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The Critical Role of ‘Delightful’ Design in Mobile Healthcare

by Abbe Don, VP of User Experience, Epocrates

Editor's note: My colleagues over on the Health Leadership Forum recently sat down with Abbe Don, Vice President of User Experience at Epocrates, to discuss trends in mobile health care technology and the role that design will play in spreading adoption and use of these technologies.

Don leads the team responsible for creating a contemporary and innovative mobile customer experience for caregivers. Prior to joining Epocrates in June 2013, she spent 25 years focused on user experience design for companies such as Apple, The Walt Disney Company, Hewlett Packard, and IDEO. — Michelle Mangino, social media manager

Health Leadership Forum: Suddenly, it seems, the whole wearable movement is a big trend in mobile health care technology and the culture at large. Can you talk about wearables and the factors that will keep this movement progressing in a way that benefits health care?

Abbe Don: It’s helpful to think of the potential benefits of wearables and mobile healthcare devices more generally as having four stages that build on each other in order to create truly useful and meaningful experiences. First, you need to capture the data because this has become tablestakes and is currently the primary value proposition of most wearables.

Second, you need to beautify and make sense of the data for the people who need to use it, such as patients and physicians. Part of the early success of some of these tools is their consumer-friendly graphics. Third, you also need to have the ability to coordinate and collaborate with respect to the data gathered — this is the part that is mostly missing so far, especially the ability to collaborate across care teams. Finally, you need to be able to make that data actionable.

We’re still in the early stages of figuring out what these new tools are capable of and how they will best be used by providers and patients to create better health outcomes. Many healthcare organizations don’t even have a viable mobile phone policy for use by physicians let alone with patients.

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You can read the full interview on the Health Leadership Forum.

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