Technological innovations enhance experiences everywhere, especially in healthcare. For decades, leading experts have been encouraged by the impact technology can have on medicine and care practices.
It’s well known that the use of technology within medicine is necessary for the delivery of preventative and patient centered approaches to healthcare. These technologies, like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) tools, empower patients to emphasize their autonomy within the actualization of their care plans.
Despite their benefits, healthcare professionals have worried about the usability of healthcare technologies, or lack thereof. A legitimate concern is that healthcare technologies are difficult to use, and therefore inaccessible to various patient populations. Often, this concern is informed by an assumption that the most vulnerable demographics, like the elderly, do not have good experiences with technology. Usually, this also means they are unable to draw on knowledge that is pertinent for using any given device. Research demonstrates that this assumption is misguided.¹
Within this area of research, it is well known that patients of diverse backgrounds can comfortably use technology if the technology has been designed to be intuitively used. In light of this, UX (User Experience/ User Interface Design) has facilitated the development of healthcare technologies that are widely accessible.
Through UX, a wide range of technological products are engineered for easy use without compromising on the quality of a user’s experience. UX is routinely used to develop technologies which have high learnability and efficiency, especially for those who need sensory and/or cognitive accommodations.² These advancements to methods for design have undone outdated beliefs which suggest that some groups are unequipped to learn how to use new technologies. With tailored approaches enabled by UX, any technology can be engaging.
UX has been critical for cultivating healthcare tools which guarantee high usability among any patient population, but especially the most vulnerable. One notable study, which explained the value of healthcare technologies, asserts that “an iterative design and development model” can help experts “create high quality and usable products” which assist both healthcare providers and patients to achieve better healthcare outcomes.³
At Kencor Health, we’ve prioritized UX while architecting the tools that makeup our health ecosystem: RPM, Telehealth, and Virtual Clinical Trials (T3). Each has been developed with diverse users in mind. We champion a patient centered approach to healthcare, which means that technologies must also center the patient. By implementing UX, all elements of Kencor’s healthcare tools are created to maximize user engagement by catering to patients and their specific needs.
For example, SAMi, the AI-powered interface for Kencor’s RPM tool, has been formulated for intuitive use. SAMi collects health data from a single patient’s vital signs to analyze it against broader pools of information, and establishes a personalized care approach. In doing so, SAMi is better equipped to offer real time triaging of patients to prompt and facilitate greater communication between patients and their healthcare providers.
Similar synthesis of data is achieved for making Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) and Quality of Life (QOL) assessments that are important to Telehealth and Virtual Clinical Trials. The design of these tools make strategizing care plans easier. Each of these tools generate better health outcomes because their design emphasizes patient engagement. In addition to SAMi being an interactive system, which walks alongside each patient to guide them through their health journey, our tools connect patients to their care teams with just one click. Within telehealth appointments, patients can even add a support member with just another click. The one click method ensures the use of these technologies is easy for patients and their care teams.
By simplifying the management of these technologies, we have designed an inclusive system of tools which maximizes user experience, thereby increasing engagement. Studies have long since proven that greater patient engagement ensures better health outcomes, including an exponential decrease in hospital admissions and readmissions.⁴ Like many experts, at Kencor, we assert that greater patient engagement now necessitates the use of healthcare technology.
Any patient is capable of using health technologies if they have been designed to heed and respond to unique user experiences. All patients, especially the most vulnerable, must be onboarded to use these tools for better disease prevention, and ultimately healthier communities.
In 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that 1 in 7 Americans are age 65, or older.⁵ This demographic has been widely assumed to be the most disadvantaged at keeping up with technological innovations. Kencor Health recognizes this concern and has responded by engineering accessible technology that always knows and centers what its users need to be healthy.