5 Guidelines for Connected Health UX

A Seamless Journey in Wellness

Through our research and work with partners in the health and wellness space, we have defined five simple guidelines for designing more seamless care experiences.

As product experiences are becoming more connected, consumer expectations are getting higher. The complexity of the industry makes it difficult to find the balance between the disparate needs of the players in the ecosystem. Step by step the health industry has the opportunity to break down barriers and collaborate more in delivering seamless care.

Based on our research with our partners in the health & wellness space, we’ve identified five guidelines that help bring seamless experiences and lead to the ultimate goal of the industry: the best care for people.

MAKING IT SEAMLESS

At Punchcut, we work with health and wellness companies to accelerate innovation in the industry by designing more seamless digital health experiences. We have identified five basic guidelines for making services seamless.

1 / Care for Whole Person, not the Patient

Consumers are increasingly seeking holistic wellness, beyond just their physical health. See the complete picture of the person by partnering with them to understand the relationships between their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Personalize the Care Experience

Everyone is different. The health and wellness experience should be personalized to accommodate each person’s needs. Rather than relying on standard methods of treatment based on general norms, there’s been a growing adoption of personalized medicine in which treatment is tailored for each patient taking into consideration their unique genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environment.

“It [wearable] brings it to the forefront for the patient and encourages them to seek medical attention.” — Physician

Get Multi-Dimensional Life Data

Tracking everyday health information across a variety of dimensions via wearable devices turns the patient into a partner and provide rich data about the person’s lifestyle. This enables physicians to treat their patients more holistically, rather than based on just their sickness. It can also shift focus towards preventive care.

2 / Design for a Lifelong Journey of Wellness

Health and wellness is a continuous journey, not an end state. The key to progress is motivating healthy behaviors that form into lifelong habits. Plan for health services to support the journey and align motivational cues to intrinsic values.

Enable a Good Start

People need to envision the positive impacts of their actions to be motivated to start the action. Seamless experiences should lay out small steps and affirmations along the journey in order to show that change is possible and help develop the self-efficacy critical for success. Make the first steps easy and attainable.

“Patients’ non-adherence to medication caused an estimated $290 billion avoidable annual expenses in the US.” — New England Healthcare Institute

Maintain Healthy Momentum

Design for day 95, not just day 1. Starting is only half the battle; but, keeping up with healthy habits and treatments is the critical half to success. Many products extrinsically motivate individuals, but the key to long lasting behavior change is developing intrinsic motivation. Leverage ethnographic research to pinpoint values and chart the motivational journey.

3 / Increase Access to Care-Points

Consumers expect ubiquitous access in this seamless era. But, fewer visits and limited information create barriers to continuous care. Innovate with light-weight access to info and consultation as ongoing care-points for people.

Engage in Open Conversation

On the journey of wellness, care becomes a conversation. Easy access to the right information and guidance provides asynchronous care-points between patient and physician and fills the gap between appointments. Minimize the barriers to access to enrich individuals with knowledge and care on a more continual basis.

“I communicate with a physician assistant [on mobile app]. It’s a wonderful tool for me to advocate for myself.” — Patient with Mobile Health Service

4 / Empower People with Meaningful Insights

It’s not enough to collect health data. The power comes when data is translated into meaningful insights that inspire people to take action. Ensure data is paired with expert insight that helps individuals understand how to turn it into healthy action.

Merge Data for Health Intelligence

The future is about intelligence, not data alone. Grow intelligence by bringing data and expertise together through shared knowledge repositories of holistic health and medical data. Begin with small steps to link simple information and then chart a plan for consolidation in order to provide a holistic view of each individual’s health.

“Now whenever my specialist orders something for me, he sends it to my primary care physician and the other way around.” — Patient

Pair Data with Trusted Insight

Data without expertise is overwhelming. Pair it with clear guidance and it is power. In a recent study, our research participants described not trusting their health tracking solutions when they did not understand how the data was collected, or lacked proof of its accuracy. Skepticism was less prevalent when users understood the technology, or had proof of the devices’ efficacy after meeting their physician.

5 / Simplify Tools for Expert Care

Streamline the overall care experience by improving healthcare providers’ tools to be on par with the best consumer grade tools. Design technology interfaces in a human-centered way to simplify workflow and augment clinicians’ ability to deliver care.

Smooth the Transition for Clinicians

Start by understanding clinicians’ needs and workflow through strategic user experience research and design, before rolling out new tools or products. Fighting status quo bias requires a careful transition plan and time for adoption. Avoid platform one size fits all solutions. Leverage consumer UX approaches to internal tools to achieve simplicity and delight.

“Physicians spend 27% of their work day on face-to-face interaction with the patient and 49.2% on EHR and other desk work.”

Plan for Frictionless On-boarding

The user experience of expert tools needs to be intuitive enough that the cognitive burden of learning how to integrate them into a healthcare provider’s workflow is kept to a minimum. Help clinicians find new value in tools that offload the chore of manual input for more automated solutions that allow them to focus on providing more personal, face-to-face care.


Make it Seamless: Health and Wellness UX

Key Guidelines

  1. Care for the whole person, not the patient
  2. Design for a lifelong journey of wellness
  3. Increase access to care-points
  4. Empower people with meaningful insight
  5. Simplify tools for expert care

To be seamless, companies must embrace new paradigms driven by people-centric design. Applying these guidelines is not a simple task given the current state of the industry. As in any journey, experiences will evolve one step at a time.

A Punchcut Perspective
Contributors: Eunsol Byun, Shay Xie, Reggie Wirjadi, Emma Seuferer, Ken Olewiler 
© Punchcut LLC, All rights reserved.


Originally published at www.punchcut.com on January 22, 2019.