• The Focus of HealthIT Tools? Users.

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    There’s a lot to be said about the booming healthcare IT (HIT) industry. What, with Artificial Intelligence, wearable devices, and innovations as game-changing as insulin delivery systems. But how successful would any of these be if it wasn’t for the end user driving the need, the functionality, the usability? There’s a famous quote, which we believe in wholeheartedly, “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” (Michael LeBoeuf). Turns out that is not just a good quote, but a true one—as the research shows.

    A recent study, published by JMIR Human Factors, was conducted in order to determine a user-centric model for developing HIT tools.

    “There is a need…with digital innovation for a comprehensive process model to guide development that incorporates current industry trends, including design thinking and lean and agile approaches to digital development. This study aims to describe the foundations and phases of our model for user-centered HIT development.” researchers said.

    So, what does this ‘user-centered’ development model look like?

    The study, which incorporated advice from clinicians, health IT vendors, and users, boils it down to four-phases. This process follows the typical life cycle of product development but also takes into consideration the unique facets of the health care industry. These phases include: analyzing clinical workflows, conducting user testing, collecting testing and market feedback, and providing training and support for both business owners and users. This last one is key as a common issue within HIT is the learning gap that comes along with fast-paced innovation. The solution is to have more training sessions that give detailed instructions on how to best use the product.

    In the end, those who follow this model will create more creative, flexible, and effective HIT tools. Just like the ones we created in Michigan, such as the myHealthButton app and mHealthPortal. We’ve seen first hand the benefits of putting the consumer first in product development, and we looking forward to continuing innovation with the client always in mind.

    What do you think of the new process for developing for health IT tools? Will it positively impact the industry? Let us know by tweeting @CNSICorp with your take!