There are plenty of opportunities. And certainly tremendous need. Budget or organizing leadership? Still a work-in-progress.

Here are a few of the arenas that jump out:

  • Patient self-service
  • Caregiver support
  • Information infrastructure

In the office

One of my first-ever ux-y projects (in 1982, a bit before the term “UX” became popular) was to help design an informational self service system for doctor’s offices. Pharmaceutical giant Merck, Sharp & Dohme explored the possibility of providing information about drugs via simple interactive terminals that would provide immediate information access at the doctor’s desk and in the waiting room.

I modeled to a medical support service that could provide physicians and their patients with pharmaceutical and therapeutic information. It was a structure that could service each of the three target audiences: PhysiciansPatients & Public and Merck representatives.This was a simple, fairly radical concept at the time – modeled on crude technology platform with tools that were limited.

You can read more about it at this Case Study in my Portfolio: Merck, Sharp & Dohme

Reaching out

A couple of years later I licensed my TextUp template-based publishing tool as part of a productivity and implementation package for Herman Hospital.

This automated suite of services allowed a healthcare provider (with limited tech resources) to build a sophisticated interactive website several years “before we called it the Web”.



Self Service

Over the course of several years I volunteered services to VistA – a computerized personal health record for veterans created by the Department of Veteran Affairs (the VA). This was one of the earliest – and most successful – attempts to provide a consistent, accessible platform for Electronic Health Records.

In early 2013 the VA invited the public to submit design solutions to improve the usability of the standard health information form, which was – admittedly – hard to use. I was named a national finalist in the “Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards” given by a national accreditation organization. My design didn’t win the competition, but I enjoyed doing the work.

See more at the Case Study for HealthyVet in my Portfolio.


Pro bono

More recently, I’ve provided usability services pro-bono to non-profit health-oriented groups – many of whom are in great need of assistance as they attempt to fill in the gap in our health delivery systems, both nationally and globally.

One of the more satisfying recent engagements is with HealthGap. My work there was to provide some analysis of their strategic challenges, as well as some guidance in the organization and presentation of their website and related services. This focus here was on Content Strategy more than on providing surface visual snazziness.

So, anyhow – yes – there are many ways in which usability skills are of tremendous value in the Healthcare arena (9 practical examples).

By all means, Do it.



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