Older patients have eyes that aren’t so sharp any more. Patients with arthritis have diminished hand dexterity. Patients with brain fog have trouble focusing and following directions.
How can you ensure patients with different abilities will be able to follow your treatment plans?
This is the question we are addressing with Well World.
Our goal is to ensure our first-in-class Well World app is accessible, inclusive and compassionate. To that end, we are committed to always improving both the Well World mobile app and the Well World Practice Portal for a better user experience for patients and practitioners alike.
Wellness providers are dedicated to positive health outcomes. Those are difficult to achieve when patients don’t comply with their assigned program or regimen.
Well World is already an effective technology solution for thousands of practitioners – simplifying their clinical practice and making it easier for their patients to obtain healthier outcomes with integrative and functional care.
But we don’t want to stop there. We think about ALL of our users and the needs they have in accessing programs and using an app.
Many of our practitioners are working with patient populations that have chronic health conditions that impact physicality, energy and mental acuity. Additionally, patients span vastly different age groups and user capabilities. Some are young digital-natives, others are older generations more comfortable with a push button phone.
Every enhancement and new feature presents the same design challenge. How do we engage each user while also creating an interface that is easy-to-use at all levels of technology expertise and that is disability-compliant?
In designing an app for all types of abilities, we are focused on four major categories: Sight, Hearing, Cognition, and Motor. Under each, we address more specific types of disabilities.
For example, under Sight we test and accommodate for blindness, but also hard-of-sight or differently-sighted. This can range from increasing text size to alternate displays for users with very specific eyesight conditions.
For motor limitations, we are currently exploring how people with finger and hand-specific motor limitations create their own workarounds to navigate and interact with an interface.
Our User Experience team has even tested the app while blindfolded to learn assistive technology experience the app through hearing. They’ve also reduced touch to one knuckle to test the overall flow of the app.
In upcoming coming enhancements, we will be optimizing the app with the voice activation accessibility features built into android and iOS phones giving users a different way to navigate and enter data
There are currently very few standards for accessibility when it comes to mobile apps.
Websites are required by the ADA to provide access to those with disabilities. Browsers have technologies built in to assist users with disabilities and there are well document design standards and requirements for accessible websites. But applications on mobile devices do not have government-mandated accessibility guidelines or requirements. Some apps will accommodate one category and type of disability, but most aren’t very disability friendly.
For Well World, accessibility and inclusive design are absolutely critical to successfully support all kinds of patients so we are not letting the lack of standards stop us.
We see accessibility and inclusion as opportunities to serve our practitioners and their patients better — and hopefully on a much larger, social scale. We are forging ahead in creating accessibility standards for mobile apps. We believe this is part of what separates us from other mobile healthcare technology companies.
We need to make sure everyone is having an equally robust and effective user experience. If not, then compliance will be a problem, and we won’t realize the shift in lifestyle and behaviors we need to improve positive health outcomes in society.
Technology is so prolific and so capable, and there is great potential in the practitioner-to-patient health space. We’re here to create better technology that is driven by informed, inclusive and compassionate design. It’s our little part in creating a Well World.