By placing patients at the heart of care, the future of healthcare looks promising. However, we must remember that technology is not used in isolation and has to be developed and implemented with and for the user.
The involvement and understanding of the end user is pivotal to the success of any digital health solution, intervention and initiative. Healthcare companies and start ups can improve adoption by engaging members of the healthcare community and the public in creating better digital healthcare systems that will improve access to care, are more inclusive, augment existing systems and address the real immediate issues.
- Integrate technology into the overall patient journey, focus on improving the existing system and address the immediate challenges.
- Ensure relevance and suitability by co-designing the systems with the users, patients, care teams, and the other stakeholders if they will be involved in the care delivery process.
- Focus on the clinical specification of the disease while designing the tools.
- Develop an inclusive design with the help of the consumers to ensure all the pain points are addressed.
- Minimise selection bias by including marginalised community segments to ensure inclusivity.
- Implement comprehensive training and provide continuous technical support and improvement.
- Extend patient education beyond digital literacy to include health literacy to promote and encourage healthy behaviour in society.
- Incorporate training of caregivers and family members to promote better disease management.
- Include care teams and clinicians in the training and support programmes to ensure that key player understands how best to use the tools and data-driven systems.
- Ensure health data is stored and shared securely and ethically
- Include transparent data policies in the overall project guidelines that are available to the patients.
- Educate the patients so they understand when and how to give consent to information sharing.
- Develop comprehensive, transparent, and inclusive policies and guidelines promoting equal access.
- Encourage reimbursement schemes of digital tools and virtual care.
- Built-in flexible financial and payment models to reduce the cost of care.