It’s never been easier for patients to be more connected to healthcare solutions. Learning about disease or making a doctor’s appointment can be done at the click of a button. Cutting-edge technologies are being conjured up every day, paving the way for the future of revolutionary healthcare. Yet there’s still one huge challenge: late adopters. Those usually of an older generation – although not limited to – who are change-resistant to modern technology.
Changing a Mindset
They may dislike it, lack the time to understand it, be wary of it or simply don’t realise the benefits. Ironically these are people who could benefit the most from the assistance of healthcare technology. While ground-breaking research and dramatic ideas and inventions help the system to plan for the future, if there are still patients resisting even the most straight-forward digital solutions, growth and development will be slow.
The issue isn’t that of user experience or reliability, since the tech is relatively simple and straightforward to use. The real change needs to be made socially and culturally. Educating patients so that digital healthcare solutions become acceptable and adapted in to their routine with minimal upheaval.
To create genuine harmony between patients, providers and digital healthcare systems, emphasis needs to be on patient empowerment. Showing them how to gain the easiest access to their information without causing unnecessary stress or concern. This will be a challenge for GP’s and other healthcare providers as they will have to incorporate this extra time into the patient appointment or other method of contact. It will be the responsibility of the provider to ensure the patient leaves feeling confident.
Focusing on Adoption
Technology is fast-advancing, with some complex research being carried out that focuses on the future of healthcare technology in 10-15 years time. While this is exciting, Bitjam are equally championing the “boring” tech – so described because it’s been accessible for a number of years now and most people are already using and relying on it everyday – such as messaging and GPS. Even mobile web browsers are a vehicle for application-like experiences.
Ubiquitous technologies can be used to develop large-scale solutions that engage a wide range of users and importantly increases adoption with healthcare providers. While it’s exciting to exist on the fringes of innovation with technology it’s important that existing health tech solutions work well, are scalable and are adopted widely. The skill and innovation is understanding how to get the maximum value from these technologies and deploy them effectively.