L’Oréal Paris has developed a collection of digital makeup that can be ‘worn’ by users during video calls. Positioned as enabling users to express themselves and be confident, there is a variety of filters that can be applied when using video calling platforms.
This made me think about digital health interactions (for example, virtual consultations with your GP or a hospital doctor). The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital health and virtual consultations, and users need to be comfortable when taking part in virtual consultations.
I think of inclusivity in this instance under two headings.
First, how users feel.
From a service user perspective, they may not wish to show the background during a video consultation as their living room may have many personal items within it (or they may not feel that it’s not ‘good enough’). Filters could help blur the background or help select a completely different background of a nice landscape or indeed, a living room they like. Often, there will be other people at home and service users may to ‘filter’ out unwanted sounds such as traffic, barking dogs or crying babies – there are solutions such krisp that offer AI based solutions to focus on the user’s voice.
It is not just the service users we need to consider. There is of course thinking that suggests seeing the person you are talking to enables you to build better rapport by reading facial expressions etc. Recent research has however highlighted the negative effects (i.e. fatigue) associated with using a camera and suggests employees could feel better if given the option to turn off the camera.
Second, the information itself and how it is ‘communicated’.
There are the obvious things to consider – is any written content developed appropriately for the intended user group, are language considerations taken into account and accessibility standards considered so that all users can access and read the content?
At a more basic level, it could be that certain users will find it difficult to access the information at all. Dot is a South Korean startup that have developed interesting assistive technologies for the visually impaired. The products – which include a smart watch and other tactile displays (that you can lay on a table) – could enable users to be notified specific information (i.e. alerts through the smart watch or even graphs highlighting trends in their health metrics!).
As we start to think about what the ‘new normal’ for health services could and should be, considering the appropriate balance between face to face and virtual, now is the time to fully engage on these elements.
Very happy to hear your comments below or feel free to email me to share ideas – firstname.lastname@example.org