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A physician’s perspective: Co-creating for the Platform of Health

At Altera Digital Health, we follow a Human-Centered Design (HCD) methodology known as “co-creates,” created by Chief Experience Officer Jenna Date. Co-creates are hour-long sessions with the design team and current Altera clients. The group works together to pinpoint problems and identify new ways to improve the experience of leveraging our technology. These collaborative sessions are all about creating something together that is exciting and brings smiles to the faces of those who use it.

Co-creates in action

Over the last 18 months, I participated in co-creates with practicing clinicians from around the world to help design Sunrise™ Air, our new mobile experience and the first solution to leverage our Platform of Health technology. These regular meetings involved clinicians covering specialities such as emergency medicine, internal medicine and anaesthesiology. Not only did the group consist of a variety of disciplines, but also different grades of clinicians. The Altera team included design and user interface (UI) specialists supported by Jenna.

The design team started the sessions by sharing design templates and processes. Then the clinicians would give feedback on both the design and processes for the Altera team to act on. The changes would be shared in the following session. This process was repeated with multiple clinicians and eventually enabled the team to reach a general consensus about how the solution should look, feel and perform.

It was fascinating to watch the design evolve with each session until our co-created product was finally passed on to the technology “builders.” It was also very satisfying to see the outcome of our sessions in the 22.1 release of Sunrise Air.

Building the “right” product

The collaboration among this heterogenous team was key to the success of Sunrise Air, particularly the involvement of practicing clinicians from the start of the process, rather than after the solution was ready for release (as I have experienced with other healthcare products). The solution has attracted a lot of attention and has received positive feedback when demonstrated and shared with new and existing clients. As a clinical user myself, I am not surprised.

Sunrise Air builds and releases are based on different personas, or different roles within clinical practice like acute physicians and nurses. Although the initial release covers the acute physician, this persona offering is suitable for anyone working in an acute setting as it offers a fun, easy and useful way to review patients from a mobile device while on the move.

The Platform of Health experience

For me, this work was and continues to be very important, not for any particular function or offering, but because of the design principles utilised. I offer my excitement as evidence supporting the need for HCD in the development journey—especially in health IT. It is crucial to have clinicians provide design input early and often. This ensures the output is not just a piece of technology to use every day, but an experience we can truly enjoy.

With Sunrise Air, we aimed to create something that would be a joy to use. I feel we have achieved that and more. Personally, as a geek, I cannot wait to use it in my clinical practice as an emergency medicine physician.

Learn more about Human-Centered Design at Altera here.

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