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Top 3 things to look for in digital health technologies

In the vast space between simple pill reminders and highly aspirational robots, there exists an abundance of digital health tools designed to help people adopt healthier behaviors. The best solutions, according to a recent analysis by Accenture, are trying to meet in the middle, blending ease of use with complex, medically valid functionality.

Clinical solutions companies are increasingly focused on consumer-centric design, while consumer solutions companies are trying to show clinical value.

Even among solutions that seek to combine an addictive degree of usability with proven, clinical value, there are winners and losers. So when you’re vetting a potential buy, make sure the tech you choose can answer “yes” to these three questions:

  1. Does it improve outcomes?

The majority of health related solutions fall short. If an app lacks user-friendly design – or it fails to provide an experience that keeps people coming back – it is doomed to failure, even if its features are incredibly useful.

Likewise, form without substance is of little value to a patient, as borne out by Candy Crush’s negligible effect on improving health.

Be sure that the solution you choose is proven to affect outcomes, and that it was designed to keep ‘em coming back.

  1. Does it improve healthcare services?

Chronic disease management is complicated, requiring that all members of the healthcare team operate in harmony. While many health tools and apps offer good standalone functionality, they miss an opportunity to improve communication between providers, payers and other members of the patient’s support team.

Look for a solution that makes it easy to share valuable information that will not only allow for more responsive treatment, but also simplify the task of proving value.

  1. Does it improve health research?

Even in clinical trials, lack of adherence can be a problem, and one that makes validating results tough. Choosing a solution that has a proven track record of helping people take their meds as scheduled – using techniques like motivational interviewing – will help ensure an effective study.

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