Using Human-centered Design in HealthTech



There’s no room for error in an industry with the potential to create $350 billion to $410 billion in annual value by 2025. Human-centered design in HealthTech can help establish relationships, deliver medical aid faster and to more people across the globe. 

Terms like telehealth, HealthTech, and digital healthcare all fall under the same category. Let’s take a closer look at how excellent UX design can help healthcare.

The Growing Use Of HealthTech

HealthTech refers to combining technology with the healthcare system. It can be for providing medical aid, connecting patients to doctors, or even reminding users to take their vitamins. 

The global behemoth industry of HealthTech is expected to reach a valuation of $551.1 billion by 2027. Statista claims that as of March 2021, there are 53,054 mHealth apps available on Google Play. During the pandemic, virtual care visits crossed the 1 billion mark in the US alone. HealthTech is undoubtedly witnessing an exponential rise in popularity among the masses, with wearable health assistance seeing a surge of 12% since 2019.

Making sure the benefits of modern technology in healthcare can reach everyone in need is no easy feat. The challenges that follow will require massive collaboration between governments, organizations, and people. But the effort will be fruitless if the interface ends up causing more harm than good. That’s where good UX design comes in.

Design Principles To Make HealthTech more Human.

From the many complaints, while using a HealthTech app, an unwelcoming UX seems to be a common. The lack of glanceability for doctors leaves them navigating for longer than they wish to. A lack of personalization leaves patients/users alienated and gives no motivation to use the technology further. 

With the following principles in mind, transforming HealthTech UX into a more “human” interface shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s get right into them: 

1. Minimalistic design

Dieter Rams, a legendary industrial designer, claimed: “Good design is as little design as possible.” In no other field is this principle more accurate than in HealthTech. Design for HealthTech companies needs to be as minimalistic as possible to avoid overwhelming users and even doctors.

The outdated UX that doctors use behind the scenes may unnecessarily increase the time it takes them to accomplish a task. In addition, an overwhelming layout makes it difficult for them to access information, which could have drastic consequences in emergencies.

When Divami designed Medicopia, a drug referencing app for physicians to use, we made sure the desired information was accessible in the shortest possible time. By reducing user journeys and incorporating easily understandable UI, we ensured doctors got the information they needed about every drug in the book.


2. Personalizing the user experience

The healthcare needs of people depend uniquely on their habits and problems. If you provide the same experience to every user, some might find some aspects of the UX to be entirely useless. For example, imagine a healthcare app suggesting peanuts for protein to someone who’s allergic. Needless to say, that user will never log in again.

Human-centered design in HealthTech is about how well you can use user history to provide a tailor-made experience. This way, the users will feel like they’re getting more from the application. Moreover, the overall experience won’t be an unwelcoming one.

3. Quick user journeys

When setting out to design for HealthTech companies, increasing engagement time should never be your top priority. The primary purpose of HealthTech is to make the lives of its users easier, not to keep them hooked on the app/software. If doctors/nurses are left trying to figure out the UX of their HealthTech equipment in an emergency, the consequences could be dire. 

Keeping this in mind, Divami made sure the user journey time on Medicopia is as short as possible. Through Medicopia, practicing physicians can get information about pharmaceutical drugs available on the market. We made sure the doctors don’t waste time during any critical situation.

4. Accessible design 

Accessible design means designing with the needs of the disabled in mind. An accessible design eventually ends up making the interface easier for everyone to use. For example, by enabling text reading, you will end up helping the visually impaired and someone who may not be able to see their screen very well.

HealthTech applications have a high number of users with special needs. Some of them might even suffer from temporary or permanent disability. Therefore, keeping their needs in mind while designing your interface and the layout is of utmost importance.

5. Provide benefit to the user quickly

The onboarding process for HealthTech applications can be a long one. Users are expected to provide a long medical history and personal information. Making sure that the app users are given quantifiable benefits quickly in the process will make your HealthTech design more human-centered. When users feel too much is being asked, they are likely to abandon the app. 

Another great way of validating consumers is through using dopamine-inducing gamification. Using game-like animations/rewards as a reward for specific tasks completed by users, they’ll feel more inclined towards using the application, perhaps even developing trust in it. Thus, Gamification is an excellent way to increase engagement, motivate users to continue using the app, and even strive to achieve a goal the app encourages them to. 

6. Take steps to enhance privacy

Medical history is often a personal subject that people aren’t willing to share with just anyone. Taking technical steps to increase privacy measures with the help of developers is the way to go, but it’s often not enough. To users, your product is not what’s happening behind the scenes but what they’re interacting with in real-time.

Through the look and feel of your interface, users must feel as though they can trust the application enough to provide their personal information. Human-centered design in HealthTech will help establish trust so that users can feel as though their privacy will be respected, regardless of whether they ever read the privacy policy or not. 

7. Establishing easy interaction between doctors and patients. 

According to many users, the sole purpose of HealthTech is to connect with doctors as efficiently as possible. While HealthTech encompasses a lot more than just establishing a network, this aspect is perhaps the most important one, especially during a pandemic.

Providing the capability to connect with doctors easily will make accessing healthcare easier for many more people in need. In addition, a centralized medical records portal will help doctors gather information faster, while things like remote patient monitoring can help ascertain preventive measures for patients at risk of diseases.

Finally, in the long run, a human-centered design in HealthTech will also help patients and doctors. By establishing a well-built network that’s easy to use and offers a personalized experience for each user, the effectiveness of HealthTech will know no bounds. With the help of the principles listed out in this blog, you’ll never get a design for HealthTech companies wrong.

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