A Conversation About Design: The Pivotal Role Design Can Play in Healthcare - Experience Haus

A Conversation About Design: The Pivotal Role Design Can Play in Healthcare

Dr Anushka Patchava is an experienced healthcare leader and strategist who has navigated the intricate landscapes of product innovation and commercial strategy across the pharmaceutical, health and medical devices sector. But her journey doesn’t stop there.

Anushka’s career has been a tapestry of diverse experiences, from practicing medicine for six years in the US and UK health systems, to being a Strategic Advisor to the UN on artificial intelligence and blockchain in healthcare. She is now the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Wellx, an insurtech platform based out of Dubai, bringing together digital medical insurance, onboarding and wellness that will mould the way forward for insurers and bring in a new dimension to underwriting and pricing. In this article, we’re going to delve into her experience in healthcare, her passion for innovation, and how design plays a pivotal role in solving complex challenges.

Using a medical background to influence the approach to healthcare innovation and design

As mentioned above, Anushka had extensive experience in the medical industry before moving to tech, but she has managed to find ways to fuse both her past ways of working with what she’s doing now. Where before she would use the information given to her to formulate a treatment plan for a patient, this process is something she has carried into the innovation space. In innovation you’re ingesting information from all around you, especially from the customer who is at the centre of it all. In this way you’re then pulling all that information together to design something that isn’t only user centric, but also useful and resonates well, to get that engagement with the customer. It’s being able to ingest lots of information and make it meaningful in some way.

Improving customer or patient healthcare experiences through design

For Anushka, this is about letting the customer or information you gather play as small or as big a role as you would like. As an example, her and the team at Wellx put the customer at the centre of everything. The reason for this is that there are so many digital products and health & wellbeing apps out there, but none of them are really mandated. It’s not like banking where you have to log into your digital banking app to know how much money you have, or what you’ve been spending. Therefore for the Wellx team to get a customer who is not only engaged in the fact they have to download the app, but to also keep coming back to the app and become a bit dependable on it, it’s important to move with the customer on their journey. You have to be really keep in their mindset and not only build out their persona, but build out their persona of today, their persona of tomorrow and the persona as it changes as their health does.

The other thing is knowing how to engage customers. Recently there was a Dubai Fitness Challenge held and the Wellx team understood from their customers that they wanted them to do something as part of this challenge in the Wellx ecosystem. So the team designed something that resonated with customer’s goals around keeping healthy and staying well, but also resonated with the external environment and the goals of the Dubai Fitness Challenge as a whole. During that time, their engagement went up 3X because they’d spoken to the customer, resonated with things that were happening in their day-to-day life, and then added an augmentation to that.

Anushka’s advice to others in the medical industry looking to move into the tech space

Her first bit of advice is that they key thing for anyone wanting to change careers is curiosity. Gone are the days where you needed to go to university to learn a subject, to then perform and practice it. There is so much out there, like the courses offered at Experience Haus, where you can learn a whole new subject on your own. There are also a number of fantastic books that cover all manner of subjects from switching careers, how to build successful products, becoming an entrepreneur, and so on. As Anushka says, if you have the curiosity to learn, then you’re going to succeed. In the world we live in today, where everything is changing an lightning speed, staying on top of things is the biggest advantage you can give yourself.

Secondly, accompany that learning with networking. By surrounding yourself with people in the area you’re interested in, that can give you a real insight into what your life could potentially be like and these people could ultimately help shape your future career. LinkedIn is a great place to start with this. Reach out to people and go have a coffee! This is how you can learn quickly and how opportunities arise.

The future of healthcare and design/innovation

What is exciting is the coming together of clinicians and the healthcare sector in appreciating the importance of bringing in diverse perspectives, not only in terms of product design from a digital perspective, but also in terms of clinical design.

Hospitals and the way hospitals are run hasn’t changed in decades (probably even centuries!), and it needs to.  It needs to work in a risk stratified manner so those that need it most get the services, and also needs to do it in a way that the customer enjoys the experience. Typically the clinical world has never listened to the customers wants and needs and adopts a ‘doctor knows best’ approach but it would be interesting to bring in designers to see what they would do to change these spaces. We need to see this shift to value-based care that really delivers for the customer’s needs and mindset. 

The other area that would be revolutionary is AI in healthcare. What effect could it have on healthcare delivery and healthcare products? How can we design  healthcare products to serve the customer at home? Finally, it is really important to not only rely on clinicians and what they say, but bring more creative people into this industry as they offer a completely different perspective on how to approach things.

This article forms part of a discussion conducted between Dr Anushka Patchava and Experience Haus Creative Director, Amit Patel on the Experience Haus podcast, ‘A Conversation About Design’. In this podcast, we explore the fascinating world of design featuring insightful conversations with some of the brightest minds and inspiring individuals who are making waves in the industry. 

Listen to the full interview with Anushka here.

Thursday 21st December, 2023

Check out more.

Instructor Profile: Ale Iannuzzi

Instructor Profile: Ale Iannuzzi

Thursday 23rd May, 2024

Tell us a little about yourself and your current work outside of Experience Haus?  I am an experienced UX/Product Design...

Read More
Student Success Story: Mafalda Lopes

Student Success Story: Mafalda Lopes

Thursday 9th May, 2024

Mafalda completed our 8-week part-time Product Strategy & Management course in March 2o24 and now works as a UX/UI Design...

Read More
2024 Design Job Market: Why Standing Out from the Crowd is Key to Securing Employment

2024 Design Job Market: Why Standing Out from the Crowd is Key to Securing Employment

Monday 6th May, 2024

The UX/UI design job market has been growing at an exponential rate in the last couple of years. Where terms...

Read More