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Why the key to health tech triumph is testing

By Chris Bradshaw, Strategy Director at Infinum



In the world of direct-to-consumer health tech, innovation is booming.

When executed effectively, these solutions empower patients and caregivers, offering informed health decisions and quick access to medical insights.

However, growth brings challenges.

When health tech products are not meticulously tested and designed, it can lead to user confusion, unreliable data, and even compromised patient safety.

Amidst a flurry of innovation in this space, a vital factor is often neglected – preparing for worst-case scenarios.

To ensure success and safety, it’s absolutely critical to delve into potential user issues before launching.

In order to nail innovation in this space, keep these three key ingredients in mind – thorough testing, user-first approach, and robust privacy.

Test, test and test again

Thorough testing is a linchpin for spotting and tackling potential issues early in development.

By simulating various scenarios and user interactions, companies can understand how their products perform under different circumstances.

A method that’s getting attention is sprint testing.

It pushes the product’s long-term goals and ethical aspects to make sure the final product is strong, reliable, and safe.

Running discovery sessions for any product is also critical to help predict and navigate potential problems, but it’s even more important in the health tech industry.

Even more so when you’re working on direct business to consumer products, where the risks can increase significantly.

In short, the lesson is test, test and test again.

By investing time and resources into comprehensive testing, companies can avoid costly and potentially harmful issues after product launch.

It’s also important to remember that testing doesn’t stop when the product or app is launched; it’s crucial to gather consistent feedback from users to improve the solution continuously.

Put yourself in your users’ shoes

Putting your end-users first is not just a catchphrase; it’s a fundamental principle to launch any product or service.

At the same time, if you’ve engaged in rigorous testing and gathered feedback from users before launch, you’ll already be set up for success.

For example, at Infinum, we worked to develop Cormeum, the smart heart-failure app.

To validate some of our initial assumptions on what would work best, we trialed the prototype with real cardiac arrest patients and discovered they preferred larger visuals, a straightforward tone of voice, and a streamlined morning and evening tracking routine.

This allowed us to design a product that is easy and seamless to use, and empathises with users, understanding their needs, expectations and fears.

This is critical in medical situations and helps ensure your product isn’t just meeting requirements, it instills confidence.

User-centric design goes beyond aesthetics—it’s about enhancing the user experience across the journey and customising it for specific needs.

By integrating user feedback early on, companies can build products that deeply connect with their target audience.

The importance of data privacy

It’s also important to remember that health tech should value patient data as much as a doctor does.

As these technologies collect and manage personal health information extensively, the ethical responsibility to safeguard user data becomes even more crucial.

A significant data breach can result not only in substantial financial losses but also harm to a company’s reputation.

Openness and clear communication about data usage and security measures can significantly reassure users about their information’s safety.

Staying up to date with data protection regulations and implementing strong cybersecurity measures are essential for thwarting potential threats.

A single breach can undo years of hard work and innovation.

An excellent case of emphasising data privacy from the beginning is Bloom Diagnostics, a health-tech company focused on at-home diagnostic tests.

With Infinum’s assistance, they used strong encryption and secure storage methods to protect user health data, building a foundation of trust with their users.

Looking ahead

Done right, direct-to-consumer health tech has the potential to transform the entire healthcare industry, and in many ways, already is.

However, success requires a huge amount of planning and an unwavering commitment to testing and your end users.

Businesses venturing on this journey aren’t alone; tech consultants can help get the process right.

Together, real change is possible, transforming the lives of patients and healthcare staff for years to come.

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