Hospitals' New Genius Bars Educate Patients About Medical Devices

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In order to increase the adoption of new medical technology, hospitals are instituting tech-support stations geared toward hands-on education.

The average cell phone has millions of times more processing power than the computers onboard the first Apollo spacecraft that landed on the moon, so why not bring that same computing power into our healthcare systems?

A remarkable customer survey from Accenture has revealed a number of fascinating insights regarding how patients engage with digital healthcare. One major finding is that since 2014, the use of wearable devices to track fitness and lifestyle metrics has jumped from 9 to 33 percent, and nearly half of healthcare customers are using mobile devices and apps — up from 16 percent over the same period.

However, despite the growth of wearable and mobile tech for tracking patient health, one of the biggest hurdles to implementing cutting-edge developments is that patients often don’t know how to use the new technology. Some hospitals are tackling this challenge by creating tech-support stations where customers can receive hands-on education from trained specialists on how new apps and devices work. This innovative model has the potential to improve health outcomes while also streamlining patient care.

Putting Patient Convenience First

Styled after Apple’s Genius Bars, where customers can meet with trained specialists to be guided through technical issues or challenges, these new tech-support bars can help improve the rate at which patients adopt new medical devices

Wearables and other mHealth tools offer a number of advantages, in large part because they make patients’ health metrics and data more easily shareable. This can in turn lead to faster response times from medical professionals, fewer trips to the doctor for patients, and even reduced healthcare costs.

Wearables also enable more convenient care through the use of telehealth and remote monitoring. The Accenture survey shows that this convenience has become a priority, as 47 percent of respondents said they’d prefer immediate virtual appointments to delayed, in-person ones, and more than two-thirds said they would be willing to use virtual care for after-hours and follow-up appointments.

Given patients’ changing priorities, making new technologies more accessible is a strong move for hospitals and medical practices. It emphasizes to current patients that the experience and convenience of their care is paramount and increases the potential for attracting new patients through bold initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to clarity and approachability.

The Importance of Making Tech Accessible

Innovations in medical technology are poised to benefit patients and medical professionals alike. Smart devices and wearables can streamline the process of receiving and delivering care, remove procedural inefficiencies, and make a variety of treatments more accessible to the average person.

Marketing these devices properly — whether through tech-support bars, trial programs where patients receive wearables for free to take home and try out, or other initiatives — is an integral part to driving patient adoption of new technologies. For that reason, it’s essential that healthcare providers ensure that the conversation around digital health tools is framed correctly. By providing patients with the education and means to more actively engage in their own care, hospitals are making the process of interacting with medical technology easier and more engaging.

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