With how accessible smartphones have become in recent years, combining them with healthcare apps is often considered to be the perfect way to remain in touch with one’s health at all times. However, proper healthcare requires features and functions that can back the application up. While there have been many different applications that have tried to perfect the “formula” in the past – not all have managed to nail it to the core.
HIMMS Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Steve Wretling had to note down the following three aspects that make up the foundation of any successful and effective medical application. Having experience in such things in the past, Steve Wretling believes that when it comes to efficiency and user friendliness, these three aspects cannot be compromised on.
The first of his three major points is technology that recognizes the person. While it seems like a vague statement, Wretling further expanded on it by saying that it encompasses a few different things. The main idea behind this is that the technology behind the application needs to properly gain an idea of the person that is using it, and as such modify its services to better fit that person’s criteria. That being said, through this, the application can make sure that the person who receives the data, is given a more customized and personal experience.
Steve Wretling stated: “Health events are occurring for a person all the time,” he said. “How they slept, blood pressure, mood, how they’re feeling that day, this needs to be transitioned to a push model to take advantage of the real-time tech available today. Systems should be built to publish data so it flows across organizations.”
The second point was through curated and guided apps. This involves a bit of machine learning, but the core idea is to make sure that the person interacting with a healthcare system receives the right information at the right time. This means that more static systems are replaced with dynamic ones, making it much easier to gain the information that is needed at the proper interval of time.
The final point was just to add a level of humanity to the app. This can be in the form of voice tech or something similar to make it more accessible overall. The example given by Wretling was that of the iPhone, he stated that it is packed to the brim with a multitude of different features which can be utilized to provide healthcare related benefits. With the aspects being defined properly, that is, an application manages to be aware of the person using it, and thus curates and changes the experience in regards to the person and finally provides a voice-oriented interface, the next big question to ask is what the overall goal of the application be.
Wretling stated that this was the hardest question of them all – and was something that could different based on the intentions of the designer. In the end, the world of healthcare has always been and will always be influenced with technology, and with our very phones being filled with fire power of bounds we’ve never seen before, there is little reason to doubt the effectiveness of application-based healthcare that might become possible in the future. With experienced individuals like Wretling working behind the scenes, the possibilities are surely endless.