Finding Better and Safer Ways of Caring
Even in our technologized world, a high number of patients do not get appropriate treatment, but are given medications in wrong doses at the wrong time. The Telegraph cites a report according to which 4 out of 10 drugs are wrongly administered at hospitals. Facing the problem of ineffective mediation distribution in hospitals, our team from the Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC) at SAP saw an opportunity to raise awareness for this integral issue, inspire change, and re-envision the hospital experience for patients, doctors, and nurses of the future. We set out to improve healthcare by leveraging SAP HANA and new technology to assist patient care. On one hand, SAP HANA provides the big data and patient records. On the other hand, when looking at different front-end devices, Google Glass fits best the needs. Relying on scanning, it provides instant access to data and facilitates hands-free interaction as it does not get in the way of the interaction between care giver and care receiver.
Working for an enterprise software company, we have helped companies run better through intuitive design and robust software. Healthcare is an industry that needs innovative solutions due to outdated software and processes. We wanted to apply our expertise to explore possible hospital use cases,– says Jing Suo, UX Designer at SAP.
Approaching Healthcare with a Design Perspective
We approached our problem by conducting literature research about various medical errors and their root causes. We explored how advanced technology might be integrated into healthcare services to achieve better results. Through hands-on usage and direct interaction with Google Glass, we discovered the engineering of this technology and the Human-Computer Interaction with the device. “The question arose how we can put technology in the background and not focus so much on that, but rather enable the nurses to do their job better”, says Rouja Pakiman, UX Designer at SAP. To better connect with our users as “human-centered designers”, we interviewed medical staff, paying close attention to their daily tasks, needs, and pain points. “Even though doctors and nurses have iPads and computers, they do not want to use them during the patient visits because they want to have the personal one on one with the person they are giving care to. So Glass is perfect for that kind of interaction”, says Hang Le, UX Designer at SAP. “The hands-free benefit is one of the best things that Google Glass can provide, and it is the feature nurses need the most”, adds Jing Suo. At the same time we were concerned with the patients’ comfort level. Interviewing a few patients hospitalized recently, we learned that where the benefits of new technology, such as Glass, outweigh perceived privacy issues, people become more accepting and comfortable with that technology.
Coupling Technology and Innovative Power
I would like this to come to life, to be implemented and used in hospitals as it can bring great value. Why not just test it, improve on it and provide better care,– adds Rouja Pakiman.
Approaching the challenge from a designer’s perspective, with empathy for the users, enabled us to find out the core needs of caregivers, and most importantly, of the patients. The SAP HANA and Google Glass solution provides accurate data for hospitals and insurance companies to make better management decisions and save costs. Having hospitals use the technology to improve their service would reduce errors due to human negligence, and potentially save patients’ lives. The solution bridges distances by providing access to experts on the spot, at the right time. As a consequence, it eliminates unnecessary delays and increases efficiency. The solution also supports human abilities through hands-free interaction, which allows nurses and doctors to provide the type of care and support for patients that they deserve. “When we released the video of the use case, a lot of people saw that this is a very useful tool that can make a big difference”, says Pazit Kagel, UX Designer at SAP.