ECHAlliance at Digital Healthcare Show 2022: Co-creating the digital health solutions with end-users for sustainable adoption

23 May 2022

Is the co-creation a must or a nice thing to have during the development of the digital solutions and what needs to happen to engage the participants in an active and meaningful way? Those were the key questions explored during the session organised by ECHAlliance at the Digital Healthcare Show in London with the participation of the representatives of the R&D projects and companies. Karolina Mackiewicz, Innovation Director at ECHAlliance spoke with Oscar Zanutto (ISRAA-Fabbrica Europa Coordinator – Faber), Manuel Ottaviano (Senior Research Manager Digital Health and Wellbeing at University of Madrid), Viola Wontor (Director of Customer Experience Design at Pfizer) and Clint Schick (Chief Executive of Strata Health UK and EMEA), who brought the co-creating experience from the ValueCare, Brainteaser and Gravitate-Health projects and the general Strata Health practice. 

The speakers agreed that the fact that the co-creation takes time and effort, it’s a valuable process in ensuring that the solution to be developed, addresses the real users’ needs, validates ideas and allocates the digital artifacts and the new care pathways into the day-to-day life and context. Co-creation is a great opportunity to establish dialogue between innovators and end users that helps the developers to understand the users’ viewpoint and the struggles with the diseases or conditions. Thanks to that, the organisations can effectively impact adoption, transparency and better drive customer outcomes. 

To be meaningful and engaging, several conditions need to be fulfilled, e.g.:

  • Organisations need to switch from fixed to learning mindset, 
  • Co-creation process should be based on engagement, dialogue and broad commitment to change, 
  • Those who will indeed use the final solution should be engaged, 
  • The initiators of the co-creation process should listen and don’t project their expectations or ideas on the participants. 

The speakers also emphasised that the co-creation is a dynamic, iterative process that should take into account the changing needs of the patients as well as changing conditions (e.g. pandemic etc). As they shared the stories from their practice and experiences, we were able to catch the following conditions that can hinder co-creation:

  • Not enough time and resources  prepared for the process, 
  • Lack of skillful facilitator, 
  • Skepticism around the effective implementation and delivery of the solution 
  • Tensions between expectations from different stakeholders 
  • Assumptions and biases. 

The openness to the ideas as well as the skill to engage, listen to and collect the different viewpoints are key to the successful co-creation and ultimately a sustainable adoption of the digital health solution. 

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