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Ever since we remember, the healthcare industry has been using technology to ensure optimal care and services to patients and their families. The health-tech industry has quickly adopted modern-day technologies, such as AI, Big Data, Blockchain, AR, VR, IoT, and others.
For instance, this case study on using AI-powered nanorobotics in medicine will give you a glimpse of how these technologies are revolutionizing healthcare. Similarly, you can read about the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in this case study. You can find many such examples of implementing technologies in different sectors of the healthcare industry.
According to Gartner Analytics, IoT was among a few technology trends for CIOs in the healthcare industry to look out for in 2020.
Expected to reach a whopping $1.3 trillion by 2026, IoT is one such technology that is increasing in numbers rapidly and having an actual impact on the lives of doctors and patients.
What is IoT?
IoT, short for the Internet of Things, is a network of objects (things) that can collect and share data over a network without human intervention. These objects are equipped with software, sensors, chips, and other technical components that allow them to connect and exchange data with other internet-connected devices. It is evident that this capability to collect and share data in real-time has great potential in the healthcare industry.
75% of IoT projects fail, and one of the reasons behind these failures is lack of user experience.
However, all the potential is only worth it with the right design and user experience. If the IoT design or user experience is not polished, neither the doctors nor the patients will leverage the technology to its full potential.
Why user experience design in IoT is challenging in healthcare?
Creating a consistent great IoT user experience in healthcare is challenging due to numerous factors, the primary challenge being multiple and different interfaces. IoT devices can connect regardless of the manufacturer, which diversifies the interfaces. For instance, the interface of an IoT device manufactured by one company will be different from that manufactured by the other. However, both the devices must be capable of communicating with each other.
Creating an easy-to-navigate dashboard, especially for patients, is also a primary challenge for creating a consistently good user experience. Even doctors might be smart, but they are not necessarily into technical devices. Hence, it is vital to have a simple UI dashboard where both doctors and patients can keep track of everything. Let’s consider an example of a remote medical assistance app and device to understand the need for a great UI.
If you think from the doctor’s perspective, he or she should be able to view and keep track of all the scheduled appointments for a particular day. There can also be notifications for new appointments, and the device can also allow the doctor to accept further ones based on a daily schedule. Now, coming to the patients’ perspective, they must easily book an appointment and enter their details, such as weight, age, symptoms, etc., for seamless medication.
Numerous such challenges can impact IoT user experience in healthcare. Hence, it is essential to follow the laws of UX and UI design to design next-generation IoT healthcare devices.
What are the significant points to consider for designing next-generation IoT healthcare devices?
The key to designing next-generation IoT healthcare devices is to focus on the five principles of UX design. Here’s a brief of all the five precepts.
- Focus on the user’s needs: For designing IoT healthcare devices, there will be two sets of user personas: doctors and patients. The primary focus should be on their needs. For instance, if a patient is trying to book an appointment with a doctor, he should be able to do that with limited clicks and in the shortest possible time.
- Define a hierarchy: Defining an order will help to organize content appropriately. For instance, if we consider the same remote medication IoT device, having a hierarchy can help patients to find the right doctor for their problems quickly.
- Law of Familiarity: Your UI must be consistent with the components of other IoT applications and websites on the internet. If the users are familiar with the design, it becomes easy for them to use the IoT device.
- Inclusive design: The IoT device’s design should be engaging and appealing for all users regardless of age or gender. It means that the UI components, such as color contrast, font, structure, elements, and others, should not be created keeping a specific target group.
- Remove redundancies: Instead of providing additional functionalities, it is vital to focus on the core ones. Try not to include irrelevant features unless they can give something useful to users.
Focusing on the core principles of UX design mentioned above will simplify user navigation, making them comfortable with IoT healthcare devices and building the trust factor. You can read this case study of a design perspective for IoT products for more help. If you can hit the right spot with the appropriate UX design, you can leverage IoT healthcare devices’ numerous benefits.
A great UI and UX enhance user-machine interaction that leads to user satisfaction, thereby reaching IoT devices’ full potential.
What benefits does IoT offer in the healthcare industry?
When used optimally, IoT can provide healthcare professionals and patients with numerous benefits. Here are some of the significant benefits of IoT in healthcare.
- Preventive medicines: IoT devices can collect vital information to help healthcare professionals take preventative care of patients. For instance, a doctor can analyze the vitals’ data and provide medicines for any significant changes before waiting for apparent symptoms to occur.
It can also help doctors to keep track of their patients and their medical history on fingertips to provide the right medication on the go.
- Accelerated data processing: The healthcare industry has long been collecting and storing medical data in Electronic Health Records (EHR). With the help of IoT, healthcare personas can quickly analyze and use this data at their disposal.
- Improved equipment management: IoT devices can alert any mishappening or failure of equipment used at a hospital. This can help replace the equipment before giving any wrong results and leading to inappropriate medicine and treatment prescriptions.
- Enhanced treatment management: Doctors and patients can both keep track of medicinal drug consumption. IoT devices can also alert the patients if they have forgotten to take medicines.
Summing it up
The IoT healthcare sector is growing tremendously. According to a report, the global IoT healthcare market will reach a whopping $400 billion by 2022. It is evident that this rise in the market size has something to do with IoT’s potential in the healthcare industry. Hence, it is the right time to adopt the right technology and leverage its benefits to provide the best care to your patients.
- The global health-tech sector is growing significantly, and IoT is one of the reasons behind it.
- By collecting, analyzing, and sharing data over the internet, IoT devices can offer numerous benefits if you have the right design in place.
- 75% of IoT projects fail, but the perfect design for IoT healthcare devices can make them successful and allow doctors and patients to use them optimally.
- Follow the five principles of UX design to create successful next-generation IoT healthcare devices.
- It is time to become a part of the growing IoT healthcare sector by adopting and implementing the right devices.
Originally published at https://www.onething.design on February 11, 2021.
How IoT may transform Healthcare in the coming future? was originally published in Muzli – Design Inspiration on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.