Patient Engagement Software in a Time of Skyrocketing Expectations

Grumpy Cat Headcut by Noli Novak - patient engagement software 05/26/2016

In healthcare, many patient engagement software tools are outdated the moment they hit the market. When it comes to digital, patient expectations have taken a massive leap forward. It is no longer the young and rich who live and die by their phones. Smartphones and tablets have rewritten patient expectations across all ages.

Apps plus handheld devices. I think that’s a watershed moment in civilization”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

In a rapidly evolving digital world, the biggest mistake you can make as a leader is to judge your progress based on what you did last year. Patient expectations are moving too rapidly, as the consumer designs leapfrog forward. Patients are looking for a satisfying digital experience in their healthcare tools, similar to what they experience—often for free— as they shop online, play games or access continuously fresh, delightful content on social sites.

Instead, they get a patient portal. By and large, they’re not impressed and the technology sits unused. The government chimes in on HeathIT.gov:

A patient portal that mostly provides administrative functions such as scheduling appointments and getting lab results, will not be as interesting or useful to patient. Patient will be more likely to use a portal that is designed and configured to address their personal interests and needs.”

In one of Ayogo’s most-read blog posts on Patient Engagement, we previously discussed the context of Meaningful Use and what is needed to drive engagement to view, download, and transmit personal health data; receive or respond and contribute content from a non-clinical setting, to the EHR.  But here are some simple points that summarize the trend in expectations.

What Patients Expect Now from Good Patient Engagement Software

Smart User Experience Designthat complies to the new, simpler design conventions they are using in commercial applications, including video games.

Solid Onboardingthat meets their specific needs as they shift across age groups.

Fast and Convenientwatch out for slow load times.  And think twice before throwing in more mandatory password-protected sign-ins than the patient can tolerate. Make the best use of touch screens, and features such as scrolling.

Clarityoffer the ability to locate, enter and retrieve information with the minimum the number of touches. Make logging and tracking wireless and seamless.

Less Wordsgive them actionable information, preferably in pictures or video format.

More Delightpartner with experts to ensure the spit and polish and exceptional engagement of gamified applications.

Increasingly, healthcare organizations are accepting that it is just not possible to keep up with patient expectations for digital tools.  When it comes to digital, the position of authority has turned upside down. Physicians are learning from their patients recommendations of apps they like. Everyone is overwhelmed by choice, so physicians and patients both welcome new platform tools such as Apple’s Care Kit, Care Card and Insight Dashboard.

According to App Annie, in 2016, US smartphone users will download 150 Million apps, up 50% from just 2013. Moreover, they will spend $230M on the apps themselves, up 233% since 2013. Growth is fast and furious.

It’s a catch-22: things are changing so fast that it’s impossible to keep up, but not being a part of the wave means that you’re missing out on the watershed moment.

Key Takeaways: Meet Patient Expectations and Improve Patient Engagement

1. Explore Apple HealthKit and Care Kit—perhaps what you need is available off the shelf.

2. Look for innovation partners who have complementary digital skills sets if you want to develop a customized application—where you can preserve your intellectual property for content and brand, and they preserve their intellectual property of pre-existing technology.

3. Do not attempt to start from scratch. Find a partner who will have skin in the game. By partnering and sharing the risk, the digital partner can give you their best work because own part of the outcome, and they will expect to be compensated if the patient engagement software delivers health and financial outcomes.

Perhaps what you need is a platform of interrelated applications. If you are interested in a patient engagement software platform offering:

  • a curriculum of behaviour change,
  • a healthcare provider backend,
  • the opportunity to customize content, and
  • you would like the ability to “turn on” additional patient engagement content and tools based on additional co-morbidities (eg. obesity, diabetes, heart disease)

Ayogo may have exactly what you need.



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