The utility of healthcare technologies is exceedingly pertinent for lively and continual patient engagement, but individual preferences and conjectures must be taken into consideration when design decisions are made. There have been no specific criterion released to offer support to the patient engagement process but there are emerging directions seen across the industry. But first, to thoroughly understand these disciplines, the purpose of health information technologies must be understood as it relates to patient engagement.
The roles of these technologies in promoting the inherent engagement process can be broken down into two objectives:
- Health technologies are intended to favor the structure of the health experience using goals, rules, and feedback.
- Health technologies are meant to supplement the recovery experience by allowing individuals a higher level of awareness of their behaviors and consequences.
Positive psychology with a primary focus on individual experience is a quickly emerging theme being employed to guide engagement efforts. And from this perspective, patient engagement can be conceptualized as an intuitive experiential activity resulting from cognitive, conative, and emotional impositions from individuals in professional care. When done correctly, health information technologies will promote an effective synergy among these three dimensions. A focus on positive technology can improve the quality of the patient experience by advocating certain strategies to adjust each of the dimensions involved while simultaneously stimulating patient motivation and engagement in the process.
The first goal of these technologies is addressed by offering patients a sense of purpose, narrowing attention, and positioning engagement in the experience. By deposing obvious obstacles, subjects are pushed to see the experience from a different perspective. The feedback will tell individuals how near they are to achieving goals while providing motivation to continue.
The second goal, to supplement the recovery process, is done by offering external indications to allow patients an awareness of their behaviors and consequences. Because technology has multi-sensory capabilities, it is possible to create an augmented reality that triggers multiple senses in unison.
Overall, healthcare information technology professionals need to consider the quality of experience and a “positive focus” when designing and implementing products in order to truly contribute to patient engagement.