At the CES 2015 (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas earlier this month there were over 300 exhibitors in the healthcare and biotechnologies sectors – 35% more than last year. But with the mind-bogglingly eclectic range of products available in this booming market, how can users be sure of quality?
In order to convince people of the merits of connected health, the founders of website dmdpost.fr stress the importance of user experience design (UXD). The website rates eHealth tools and offers advice to consumers on choosing the most useful and reliable solution. Connected health apps are tested by a panel of experts according to a variety of criteria: first and foremost, their usefulness, and then their ease of use and level of safety. Since the site was set up in 2012, only 4,000 out of 11,000 apps were seen as having a genuine medical benefit, whilst a mere 1,067 were deemed worthy of testing.
Engaging patients and doctors
As pointed out in an article on MDDIonline, the key to bridging the yawning gap between users’ expectations and the products on offer is engaging the end users more, including patients and doctors, in order to design products and services that address users’ needs and take into account the varying levels of equipment and familiarity with technology.
The article, for example, focuses on the particular case of digital health technology for seniors – a key demographic for this market. Older patients, however, don’t necessarily have a smartphone or don’t know how to use it, and mHealth solutions need to take this into account.
Consumer ‘validation’ is therefore the key to the growth of mHealth in 2015, as pointed out by FierceMobileHealthcare. The real drivers behind connected health won’t be tech giants, stresses Fierce Mobile Healthcare, but “the growing base of healthcare organizations, providers, payers and consumers that are embracing, demanding and expecting continued innovation.”