With world in your palms, user experience is becoming a necessity in every domain. Everyone is looking for a memorable and seamless experience that is intuitive, intelligent and definitely a solution provider.
This is why today UX is gaining extreme importance and is playing a major role in simplifying the complexities. It is undoubtedly the foundation to success and all the passionate designers have proven this time and again. Many companies, be it product or service oriented are acknowledging the role of designing in the pavement of success like Fintech, Travel & Tourism, E-commerce, Enterprise Applications. But, there are few industries who needs to brace up like Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Insurance etc.
Today, I will share some insights from our experience in Healthcare and also touch upon the world of possibilities waiting to be discovered.
“How awesome it would be to have an intelligent system that calculates patients BMI, pointers of medical history, important notes of patients and then suggests drugs accordingly and doctors could pick up from that.”
Our first step in Healthcare UX
We started in the field with ‘Context media’, a US based client that aimed at designing an interactive tab app that helped patients gain more knowledge about the chronic diseases. Though, it was not a big project but helped us touch the unanswered vacuum of the industry. Soon, we got our milestone project ‘Surgeon logbook’, a project of ‘Narayana Health’. Dr. Varun Shetty approached us to design an extremely simple app that would aid surgeons in maintaining their log book digitally. We spent hours with the doctors understanding their requirement (conscious and subconscious) and them. We were appalled User Experience in Healthcare to discover how healthcare industry was so heavily paper dependent in 21st century! With our mobile first approach and research, we were happy to unearth that the world of surgeon’s was looking forward to an App like this.
3 Years in Healthcare industry and after spending few thousand hours with doctors, nurses, surgeons and patients, we have been entrusted with immense knowledge and thrust to design many more healthcare products. We are on a mission to revamp health care with outstanding UX and ensure that it is way more accessible than shopping.
Let’s see the current scenario of EMR in Healthcare and later I have shared some tips for designing Healthcare products.
EMR – Electronic Medical Records
Today Healthcare is not just about cure it is more about prevention. We have power to access the knowledge with just a tap. But, it’s sad to observe that current Electronic medical records (EMR) in market is just another piece of software that can be used by doctors and patients only post formal training.
Seriously? Training for an EMR! We didn’t need any training for Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, did we? It’s not just about providing a technical solution but it is about providing a right solution that is empathetic towards users and intelligent enough to eradicate problems. Major software companies have spent months and years building EMRs, just to realize that hospitals, doctors and patients aren’t using it the way they were supposed to.
This is where User Experience Design and Emotional intelligent designs play a major role; every other day we read of medical errors that leads to loss of life, but with practicing a good UX practice, we can definitely avoid and overcome these errors.
Imagine an EMR with a seamless experience for doctor while he is prescribing drugs. The app that is as simple as an e-commerce checkout page and takes you through easy but essential steps. What if we design an experience where doctors can see side effects of drugs tailored to individual’s medical history before clicking Prescribe button. How awesome it would be to have an intelligent system that calculates patients BMI, pointers of medical history, important notes of patients and then suggests drugs accordingly and doctors could pick up from that. It’s about time to add a layer of intelligence to the app by creating an algorithm that offers helpful suggestion to users. A great example would be Tapgenes app Designed by us that takes data from embedded health tracker from iOS and suggests how can we better manage health of ours and our loved ones. This is way too exciting, I would rather stop, else I might end up building one.
Anyways, here are some tips to ponder on before designing UX for healthcare.
Start with Design Thinking aka Solution Based Thinking Session
This session with the stakeholders is the first and most crucial step. Involve the entire team, right from product owners, dev team and marketing team. Here are some links for a design thinking workshops.
Design Thinking. Thoughts by Tim Brown
What happens with a design thinking approach to healthcare? by Tim Brown
Keep it device friendly
Desktop version of EMR is history; let’s think of mobile or tabs. In one of our research, we found that doctors were more comfortable using EMR on iPad. IoT can be smartly used to supplement patient treatment through remote monitoring and communication, and to keep track of patients as they move through a healthcare facility or connect your EMR with smart wearables.
Create a UX Process
Every project has its own challenges, be it budget, timelines or development constraints. It is very important to understand them, sit back and draw your process that is adaptive to the project. We followed following steps for one of the healthcare projects:
- Empathy: Understand users (doctors and Patients) wants and needs.
- Discover: Research, create user scenarios, interview stakeholders, users and others playing a major role, create personas, competitor analysis.
- Define: Create user journey, process flows. wireframes, clickable prototypes.
- Test: Wireframes can be turned into clickable prototype, test it before you fine tune the pixels, heuristic evaluation.
Know your Users and Know them better than them
A good product is the result of good IA. Card sorting helps you group and organize necessary information by getting users involved. For example: What information doctor needs before prescribing medicine and in which flow can be easily determined by having an internal discussion and also by involving doctors involved.
Our team at Lollypop loves this activity, as Card sorting is simple, cheap, fast and user-focused. Card sorting also helps in bonding with clients and knowing the users better.
Understand HIPAA Compliance – Health Insurance, portability and Accountability.
Make sure you are aware of all the laws before you start designing fancy things. Few healthcare products fall under regulations that can impact the User Experience. Not being aware of these laws could delay the products release and could also lead to other issues. Understand the laws in handling and protecting personal healthcare information. Most of these laws are around who can access what information.
Once your personas are ready, map it to the roles and create user flows. Health insurances and their coverage are different in every country, it’s important to understand insurances role and regulations while building a product. As a designer be responsible and consider privacy of patient’s information.
Follow “Intelligent Devices, Dumb People” Rule
Yes, you read it right. We should not overweigh anyone to go out of their genre and become extremely tech savvy. Keep it simple, doctors are interested in treating patients and definitely not learning your software.
When you understand “What users need and not what they want” you are treading on a right path. We can order pizza, call for a taxi, maintain our finances, plan our holidays with few clicks, because, these products have appreciated the criticality of designing user centric interfaces and investing in UX to make the experience emotional intelligent. Now it’s time for healthcare to pace up and build an amazing product for hospitals and patients.
We will call it a winner when:
- Patient would be able to maintain their health records and updates as seamlessly as FB posts.
- Share medical records like sharing pictures in Instagram.
- Doctors have all the information in few clicks.
- Doctors can prescribe with easy reminders.
- Doctors can concentrate on patients and not technology.
- When doctors and Patients smile together.