It is crucial for a "home screen" to exist that can lead to all other capabilities of the app. This one screen makes it simple for a user to find what they are looking for and minimizes the amount of time wasted on searching for different functions. I found myself using features of an app that were not displayed on the home screen much less often.
Following the concepts mentioned earlier for web design, it is important to include only information that is vital, so a screen does not become cluttered. All of these apps used different diagram and icons to portray information instead of lengthy instructions. Besides for making the screen more aesthetically pleasing, I realized that I would not have read the instructions had they been provided and therefore prefer the use of icons. Some of these icons, however, seemed to hold an ambiguous function and in building our app we will have to be careful about relying to heavily on their use.
Everyone can write in an answer. It's boring. We do it all the time. You put little thought into the response and you may just be too lazy to respond at all. It is so important for the app designer to realize this and to think of innovative ways for users to respond to questions. The use of color coded sliding scales as seen on the right is a prime example. Instead of typing in your weight, you can simply slide your finger to the proper number. If you do need a typed answer, then the use of a search function from a compiled database of potential answers. In some of the apps explored above, when inputting what you had for a meal, you simply had to search through the USDA database of food options.
Learning The Medicine And Technology Connection
The background is well known. Presently, healthcare costs in the US are about 17% of GDP and these costs are growing at a rate faster than the country's GDP. Comparatively, healthcare costs make up a much larger portion of the United States economy but quality of care is arguably worse than that present in many other first world countries, We are just not getting the bang for our buck!
Technology has the ability to change the status quo. Electronic resources can make data accessible, transferable and usable in real-time. Patients can become more involved in their medical care and disclose "user-generated data" such as fatigue, pain, diet, exercise routine and adherence to their treatment plan. Tools for analyzing data can be used and give feedback in time for a clinician to benefit from their results. This process will cut the cost of implementing evidence based medicine and push for a more organized system in which doctors come together with other service providers to create a multidisciplinary approach to care. By incorporating technology into medicine, we are jumping onto the quick growth "tech bandwagon." We are putting our system in a position for rapid improvement.
Technology is a great tool to improve our healthcare system but there are challenges to overcome if we are to take advantage. We will have to build an infrastructure that can handle this new environment and will have to make the system simple and intuitive for it to be adopted. Standards will have to be set so everyone is "talking in the same language" when inputting information and or else collaboration cannot be achieved. There will need to be a culture shift, in which patients are both willing and welcomed to take an active role in the way their treatment progresses. Implementing technology is a difficult task but it is more than just a fix to our healthcare system. Completing these tasks begins a new era of high quality and personalized care for each patient.