Co-creation is a key trend in product development. In healthcare, this usually means getting patients involved. This is an excellent framework to help understand the process from informing patients to actively involving them in managing their health.
During a Stanford MedX Live panel on healthcare entrepreneurship Tuesday night, someone on Twitter posed an important question: How can we better incorporate the patient’s voice into the development of healthcare IT?
Adrian James is co-founder of Omada Health, a venture-backed digital health company that designed a 16-week diabetes prevention program to help at-risk people develop healthier habits through social support, data tracking, personalized coaching and structured learning. It’s based on the Diabetes Prevention Program, which was tested in a 3,200-subject study and demonstrated that people with pre-diabetes could cut their risk of disease progression by losing weight through exercise and diet changes.
The former designer at IDEO explained that one of the first steps in creating Omada Health was getting user feedback, even before there was a product.
“We literally went out with a single printed piece of paper – it was this concept that we might be able to match people with pre-diabetes into small groups and usher them, in a virtual setting, through this clinical trial,” he said.
I emphasize the last sentence written by Peter Lapsley of the BMJ, who notes that British medical schools are placing greater emphasis on doctor-patient communication. Is this the case in U.S. med schools?
There are many benefits in getting patients are more involved in their treatment - reduced costs, greater trust, improved input and reduced risk of litigation. Yet many clinicians are still resisting the opportunity to work together with their patients.
Our healthcare systems are not sustainable. We need to find better ways to help patients help themselves. By introducing truly patient-centred design processes, we can develop new products to help patients with chronic illnesses to help themselves to live well.
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