A Guide to User-Centered Healthcare Software Design and Development
Developing successful healthcare software differs from traditional enterprise software. It demands a deep understanding of not just the technology itself, but regulatory and interoperability requirements, and most importantly the needs of the user. Our guide to user- centered design and development encapsulates the three critical factors (user, technology, regulatory requirements) on the path to engaging Digital Health Software.
When building an app it can be easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of technology, or believe you know what’s required because you’ve built a successful app before. You may even have a set of requirements or a prior application that is the prototype for your new app, or an old process / system that just needs to be updated or made responsive. But before accepting that you’ve got what you need to be successful, ask the question: what does success look like?
Recent statistics seem to suggest that 80% of health apps are abandoned within two weeks of downloading. Clearly, something is not working. And it’s not just patient engagement that’s failing. Healthcare software abounds with less than successful deployment examples ranging from Kaiser Permanente’s $770M failed attempt in launching its own clinical system to the initial introduction of healthcare.gov.
Developing successful healthcare software substantially differs from traditional enterprise software. It demands a deep understanding of not just the technology itself, but the regulatory requirements related to handling confidential records, interoperability requirements with a myriad of health systems and integration with back-end systems and user-generated data, and most importantly the needs of the user (whether doctor or patient).
Up front preparation that addresses these three circles of healthcare software and develops and delivers a solution that strategically and intelligently draws from each can ultimately reduce development costs, improve the delivery of better quality healthcare, and improve efficiencies within hospital and clinical settings.
Our guide to user-centered design and development encapsulates the three circles of successful healthcare software design: the user, the technology, and the regulatory requirements while providing at their intersection, the potential for successful healthcare software.
Product innovation isn’t the result of simply implementing cool new technology or a great visual design. It comes from human-centered research and design that engages your customers in shaping the product. Success is a product that supports users so effectively that it becomes “transparent,” leaving users to focus on their activities – not the product.
Choosing the right technology means a focus on the needs of the users, the competitive landscape, the capabilities of the development team, security, deployment preferences, the support organization… Using technology to support maintaining a focus on a great user experience will lead to a successful product now and into the future.
Successful Healthcare application development means careful ongoing attention to an increasing array of government regulations. From the impact of regulatory standards and compliance requirements on application design, to ensuring usability and patient safety, to specific federal regulations on mobile health applications, it is crucial to carefully plan and estimate to avoid overruns and reworks.
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