Home » Future of Healthcare » Balancing diverse user needs in a complex clinical universe

Frank Long

Director, Frontend.com

Innovating product solutions in healthcare is complex, but a user-centred approach significantly reduces risks, boosts efficiency and ultimately provides better outcomes.

 “Healthcare innovation is hard,” explains Frank Long, Director at Frontend.com, which provides research and design services to the medtech and pharmaceutical industries.

“It’s a complex ecosystem, with multiple stakeholders — each with their own unique goals and requirements. For a solution to succeed, whether it’s a drug therapy or medical device, it needs to work for everybody; this is what makes it so difficult,” he explains.

Innovation challenges

Innovation in the healthcare context requires time and resources, and the risks are high.

Everybody is trying to deliver better patient outcomes at an acceptable cost, but the pace of change can be disruptive. The emergence of AI, wearable tech and remote monitoring has reinvented many traditional treatment protocols.

Likewise, the shift away from hospital-based treatment towards homecare has challenges. Patients play a more active role in their therapy; however, healthcare teams need to provision, train and support these patients, adding new responsibilities.

For a solution to succeed, whether it’s a drug therapy or medical device, it needs to work for everybody.

Solving the right problems

“The reason that healthcare projects often fail, is becasue people identify the wrong problems to solve,” explains Long. “We work with clients early on to define the right problem to solve — and then we solve it in the right way. We research the needs of patients and professionals and align those with the product development roadmap.

“We then deliver practical design solutions to the product team. A lot of our work centres around prototyping and testing, which facilitates clinical validation early in the process, reducing risks and development costs.”

Transforming healthcare design globally

Since 1998, Frontend has helped a global client base to innovate solutions that underpin investment and deliver commercial success. Crucially, providing solutions that work for all people in the healthcare system, streamlining healthcare delivery and, ultimately, designing better patient outcomes.

“Over the last five years, the team at Frontend have been invaluable in developing patient journey insights that allow us to better understand the patients we serve,” says Garvan Byrne, Head of Healthcare Solutions, Amgen Ireland.

“They worked with us to define the digital roadmap of the Lenire Tinnitus Treatment Device for both patients and Healthcare providers,” shares Diarmuid Flavin, COO, Neuromod Devices.

“They worked with us to define how surgeons will use the next generation of intra-cardiac imaging and have supported us from early user research throughout the product development process,” says Christoph Hennersperger, CTO of LumaVision.

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