Designing Digital Products With Patients in Mind

If you have a special skill or talent in computer networking, design, engineering, programming, or electronics, your abilities may be in high demand with coming healthcare changes. Technology continues to shape each industry, and for entrepreneurial mind and talent, using tech to transform the healthcare industry isn’t a distant vision. It is the reality of today. Harry Stylli has seen the benefits of betting on technology to revolutionize the patient, physician, and third-party experience, and his business investments are thriving under the proactive approaches to making a mark in a growing industry. Physicians and patients alike want to see more digital options within the healthcare industry, with 92% of surveyed patients saying that the use of digital health tools would improve the customer experience.

Give the People What They Want

The healthcare industry isn’t about patients receiving needed medical care. The role of a patient has transformed into that of a healthcare consumer, shopping between physicians, care centers, and medications for the best fit either financially or personally. In order to help sway decision-making, healthcare technology has been introduced to the field. When utilized efficiently and correctly, these innovations have been shown to improve the customer experience. In a survey of almost 650 healthcare consumers where almost 40% were considered younger consumers, digital consumer experiences were rated as high priorities. About 92% of the respondents claimed that the top priority of healthcare organizations should be to improve the customer experience. Perhaps it is the increasing use of tech in every other area of life that has patients and healthcare consumers establishing high expectations for the future of health IT opportunities.

However, there is a large disconnect between what the modern healthcare consumer is demanding or expecting from the healthcare system and what the providers are able to give in return. Almost 93% of patients expect digital tools to facilitate patient/provider interaction, such as online scheduling, virtual care access, online payment tools, and access to online price comparison and transparency tools. Even though the field of healthcare has become more digitally-oriented and easily available to consumers, there are many large provider organizations that still don’t the customer-centric model that is needed to make the use of such technology seamless. In fact,  a survey from 2017 had only 9% of providers admitting that they were capable of delivering all the tools their patients expect.

Upsetting the Apple Cart

As healthcare providers face increased scrutiny from their patients and a whole new community of consumers, not having the patient engagement measure that the patients are asking for can be devastating. Loyalty and patient retention become primary areas of concern, as survey results also show that 90% of the patients do not feel obligated or tied to their provider if the practice cannot offer a satisfactory digital experience. There is no consideration for the ability of the doctor, wait times, or staff. A priority for the modern healthcare consumer is digital connectivity and experiences. Without the tech to give you a hand, your practice or services are in jeopardy, especially with a younger demographic. Close to 88% of patients who were under 40 said that their next choice in provider will come down to online presence.

A Gold Mine for Entrepreneurs

Some of the trouble with offering digital healthcare solutions is the lack of availability of the tool patients potentially want. There have been many attempts to improve the digital strength of the healthcare market, but poor marketing or messaging, a lack of distinction, unrealistic pricing, and a lack of relevance have kept these products from taking root. Consumers and providers are the driving demand for IT products, yet all too often these are the groups left out of the development process. Capturing the exact things that the two groups of consumers during the development phase will have a better chance of establishing a product with transformative ideas and practical use within the healthcare field. Some of the highly requested abilities of a digital healthcare platform include enhanced digital scheduling, patient-provider communication, and interaction, online bill pay, care summaries, and patient-reported outcomes. Current systems that seem to be well-accepted were ranked higher according to perceived patient need, innovation, and immediate value to patients.

Not Just the Minimum

Developing an IT system to bridge the gap between what exists now and what the healthcare consumer wants will have to conquer more than just the bare minimum of expectations. While the common demands are online bill pay, scheduling, and provider/patient interaction, virtual and telehealth services, as well as digital prescription filing, are new trends growing in popularity. The best way to ensure that your idea or product will be useful in the industry is by consulting with patients and providers during your development phases. Digital health that is lasting and impacting needs to be patient-facing.

Creating a niche within an industry is no good if your idea doesn’t address the real needs of the consumers. There is tremendous potential for digital and tech developments in healthcare, but only if you are listening to the voice of the patients and providers that the product will serve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *