Magazine by UseTree
News, Knowledge Reading Time 3 min | 30.04.2021

User Experience for Parkinsons & Co – True Benefits for Patients

April, Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, is drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean that these and other neurodegenerative diseases don’t deserve attention the rest of the year. We tell you why User Experience the foundation of any health App is.

by Usetree Redaktion

Why are we as user experience experts interested and committed to this topic? 

Digitalisation efforts and technological advances are increasingly entering the everyday lives of patients with chronic diseases. Here in particular, it is important to design applications that are a perfect fit for these user groups. Our UX Research department recently conducted interviews with ALS patients, which resulted in a positive finding. In particular, those affected by neurodegenerative diseases are highly motivated to participate in studies. Therefore they not only want to improve their own lives, but also advance research and contribute to the community.

In our work, we not only see people affected by diseases as patients. For us, they are users of digital applications with specific requirements. Also, apart from the physiological conditions, we are interested in their real life worlds. They significantly determine the context of use of applications. Certainly, UX alone cannot improve patients’ lives. This requires a functioning infrastructure around the application and a certain acceptance and trust in a stable and functioning technology. So far, however, it has been rather low.

How do you create acceptance for technology among those affected?

According to Statista, 14 percent of respondents in a survey said, they had used health apps in the last twelve months. However, more than half of the respondents (53 percent) in 2019 rejected the use of such apps.

The statistics tell us, that interest in health apps is present, but there is no intrinsic motivation to use them. On the one hand, it may be due to a lack of real need, and on the other hand, rejection may already arise after an initial negative experience. Here, UX Research and UX Design can help to capture and satisfy the existing needs. At the same time, positive experiences are generated during use. However, the condition is always that data of the people concerned are treated confidentially. We as a UX agency see this as a clear condition.

UX is the foundation of functioning and meaningful health apps

User experience has a lasting influence on acceptance when using health apps. But it must be clear that it is not the icing on the cake. Rather, UX represents the foundation to ensure a functioning application. This is the only way to fully exploit all its possibilities and services. In the case of health apps for the user group of a wide variety of neurodegenerative diseases, this can be a considerable support. In other words, carefully crafted functionalities and motivating user guidance promote positive experiences with constant use:

  • Be it by supporting an active engagement with and education about the disease, which can bring a sense of control and self-determination.
  • Changes in the disease can be recognised at an early stage and it is possible to react in time.
  • Affected people use support services if they can be found and applied for without much fuss.

The acceptance of care platforms of neurodegenerative, but also other diseases, can mean significant benefits for those affected.

At UseTree, we are part of this pro-active conversation and are countering improvements to these care platforms through a variety of methods. The issues are close to our hearts, so we are constantly building our experience through new projects in the health sector.

Contact us for more information: info@usetree.com.

Image source: Pexels

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