Working together on health

Working together on health
Nowadays, a general practitioner is no longer shocked by patients who have already looked up everything on Google about their health complaints. Health has become more and more a collaboration. Nevertheless, during a consultation, the doctor and the patient are often still literally opposite each other. And that medical specialist then pays attention to both the person and his computer. Undoubtedly often necessary, because the doctor wants to see the patient's medical history or has to write a prescription. But that double interaction also influences the contact.


In some hospitals it is recommended to sit with patients at an angle rather than facing each other. This is to emphasize cooperation and to give the patient insight into what is happening on the screen. In many cases, a patient is just as much a user of the technology in healthcare. In this case a patient file, but it doesn't end there.

Another example. When my father was in the recovery room after keyhole surgery, a device sounded the alarm at one point. Scare in his eyes: what is this? It took a while before a nurse came over and straightened the sensor on his finger. “Happens more often”. Who was that alarm for? It came from my father, but what should he do with it?

You don't have to be in control to be a co-user of technology.

Secondary user experience 

Technology and software influence one's way of working. If the different (end) users are not taken into account in the design, this can lead to undesirable situations. In healthcare, human contact is essential. Technological solutions should therefore support human interaction, rather than stand in the way.

This is also known as designing for the Secondary User Experience.

It is referred to as the user experience of the indirect user; in the example above the patient. It is especially important when developing products for healthcare that you do not only focus on the primary, intended user. Also investigate the effect on other stakeholders. Are there several, indirect or otherwise, users of a product? What are their experiences and what do they value? If the software you develop for a medical specialist can also be used during a consultation, focus on the patient.

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At Keen Health we by definition immerse ourselves in the end user(s). This is how we add value to products and services. One of the means that contribute to this is the well-known customer journey.

In this, the entire 'journey' of and together with the customer is mapped out. That customer could be medical personnel, but - thought through to the 'customer of the customer' - it will probably also be a patient. An extensive customer journey. Which moments do the specialist/patient experience as pleasant and which ones as terrible?

Only in this way do you get a picture of the experiences of both the primary and secondary end user. And that's the only way you can get started designing great user experiences. For the doctor and for the patient.

Do you face a similar challenge?

Let’s find a solution!

Iwan Cuijpers