How to Engage Patients with Mobile Design

Patient using mobile design

As consumer technology propels us into the future, the healthcare industry is advancing the way patients engage in their health through mobile devices and applications.

In the age of wide-scale mobile adoption and smart devices, it’s our responsibility as healthcare innovators to design solutions that are advanced in functionality yet improve the patient experience. That’s where patient-centric mobile design comes in.

Putting the patient at the center of the experience

The goal of patient-centric mobile design is to make even the most advanced telehealth technology accessible and engaging, so the patient is at the center of the experience and every interaction, however small, is as engaging and easy as possible. This is especially important for patients with complex, chronic, co-morbid (CCC) conditions, who tend to be older and may be less technology savvy.

At Medtronic, we follow several design practices that can significantly improve the experience for this population. Industry best practices include:

  • Accessibility so users can easily read, interpret, and touch content on the screen, even when using screen readers
  • Usability to provide a user-friendly process that doesn’t feel overwhelming
  • Familiarity with icons and other design elements; for example, because the three-bar hamburger menu isn’t familiar to many older users, replace it with the word “menu”
  • Cognition to reduce mental load, such as simple progress bars that show users where they are in any given task

Since patient engagement is believed to be key to success, we designed our next-generation remote monitoring mobile platforms to be engaging for regular use, and included features including:

Mobile design for for patient engagement
  • Easy setup, login, and navigation
  • Written and audible prompts in daily health checks, and minimal steps to complete tasks
  • Fonts, colors and formatting designed for patients with motor-control issues, color blindness, macular degeneration, and light sensitivity

A rigorous process is at the heart of patient-friendly design, with a goal of creating an experience that makes a broad range of patients feel confident, empowered, and engaged.

Removing the technology barrier to remote patient monitoring

Patients want their health technology to fit with their lifestyle — and patients have varied levels of experience with technology. We’ve developed a range of options for patients to engage in remote monitoring, including:

  • A table-top device designed for in-home use
  • A web-based application for those who prefer to be in front of their computer
  • A solution that calls patients on their home phone for those who prefer very little “technology”
Patient using mobile design on tablet

Patient engagement solutions that span the technology savviness curve allows post-acute care providers and payers to choose the option that best aligns with their patients’ lifestyles and habits, so that patients may more regularly engage.

With continued feedback loops from patients and clinicians, Medtronic is committed to delivering solutions that provide an engaging experience that brings patients back to their health check each day.

Arun Ramasubramanian

Arun Ramasubramanian

Arun Ramasubramanian

Author Arun Ramasubramanian is former Technology & Innovation Leader for Medtronic Care Management Services.