Unlocking the Power of Telemedicine
No longer languishing on the fringes of the industry, telemedicine is well on its way to becoming a fundamental component of mainstream healthcare delivery. According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), approximately 200 telemedicine networks have been established nationwide, and more than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals use at least one telemedicine service.
There are three main barriers to widespread adoption of telemedicine solutions: broadband availability, legal and reimbursement issues, and end-user comfort with new technology.
- Lack of broadband access
- Legal/administrative issues
- Provider/patient comfort levels
The issues of broadband access and financial risk pose stumbling blocks to telemedicine adoption, but they are recognized challenges already being addressed in some ways by the healthcare industry as a whole. It is the third challenge – usability – that must take center stage for healthcare organizations.
The optimal telemedicine solution integrates hardware and software technology seamlessly so that the remote encounter feels normal and lifelike to providers and patients. A necessary first step for healthcare organizations is to design solutions that will be comfortable for patients and providers to utilize. To do this, healthcare organizations must leverage user experience (UX) design when developing a solution to support telemedicine. The goal of UX design is to create intuitive, functional and visually appealing applications that meet the specific needs of end users.
When in-depth user experience research, UX design and visual design are incorporated as part of a telemedicine solution’s methodology, the result is the development of adaptive applications that increase the likelihood of enthusiastic telemedicine adoption. Fulfilling the promise of telemedicine starts with finding the right technology, and partnering with software developers who genuinely understand UX design.
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