Is Bad Design ruining Healthcare Apps? | Healthcare and Technology news |

No matter which way you approach it, healthcare is a hard market to break into.


If you want to be a doctor, plan on a good 13-20 years of study and focus to get there. If you want to be a healthcare app or  technology developer, you might need to consider the same amount of effort.


Not neccesarily in years, but certainly in focus to to make something useful.


According to a report from Allied Market Research, the global mobile health market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 33.5% between now and 2020. While this sounds exciting, it does not necessarily mean that positive health results from these apps will be measured at the same pace.


One of the key challenges of any app developer is engagement. Getting people to download your app is one hurdle, but once downloaded, the true challenge is engagement. How many of your user base are actually getting results from the app you’ve created?
This is the exact same challenge in Healthcare. Patient engagement is the buzzword that all healthcare practitioners find elusive and frustrating.


However, when done right, healthcare apps have huge potential for changing lives.


UX Designer Jen Maroney agrees: “During my 13 years of working in the healthcare space I have never before had such a rich opportunity to directly affect health behavior.”


From Utility to Usability

As the web has grown to encompass our whole lives, the focus has shifted from simple utility to usability. What this means in simple terms is that it matters just as much how you get a result, as whether you get the result at all.


Think of Amazon’s ‘One Click’ or Apple’s obsession with minimalist design. The simplistic, narrow focussed usability create massive usefulness.


According to Don Norman, author of bestseller The Design of Everyday Thingsdesign is not often considered high on the list when engineers are first creating a new product.


“The reasons for the deficiencies in human-machine interaction are numerous. Some come from the limitations of today’s technology. Some come from self-imposed restrictions by the designers, often to hold down cost. But most of the problems come from a complete lack of understanding of the design principles necessary for effective human-machine interaction.”