The Affordable Care Act beseeches individuals to actively participate in healthcare decisions for themselves with their healthcare providers.  Doing so has been key to revamping the system of healthcare delivery, changing the relationship between doctors and patients with exchange of information.  The goal is to improve clinical outcomes and decrease the cost of healthcare.

Certainly by having patients voice their concerns, compliance with drug usage and nutritional improvement has been witnessed.

How can we induce healthcare consumers to participate more actively  using mobile applications  and patient portals?

B.J. Fogg, the director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford has devised a model that answers this question.

Fogg’s Behavior Model (FBM): 

Components include:

  1. Motivation-feelings that spark willingness like pleasure, hope, acceptance, rejection
  2. Ability-the know-how to perform which may be instilled through training
  3. Trigger-the reward that incites the action

Fogg predicts that users will only take the call to action if it is easy enough or within their grasp.  This is important to consider when designing and offering patient health applications and treatment options.  When health products induce frustration, attempts will be abandoned. One of the greatest obstacles for patient online use is the fear of information security and safety stored in the software systems.

Guide to Developing a system that consumers trust

  • Consider having patients journal or create a diary of their symptoms and problems
  • Utilize gamification techniques
  • Make the system easy to use
  • Implement an interactive process for the software program

Keeping Fogg’s model of behavior change in mind when trying to accomplish health strategies long-term and validating patient emotions, will help the implementation of your interactive models.

We are really just at the beginning of technological development and strategy when it comes to patient interactions and patient trust but  we are certainly on the right track!

What programs have you been using successfully in getting patients engaged?  Are they using your patient portals.  Share your experiences in the comment box below