few contributing factors. Impeding shortage of doctors to meet the growing medical demands and the push toward data-driven electronic health records is adding to the strain. Clinicians are looking to technology for efficient solutions that require fewer resources and help them make better decisions. Gaining a complete understanding of their current workflow is critical to ensuring that the design solutions will support their work and decision-making, rather

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than create unnecessary burden.

Design guideline: Identify the real needs of clinicians (efficiency, cost-reduction, resources, etc). Understand their current workflow with respect to these identified needs.

3. Participatory medicine does not mean equal participation
Patient advocates have always pushed for participatory medicine as a means for better outcomes. Lately, the clinician community has also started paying attention. Studies have shown that participatory medicine could not only improve patient outcomes but also reduce costs. However, there is still some skepticism around the patients’ level of involvement and the type of information that should be shared with them. Some studies cite patient safety concerns and others indicate that a larger number of patients do not want to be “too involved” with their health decisions. For our projects, we have worked closely with clinicians and patients to identify the information they would like to share and kept the clinical and regulatory teams involved to ensure that the data being shared is under approved guidelines.

Design guideline: Identify the information that can and needs to be shared (questionnaires, discussion cards, reports, etc). Understand the attitudes of the patients and clinicians towards participatory medicine.

4. Self motivation is not enough for medical adherence
Studies with diabetic patients indicate that motivation alone is not enough for patients to stay healthy. Patient adherence is still a major issue. Institutes and organizations are experimenting with self-management, motivational interviews and behavior change programs. Studies are underway to identify the ideal characteristics for improving patient compliance. The two criteria we focused on were a) the ease of integration with the patient’s current life style to ensure that the patients did not have to make significant changes to their daily self-management routine 2) the patient’s motivation and ability to follow a self-management program to help identify the patients who would benefit most from the solutions we were designing.

Design guideline: Identify patients’ current routines for managing their health. Understand their abilities, their motivations and the support systems (family members, friends, neighbors, etc.)

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that can help them to improve their health.

5. Mobile is not ‘the’ healthcare solution
The miraculous growth of mHealth in the last twelve months is astounding. Medical apps were the third-fastest-growing segment in the iPhone app store. There was a 20% increase in the number of physicians using iPhones. And an “unofficial” study from New York and New Jersey found that five in seven Medicaid patients carry a smartphone. Beyond mobile applications, today’s medical devices such as ECGs, blood pressure monitors, scales, and pedometers are being designed to collect and share data via mobile phones. Mobile is definitely going to be a game changer for healthcare. However, it is important to understand that mobile is not a single-focus solution. It is most effective as an extension of a healthcare solution.

Design guideline: Identify aspects of the solution that are most suited for the mobile environment. Understand how they fit

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within the larger design strategy.

Have you seen these trends in your own design work in healthcare? Are there other trends that you have been following? Please let me know in the comments below.

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2 Responses to “Trends in Healthcare and what they mean for designers”

  1. sameer says:

    Sheetal
    This is really good observations and information.
    When I was leading Oracle Clinical UX efforts we did some site visits to patients and doctors. One important aspect in clinical information is the accuracy of data entry in the system(especially by old patients). This was a major concern.

    cheers!

    sameer

  2. Sheetal Dube says:

    Sameer, that can be a major issue. I am wondering how you designed for something like that. Just curious because it seems like a challenge more designers will face, as participatory medicine becomes a norm.