Ambient User Experience: A Pathway to Better Patient Care

The retail and hospitality industries have been focused lately on creating memorable customer experiences that lead to loyalty and business results. Leaders in this industry are integrating various applications and devices to deliver ambient user experiences, which proactively and transparently serve customers through the intelligent use of data. Ambient or “contextual” UX occurs when systems and devices learn and adapt to our needs based on specific situations, location and context of use, according to Paul Olyslager, a Berlin-based UX designer.

Using Ambient UX to Keep Patients Safe and Healthy

In healthcare, there is work underway to create better experiences for patients using these contextual UX philosophies and techniques. Through gathering and analyzing data from sensors, mobile apps and everyday wellness tools, a provider can create an ambient experience, which notifies caregivers when needed or takes action automatically on the patient’s behalf.

Here is a scenario outlined in an emids’ Future Focus whitepaper that illustrates ambient user experience in action:

  • A senior patient with motor skill and balance deficiencies leaves his hospital room.
  • A sensor on the door captures the patient’s exit through tracking a wearable device on the patient’s arm. The data is submitted to computers at the nurse station.
  • The patient has a fall before a nurse can get to the scene, which is captured by a video camera in the hallway. The closest nursing care unit receives an email or text alert, and dispatches helpers to the scene immediately. The treating doctor receives an alert about the incident and delivers advice over the phone.
  • An incident report is automatically generated based on facts and data collected by these apps and devices.

Each of these technologies acting alone is not extraordinary, but the ability to elegantly combine them into a nearly effortless experience is what ambient user experience is all about. “We may not have been able to avoid the accident, but through an efficiently designed monitoring system, alerting system and reporting system put together by an ambient user experience which facilitates prompt and targeted action, we can surely manage the situation in a much better way,” says David Cearley, VP and Fellow of Gartner Research.

Healthcare providers have a mission to serve patients by preventing adverse events and delivering proactive care that improves outcomes and wellness. Ambient UX is an exciting development in the transformation of healthcare to a patient-centric model.

Read our white paper to learn more about design for the ambient user experience.

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