As we have seen recently, the health systems of the countries can be subjected to great burdens of responsibility and work for medical staff who must monitor the well-being of patients and in turn, seek psychological wellness during medical procedures to which such patients are subjected.
Since 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized eHealth as an essential part of healthcare systems and since then it has not stopped growing, expanding in multiple directions such as mHealth (use of mobile technologies to shorten the distance between patients and medical services ), TeleHealth (as a way of offering medical services over a distance – about 80% of consultations not related to covid were made by telematic means in 2020), the integration of AI (to suggest treatments or clinical diagnoses – the so-called Clinical Decision Support) or Data visualization (to bring the understanding of patients concerning their own health and facilitate to medical staff the sharing of data about their patients). These are just some of the central topics in this growing field.
Within this infinite topic, I am especially interested in everything that is focused on the patient experience, meaning everything that in some way will improve the patients’ experience from when he/she decides to go to the consultation until he/she obtains the recommendations for treatment and subsequent follow-up.
There are already many things done in this regard, even not related to technology and making use of more analog processes, but I would like to see what are the possible improvements or development of new functions in the field of AI (for example, assistance to patients outside of consultation) or imaging/data visualization (focused on the understanding and engagement of the patient in their health status).
Health systems are an environment where designers encounter many pain points that could be addressed. Trying to find a solution to these pain points entails certain challenges such as:
_To try to focus on only one thing at a time: There are many issues that need to be addressed, but it is important for designers to choose one of them and keep the focus clear during the whole design process.
_ The field requires a lot of time spent on research, understanding, and empathizing with users’ needs. There are thousands of people, both medical professionals, and patients, who might be affected by the same issue. It is important to take the time to collect all information and insights related to the topic.
_ To keep aware of what is going on out there. Since healthcare is a worldwide topic, many companies, designers, and institutions may be way ahead in their discoveries regarding the same issue. To be part of the huge healthcare community is mandatory to move forward in making improvements.
_ To become familiar with the treatment of sensitive data, data visualization, and techniques/machines which are commonly used in medical practices to treat different medical conditions.
_ To be mentally prepared to face a long design process with possible significant unanticipated changes.