The Importance of UX Design in the Healthcare Industry
Have you ever thought of the words ‘life-saving’ when considering UX? Perhaps not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
When we talk about UX design, we often talk about products or websites that people interact with. But there are other aspects of our lives that are directly impacted by the choices a UX designer makes. When it comes to UX in the healthcare industry, life-saving can potentially go from being a metaphor to being a reality.
The healthcare industry is one of the world’s most regulated and vital industries, especially as we live longer and longer lives. And there are few things more important than our health, which makes UX all the more vital in such an environment. With that in mind, let’s look at how UX design improves healthcare.
Prioritising patient experience
Much like good UX design should be user-centric, the output should be patient-centric when it comes to good Healthcare UX. Dr. Edward Fitzgerald, Head of Healthcare in KPMG, Bermuda, describes patient-centered care as a phrase that is used often but delivered to a much lesser degree. He argues that healthcare providers need to start taking patient experience measures more seriously due to the evidence that shows links between patient experience, safety, and clinical effectiveness.
Thanks to the work of UX designers, people in the healthcare industry can now be more informed about user or patient needs than ever before. By incorporating good UX practices into healthcare systems, measuring patient satisfaction and prioritizing patient experience has become more accessible. This not only leads to better outcomes for patients but also helps improve a population’s health.
The Medisafe app reminds users to take their medication and does a fantastic job of delivering patient-centric UX. Their design mimics traditional pill boxes making the transition from a traditional solution to a digital solution easy for users. The app also provides users with visual cues for pills, as users can edit the shape and colour of the digital ‘pills’ in the app to match their own medication. The app is simple-to-use while delivering all the information a person will need to take their medication correctly and safely.
Increased access to medical professionals
Another significant benefit that UX has added to the healthcare industry is enabling the development of tools that can increase access to medical professionals. Telemedicine has been described as ‘one of the most useful advances in medical technology‘ This can take many forms, such as video consultations that allow people to see and speak with doctors without needing to physically go into a hospital or clinic, remote monitoring tools or healthcare apps that connect patients and doctors directly.
The key benefit of telemedicine is that it increases accessibility to medical professionals and advice. However, telemedicine breaks down more than one kind of barrier, especially when it comes to delivering good UX. UX designers can design based on the needs of specific patients, such as age or any type of impairment, and take patient feedback into careful consideration when designing tools and services, resulting in the development of user-friendly healthcare apps and equipment.
There are many innovative examples of telemedicine that highlight how UX can improve healthcare outcomes. For instance, the Know My Patient app allows nurses to monitor patients remotely, helping them to quickly identify problems before they become critical.
Research also shows that healthcare chatbots are proving highly usable. There are many uses for chatbots in the healthcare industry, all geared towards increasing accessibility, such as scheduling appointments, answering basic questions, collecting feedback, and, in general, reducing the workload of healthcare staff.
Overall, by incorporating UX design into the healthcare system, people can access medical care and advice from healthcare providers more easily than ever before. This can have a significant positive impact on patients’ health and is one of the most powerful ways UX can transform lives.
Enabling the training of healthcare staff
VR (virtual reality) in healthcare has been described as a revolution in learning and education that’s only starting. This technology has already been used to train surgeons, exposing them to situations that may not occur regularly but could come up at any time, such as dealing with a blood transfusion during surgery.
The key benefit of VR in healthcare is that it enables the training of healthcare staff in realistic and safe ways. It also helps to reduce costs, as the use of VR can mean less equipment needs to be purchased or maintained for training purposes, and it can provide a much more detailed and immersive learning environment than traditional simulations.
Thanks to UX design, VR has become highly usable, with many VR apps and platforms designed to be user-friendly for healthcare professionals and patients. The result is that VR has become a powerful tool in helping train healthcare staff and improving patient outcomes by giving them better access to care.
For instance, using VR can help people practice mindfulness techniques, which can significantly positively impact their mental health. VR can also be used to help patients manage pain and prepare for or recover from surgeries.
Overall, by incorporating UX design into healthcare, people can access better training and support that can help improve their quality of life. This is just one example of how UX design has changed our lives for the better.
So there you have it – how UX design is helping save lives in the healthcare industry. Whether it’s through designing tools that help increase accessibility, training healthcare staff more effectively, or enabling better education and patient outcomes, UX design is making a big difference in this critical sector. And as the technologies and methods used continue to evolve, we can be sure that UX will keep changing people’s lives for the better.