User experience is the overall experience of a person using or interacting with a product with importance given to its ease of use and accessibility. User comfort ability and understanding is imperative in assessing the use of the tool, as they are the primary determining factors in the implementation to the user’s daily workflow. Clinical decision support tools have been successful in adoption because of the increased importance attributed to the user experience. Due to COVID-19, physicians became increasingly eager to find efficient ways to provide care for their patients remotely and opted for the integration of telehealth. A study was done during COVID-19 to assess the implementation of Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) for patient in low-income Urban Hispanic and African American communities.
There were two rounds of usability testing performed. The first round was to assess the effectiveness of the telehealth rehabilitation that was done by the patient who was using the equipment that included ergonomic recumbent bike, a tablet with a built-in camera, and wireless monitoring devices. The second phase was to observe the user interface and improve the system based on the rounds of telehealth PR sessions.
Telehealth delivered Pulmonary Rehabilitations (PR) was shown to be just as effective as standard PR in improving quality of life in patients diagnosed with COPD. During the usability session there were several opportunities for improvement based on the feedback from the user who allowed the tool to be modified so that it would be of benefit to them. The patient was categorized by independent, intermediate, or dependent. This allowed the ability to predict the level of training and support needed for successful participation in the telehealth PR sessions. With the iterative telePR sessions there was an uptake patients independently utilizing the telePR.
Within the realm of usability testing, user experience plays a major role in the development of any tool that can help better patient outcomes. The assessment and feedbacks from patients allows us to modify and improve the tool so that its more user friendly and they can feel confident using it independently.