Five questions with Simon Lucas

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We caught up with our Commercial Director, Simon Lucas, to talk about the future of Healthtech and mjog by livi's new strategic vision. Throughout this Q+A, Simon draws on his experience of partnering with GPs to create solutions that truly work for them!

1) Human-centred design has become an essential process in the health tech space in recent years, why is it so important?

For all technology, the point in which you introduce user input is a vital step in a product or services development process, and one that should never be overlooked or excluded.

Human or user-centred design is a methodology that focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of an end user. It aims to make the resources we all need more usable, desirable, and effective, where you develop your digital product around your user's requirements, objectives, and feedback.

2) How do you design for multiple users, such as healthcare professionals and patients?

If we don't think of the full spectrum of users in the healthtech product cycle, and work with them to make the tech as effective as possible, our products are simply not fit for purpose. 

For healthtech, we immediately put the patient in the frame when we think of the end user, and that any new product or service must be designed with the patient front of mind. This much is certainly true, but we as technology developers and providers must also think about the needs and requirements of the clinical teams who will also be using this tech.

The relationship between a technology provider and a clinician should be intrinsically linked if you are to create technology that will have a lasting, positive impact on patient outcomes.

3) Can you tell us more about your Flagship Practices and how these have helped you focus more on user-centred design?

We've made a concerted pivot towards user-centred design in recent years, particularly with Desktop GP, our messaging toolbar that helps GPs engage with patients without leaving the clinical system. By working closely with our Flagship Practices, we test and develop new features and functionality regularly.

We also work with our Flagship Practices to observe how they are using our products and any new functionality we've created. One of the benefits of being in the Flagship Programme is having the opportunity to almost co-design our services, shaping them with us by giving us the benefit of one's user experience in a structured feedback process. This gives us an invaluable first-hand understanding of how our solutions are working in the environment it was designed for. 

4) How do you put the feedback collated from the Flagships into practice?

We go on to create a list of priorities for further development and refinement -- our roadmap for product development. 

There is a continual back and forth between us and our Flagships -- as it should be in any truly user-centred design and build process. Does this mean the development and roll-out is a slower process? Yes. But do we ultimately get a better output? Definitely. This attitude is deep within our culture and runs through everything we create, and it also cultivates fantastic relationships with the Flagship Practices and gives us a real kinship with their working cultures.  

5) Finally, how important is it to have GPs as co-designers of new and evolving health tech?

We work with a wide range of GPs, all of whom have different experiences and varying needs, yet share similar challenges within their practices. They are all at very different stages of their digital transformation plans. Having this broad batch of users as a testbed means that we get a wide view of the sector and its ever-evolving needs. 

We've found that getting clinical buy-in for technology isn't difficult, if you go the extra mile in listening, observing, and responding, which is something we will always do, as we continue to support our healthcare providers through best of breed technology.

Click here for more information on our Flagship Programme.

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