Care Guidance Tools Create Better Patient Experiences [Future of Health]

Digital tools are guiding patients through care experiences and individual procedures ensuring a better end to end experience.

A side effect of the vast amounts of information at our disposal is the desire to know more. Our digital resources provide a seemingly infinite amount of data, but also raise new questions, which we may never have thought to consider in the first place. This is effect is only amplified when it comes to our own health, as new research about our symptoms or treatments might lead us down a rabbit hole of half truths and undue anxiety. In the latest Future of Health report, PSFK Labs noticed how a number of patient-centered services are helping alleviate this situation by arming individuals with timely guidance and support before, during and after their treatments.

patient GPS korea

Looking deeper into this idea, a number of services are ensuring a better end to end experience for patients by providing them with a digital portal that connects them to the amenities they will require during their hospital visit. For example the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital is a “Smart Hospital” offering a companion mobile app called ‘Patient Guide’ to visitors upon entry. The app was created in collaboration with SK Telecom to provide patients access to a multitude of IT-based medical services throughout their visit. As the patient enters the hospital, the app will handle the check-in process by pulling up patient records, scheduled appointments, expected waiting time, and costs. A GPS-based 3D map is also available to guide the patient to their appointment or next point-of-care. At the end of their visit, patients can pay their bill with the app as well. By incorporating familiar consumer technology with the patient support experience, the hospital wants to help patients gather more information on their visits, creating a more pleasant, empowered experience.

Touch-Surgery-app

To alleviate anxiety, services can develop innovative ways to connect patients with the information that the need prior to a procedure. The UK-based company Kinosis created the Touchsurgery mobile app that walks patients through their procedures with interactive 3D visualization, easing pre-op anxiety. The developers, surgery residents themselves, initially intended the app as an educational tool for other surgeons-in-training, the app is free to download for patients curious about what they will be facing. Patients choose their procedure, which brings them to an extremely detailed simulation, where they are free to use virtual surgical tools to poke and cut their way through organs with the app providing feedback. Because most patients are unfamiliar with surgery procedures, and people generally experience stress going into unknown and risky situations, the app aims to calm their fears through desensitization. The effect could make patients feel more confident, retain a healthier mental state, and even recover faster.

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As patients struggle to connect with the right information as they need it, new services are cropping up which are explaining available options, preparing them for upcoming procedures and ensuring adherence to necessary steps afterwards for recovery. One example is Medivizor, a digital service that provides chronic illness patients and caregivers with information updates tailored to their specific need. After patients complete the registration and describe their condition, the service promises to deliver curated news about clinical trials, treatment providers, research studies, and lifestyle tips, that are relevant, understandable, and actionable to enable patients to create their own treatment plans. The service currently offers information on 373 medical conditions covering 88% of cancer incidents, all of diabetes incidents, and 75% of cardiovascular disease incidents. The New York based company hopes to cut down some of the legwork for patients and caretakers who must wade through a daunting sea of resources to find the right care information. Having an automated service with tailored updates, eases stresses, empowers decision-making, and saves subscribers massive amounts of time and energy, which can be used to concentrate on recovery. A few thousand people have signed up for Medivizor, which has been in public beta since 2013; of those signed up 94% of users recommended Medivizor to a sick family member or friend.

Whether guiding patients through care experiences or individual procedures, these patient-centered information sources cater to patients with a desire to know more about their procedures and ensuring a better end to end experience.

With the help of our partner Boehringer Ingelheim, PSFK Labs has released the latest Future of Health Report, which highlights the four major themes and 13 emerging trends shaping the evolving global landscape of healthcare. To see more insights and thoughts on the Future of Health visit the PSFK page.

Contributed by Tim Ryan

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