Here are some highlights from this interesting article by David Cronin of Smart Design. The article gives examples of some well designed products but is critical of most home healthcare product designs.
“Chronic disease is society’s biggest healthcare challenge.” … Big changes in how we help people cope would go a long way toward improving healthcare effectiveness. Nurses and doctors are important, but they aren’t always around, and the real care of many health conditions happens in people’s homes by themselves and their family. That’s why “we must design home-care tech that integrates into people’s lives.”
Although each case is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, common strategies can improve home care, including activating the patient and motivating people to “take charge of their own health.” That’s important because managing chronic illness almost always requires major lifestyle and behavior changes, and people must form new habits and discard ones that led to the disease.
Home Healthcare Technology has an Image Problem, largely because limitations in Medicare and insurance coverage focus product design on reducing cost rather than maximizing use and benefit. “We must bring the same level of design craft and attention to home-health-care experiences as we do to the best housewares and consumer electronics.”