So I came across an article with the headline “Can user experience save lives”. My immediate response was, okay let’s simmer down now – its only UX design.
But the more I read into the article the more I realized that my ideas of UX are confined to how I experience it on the daily, which is through website and mobile app design. But, the fact I am in the healthcare industry I should be more acutely aware that UX design is everywhere. I even use some of this technology every day. Fitbits and Apple Watches are a combination of healthcare and UX. They can track your steps, sleep, and blood pressure while providing a simple UX design – which even my mother can understand.
For those of you who don’t know a bronchoscopy is a procedure that looks inside the lung airways. It involves inserting a bronchoscope tube, with its light and small camera, through your nose or mouth, down your throat into your trachea, or windpipe, and to the bronchi and bronchioles of your lungs. This procedure is used to find the cause of a lung problem. It can detect tumors, signs of infection, excess mucus in the airways, bleeding, or blockages in the lungs. It also can allow your doctor to take samples of mucus or tissue for other laboratory tests, as well as to insert airway stents, or small tubes, to keep your airway open to treat some lung problems.
The traditional way of deliver a bronchoscopy is by using a large scope that in inserted down the throat of the patient while the physician holds it up and manually feeds it threw the patients lungs with help from his team for about an hour. A while trying to then find the tumor in the lungs and biopsy it with nothing more than a camera who can only work up to a certain point in the process, so when the physician is going in for the biopsy – he is on his own. Not the best user experience.
Now with new technology and much better UX a physician is able to do a bronchoscopy without needing to hold a heavy scope for an hour and biopsy blind. They are able to use what basically looks like a glorified Xbox gaming controller to steer the robotic scope threw the patients lungs. Giving the physician more flexibility to move, take their time and due to the new technology actually see with the camera where they are biopsying inside the patient. Which could – in fact – save a life.