Posted by:Shyam Deval January 29th, 2016
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A couple weeks ago I wrote about how most of the mHealth apps are not meeting usability and functionality expectations of users – thus resulting a severe underuse of these apps.  With the increasingly ‘app-centric’ lives of patients, this gap is now starting to influence how they feel about overall service satisfaction with the providers – with some evidence suggesting patients even switching to competition who provides a more engaging and informed digital experience. So what steps can the providers take in short and long term to improve patient engagement and have an engaged, satisfied and healthy patient population?

  • Many times providers will end up introducing a ‘on-off’ mobile app just because they feel a need to have one or competition has it. But any mobile engagement needs to be carefully incorporated into the broader patient experience strategy as it’s important to that remember mobile is only one of the many patient touch point. If the mobile experience is disjointed from those other touch points, it is going to be distracting and unsatisfactory
  • Many times providers will end up introducing a ‘on-off’ mobile app just because they feel a need to have one or competition has it. But any mobile engagement needs to be carefully incorporated into the broader patient experience strategy as it’s important to that remember mobile is only one of the many patient touch point. If the mobile experience is disjointed from those other touch points, it is going to be distracting and unsatisfactory
  • Healthcare IT is complex – a function of all the processes and security requirements. Anyone who has used one of these applications can vouch for their complexity and lack of usability. An app that looks, feels and behaves like an EMR system is bound to scare patients away.Treat the app as a service industry app and not another Healthcare IT application when it comes to user experience design
  • There are many innovative disruptive companies that are introducing platforms and applications to meet unmet needs and expectations of patients.Providers may still chose to follow a ‘build’ strategy given the fluidity of the marketplace but they will do well by paying careful attention to these disruptors and coopting their best practices
  • Any mobile strategy also needs to leverage investments in areas such as big data, and social. Building social interactions and patient communities via the app can create a strong association.Lessons learnt from analyzing vast amount of data collected at various touch points could improve the patient experience.

These are exciting times for mHealth – times of rapid change and evolution. Those who will adapt and deliver on these evolving expectations will survive to tell of their success–will you be one of them.

Here is how Apple ResearchKit can help your researc.Click on the image below to watch the demo app!

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