How Digital Health Can Improve Patient Trust

Patient trust is indispensable in healthcare. With the increased use of digital health tools more power is shifting into consumer hands. But for this to support the future of the healthcare industry, there needs to be greater trust to make patients engage with digital health for more services. This trust starts by providing transparency for patients about how their personal health information (PHI) is used, and a promise that it won’t be used against them.

Patient Trust
Patients trust that digital health platforms will properly use personal health information remains limited, with just one in five patients saying they are “very confident” that their data is used responsibly and in their best interest. Informing, obtaining consent, and handling patient data responsibly and (possibly even more importantly) in their best interests is crucial to building patient trust.

The major focus among patients and proper use of PHI is on the purpose for which their information is used. Payers, providers, and digital health platforms must focus on communicating how data is intended to be used. These elements include using data to help improve an existing service or receiving a discount, used for research to improve outcomes, or enabling data for additional patient engagement to support other health aspects.

Using Real-Time Analytics
Patient data is central to the use of analytics in digital health platforms, using real-time interaction and data from patient usage to power decision trees. When patient interactions in digital health helps to guide future interactions, helping to simplify the experience and auto-populate forms to expedite processing is often viewed as a helpful feature. However, the onus remains on digital health platforms to help explain how analytics like these are used.

Creating a digital experience that is intuitive, interactive, and streamlined helps to build trust among patients by showing that any information gleaned from their usage enhances the episode. This use of data can also help to build shadow patient patterns that help to enhance the patient experience for other patients who present with similar demographics or patterns. Together, real-time analytics works to improve the digital platform for both the initial user and future users to come.

Personalization and Feedback
No one wants a cookie-cutter experience, in any type of service experience. This also holds true for digital health platforms, where personalization helps to create a custom interaction for patients and helps to build trust that a platform truly knows the uniqueness of each user. Digital health platforms that create a personalized experience for each patient helps to build trust among patients in the use of the platform, the care they’re receiving from their provider, and by extension, trust in their treatment regimen. Medisafe uses advanced personalization to create a unique experience for patients, helping to guide them through more than 190 decision points so that the experience is unique to each user. This personalized approach ensures trust in the digital tools but also supports greater adherence in treatment.

It’s important to remember that trust is a two-way street. Feedback is critical to building trust among patients by establishing a feedback loop. This allows patients to have a connection to the experience they’re part of and positions the user as someone who is invested in their own outcome. Whether this is through surveys, comment sections, or connecting to live support, ensuring feedback helps to build trust in patient care.

Human-Digital Integration
While digital health continues to make advancements in the healthcare industry and transforms many of the laborious processes with rapid automation, caring for the health of another remains a deeply personal experience. This means that future of healthcare is not completely digital, but rather blends the human with digital to support a more enhanced and customized experience. By connecting the human experience with digital support, patients report greater trust and willingness to use digital platforms. Not all elements of the healthcare experience need human guidance (see patient forms, medical history, etc.) but having human support as an available resource creates trust in the care they’re receiving.

The human-digital integration also helps to expedite processes on the provider end. This advancement allows for nurses and practitioners to focus on the important ‘human’ elements of providing care, while digital health tools can offer secondary support such as refill reminders, appointment scheduling, and connection to a payer or PBM. And by engaging human support to onboard patients to a digital platform helps to create trust that longer-term care is being managed in a meaningful way, with connected support to guide them through any challenges.

The trust factor for any service industry is essential, but for healthcare it can mean the difference of improved health and lasting outcomes. Building patient trust in digital health requires transparency, feedback, and human support to help patients manage their health. By trusting a digital platform, patients have available resources to stay engaged in their health and connect to care that is meaningful and personal – the ultimate measure in trust.

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