The world of healthcare is changing, socio-economic factors and increasing financial costs are driving the need for more efficient and more effective healthcare systems. Policy makers, and consequently, providers are increasingly looking towards prevention rather than treatment as a route to improving outcomes and saving money. The emphasis is shifting from a hospital-centric model with a focus on sick people, to one which focuses on preventative medicine and remote treatment, encompassing the lifetime wellbeing of people. Technology is at the centre of this revolution and Frontend.com have worked with some of the world’s biggest healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, pioneering user experience in this new wave of patient-centred care.
Connected healthcare is the new normal. Smart drug delivery systems tell patients when to take their medication and automatically adjust the dose, while patient adherence and wellbeing data is continually streamed back to the healthcare provider (HCP) giving them unprecedented insight. Clinical interventions can be made proactively and remotely, enabling a greater level of care to be delivered directly to the patient’s home, freeing up HCP time and hospital resources. This trend is transforming the healthcare experience for patients and empowering professionals to define more effective and targeted treatment plans.
The dynamics of the connected healthcare space are complex, we have conducted global research initiatives with HCPs in hospitals around the world to understand and innovate solutions that augment clinical practice. We have worked extensively with patients to understand their needs and to assess the most appropriate ways to deliver connected health solutions for them. Our experience in wearable device design and connected ecosystems has enabled us to deliver seamless user experiences with the flexibility needed to work in this demanding context.
Its well understood that patients who are engaged with their treatment tend to experience better outcomes. Technology is at the forefront of driving patient engagement, providing patients with progress updates, reminders and where necessary behavioural change messages. These messages or ‘nudges’ can be extremely effective, especially if augmented by contextual information such as smartphone data such as activity, sleep, heart rate and so on. Our patient research has shown patients react positively to passive monitoring and automated micro-interventions, giving them a heightened sense of security and a stronger motivation to engage with their care plan.
As well as being the conduit for healthcare data, in some cases technology is also becoming part of the treatment. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a growing field and fast becoming integrated into the connected health paradigm, delivering treatments to develop memory, cognition, and physical ability. HCPs can prescribe different exercises, games, and activities to treat particular health concerns.
Millions of users while benefiting from continuous monitoring, care automation, and actionable insights are also building an unprecedented data mine. The information available at patient and caregivers’ fingertips is unparalleled. However, with great data comes great responsibility, and digital trust has grown to become a major potential risk for healthtech companies and in some instances an obstacle for patient uptake. The rewards are potentially great though, Big Data analytics across large patient populations can help understand disease pathologies more accurately, advancing treatment and care pathways, ultimately leading to predictive and preventative approaches. With advances in cognitive computing, this data pool can be assessed and utilised at an unprecedented rate. However, for now, data ownership and regulatory considerations are issues that still need to be overcome.
Our multi-disciplinary healthcare design team is based in our studio in Dublin, Ireland. Unlike most design consultancies, our healthcare research is conducted by professional researchers while our design team drawn on their experience in medical devices, industrial design, usability, psychology, computer science and business process improvement. We engage with patients, doctors nurses and other healthcare professionals, understanding their environments and creating solutions that work at every touchpoint. Contact us to collaborate on your upcoming healthcare project.