Each Friday, we send out a handful of articles from the past week, related to healthcare and design, as well as an in-depth look at a current trend affecting healthcare right now.

Disruption doesn’t always equal progress

This past week the results of a study pitting human doctors against symptom-checker apps hit the news. It turns out that humans are in fact still superior at finding what ails patients. Of doctors studied, 72% determined the correct diagnosis on the first try, compared to 34% of computers.

Part of the art of diagnosis is looking at the whole human being. The way the patient walks, speaks, smells, or thinks are all important to the final diagnosis.

- Excerpt from Medical Futurist

It actually seems a shame that this got such high coverage in the news. It’s not surprising though. Amidst all the talk of machine learning, self-driving cars, and telehealth platforms, one may think that humans are on their way out. That we are too inefficient and error-prone to be trusted with complex, data-driven decisions.

If there is one thing we preach at Cast & Hue, it’s the importance of empathy and emotions. At the end of the day, most patients are looking for help in navigating the complex world of medicine. Treatment is often rife with pain, suffering, and confusion, and having an empathetic care team can make it go much smoother.

Back to the topic of apps, they certainly have their place. As we design new experiences, we can utilize technology to elevate the human connection. For example, using technologies such as online pre-screening applications and connections to services such as HealthKit can help doctors to learn more about the patient or improve the onboarding experience. Likewise, tools such as connected medication containers and wearable technologies help bridge the physical world with physician’s recommendations. The key point here is that the most successful technologies prioritize augmenting human experiences, not replacing them.

There may one day be a time when computers can rival the predictive power of humans, but even then, they can’t replace the impact of an empathetic connection.

Is your hospital or organization looking to adapt towards the future? We may be able to help. To learn more about our services, including empathetic experience design, reach out to us at hello@castandhue.com

The Weekly Roundup

A collection of interesting articles from the past week.

Search engine launches AI-powered bot for patient-physician interaction

AI was a big topic in the news this week for more than the aforementioned study. Baidu has launched a new chatbot to help doctors better diagnose patients. Instead of spitting out a list of possible ailments though, it facilitates the collection of data and sends the information to a doctor for further review. This is a great example of using technology to bolster the experience, not replace it.

A new nurse gets a crash course in compassion

In this story, follow along with a nurse as she learns the importance of providing a strong experience. Even in behavioral health, every patient deserves respect. Nurse Barton walks us through the lessons she learned in how to empathize with the patient.

Here are six ways that healthcare is adapting retail concepts

Retail care is becoming more commonplace in healthcare, even beyond clinics. Here are six trends in the healthcare industry around retail care, and how your hospital or practice can adapt.

Final MACRA Implementation Rule to Drive Patient Engagement

This morning the final MACRA rule was released, and we are beginning to understand the implications this will have on practices. This article walks us through how this act will affect patient engagement.

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