Many newly implemented digital solutions can fall flat without the clinical buy-in that is vital to their success. Simon Lucas, Commercial Director at Livi and MJog, draws on his experience of partnering with GPs to create solutions that truly work for them.
Human or user-centred design is a methodology that focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of an end user. It outlines the phases throughout a design and development life cycle to create a product that fits within the user's environment.
Keeping the user front of mind
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.
What good is an app that connects you to your GP surgery, if your doctor can't log in too?
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 patent 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.
What about a platform that provides quick and easy online appointment, but doesn't store your data securely, or doesn't give your clinical team access to the information they need to offer the best treatment?
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.
Putting users in the driving seat - GPs as co-designers
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.
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. This gives us an invaluable first-hand understanding of how our solutions are working in the environment it was designed for.
Following this, we can go on to create a list of priorities for further development and refinement -- our roadmap for product development.
A user-centred culture
This back and forth between us and our Flagships is continual -- 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.
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.