Event: Health Design 2018, Experience Better Healthcare
Time: 29.11.2018, 9.30 – 18.00
Place: Aalto Learning Centre
I need to start this post with a disclaimer: I happened to got a free ticket for this event, which I’m very happy of, since I don’t feel that the event was worth of the actual price of 150€. For a free event it was interesting, though, and provided useful information especially for those planning to enter the health tech field as a designer or an entrepreneur.
The event consisted of a panel discussion with healthcare professionals and several keynotes approaching the subject from different angles. I identified a couple of themes that were brought up by the speakers througout the presentations and will discuss each of the themes separately.
The key to success for any healthcare application that is quite unique to the field is clinical relevance. Products and services dealing with health need to provide 100% patient safety as the first priority. It is also good to remember that the primary users of many health tech solutions are actually doctors and nurses, not the patients. You need the doctors and nurses to trust the devices and applications they use as that provides trust to the patients as well.
In order to achieve the trust and relevance amongst medical experts a product/service needs to go through a number of regulatory tests and get medical approvals. This is not a straightforward process and needs strong support from influencial people from the very beginning.
Creating common language
In addition to the official approvals, you need to find a common language between the doctors and technology. You need to understand both what the doctors need and what the technology enables and combine those to provide added value.
In addition to creating a common language between the doctors and the technology, you also need to involve patients, their family and caretakers as well as other stakeholders. There are often strong opinions when one’s health or life is at stake, which is why designers need to carefully read between the lines to find the true needs.
In order to be able to create a common language between all stakeholders, you need to collaborate. Collaboration starts with finding the right collaborators: you need to have the right people in your team to do the right stuff. In the field of health tech you should include people with both clinical and technical perspectives as well as both pragmatic and visionary people.
It is not enough to have the right people in your own team but you also need to collaborate with the end users in an authentic environment. Testbeds in hospitals enable feedback and can falsify and stop dangerous ideas.
Health tech applications, such as the Oura ring, often aim for changing people’s behaviour. That’s not an easy task, especially if the actual change happens outside the product and the product only measures the change, and it requires experts on various fields, such as UX designers, behaviour change experts, storytellers and data scientists.
Active role of the patient
Every healthcare application aims for the best patient experience. This is achieved by bringing the patient in the centre of all activities. Healthcare is transforming from good-dominant to service-dominant logic, which requires co-creative approaches with the patients.
HUS Virtual Hospital aims for giving a more active role to the patient and putting more activities to the internet in order to save resources for quality care when it’s really needed.
Noona application for cancer care is designed for patients with patients, using user research, testing and user panels actively. Noona thinks that everybody in the team should interact with the patients, not only the designers.
In the end, all business goals, technological achievements and design efforts in the field of healthcare should aim for patient safety. This can only be achieved by true patient-centricity.
I gathered some insights from the presentations that are relevant for health designers and entrepreneurs but for anyne else working in the field of design as well:
- Thing big, network and go global
- Be brave and believe in yourself
- Give people choices
- Provide a safe environment
- Ask for another opinion
More information and ideas:
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