The Value of User Experience Analysis in Adoption of Digital Health Technology

HITLAB • October 6, 2022

HITLAB recently performed a heuristic evaluation of TeleVU’s GlassVU software solution in order to provide actionable recommendations for future software development and design. Heuristic evaluation, sometimes referred to as heuristic analysis, is a common usability inspection method for digital solutions that helps to identify usability problems. It involves expert evaluators examining the user interface and judging its compliance with recognized usability principles.  

The framework for the heuristic evaluation is based on the principles, or heuristics, established by Jakob Nielsen in the 1990s. Using a factor analysis of 249 distinct usability problems, Nielsen determined the ten heuristics with maximum explanatory power. During a heuristic evaluation, a usability professional utilizes their knowledge of these ten heuristic standards, coupled with their experience designing and testing platforms and applications, to walk through a digital tool in the shoes of a typical user.  

The TeleVU Suite is a digital health platform that transcends geographical barriers and improves access to patient care through a connected virtual care ecosystem of novel telepresence augmented reality (AR) technologies. Using TeleVU’s iSee app, a remote expert connects to a frontline medical provider wearing Smart Glasses via the uSee app, enabling the remote expert to control its functionalities and stream the frontline provider’s direct POV (point of view) video remotely on smartphones, tablets, or computers. The remote expert can then provide hands-free, interactive support using AR to the provider wearing the Smart Glasses. GlassVU refers to the use of the TeleVU Smart Glasses solution, which also incorporates voice-activation and AI.    

The product user perspective is captured using a user persona, a profile of a fictional character representing a typical user, including their key traits, preferences, and needs. In many cases, it is necessary for the reviewer performing the heuristic evaluation to consider the perspectives of multiple types of users or user roles. Since the GlassVU platform is used simultaneously by a frontline care provider who wears the glasses and a remote specialist who provides virtual guidance using audio instruction and AR, two different personae were used to facilitate evaluation.  

HITLAB’s heuristic evaluation revealed no major barriers to the efficient and effective use of the GlassVU platform and identified only minor changes to help optimize the platform’s performance. This evaluation also demonstrates the necessity of using multiple highly relevant and detailed personae for each user role when performing heuristic analysis. One especially illustrative example is that the persona used for the role of remote expert noted language barriers between providers as a frequent obstacle to collaboration, leading HITLAB to specifically evaluate the extent to which the software facilitates translation between providers. The answer is clear with TeleVU’s solution SpeechVU, which, in conjunction with Microsoft’s Azure Speech SDK, allows for real-time translation via AR in more than 20 different languages.  

Heuristic evaluation is a powerful tool for evaluating and improving software, but the strength of heuristic analysis relies on the ability of the evaluator to successfully empathize with the product’s intended users. Appropriate, detailed, and creative personae are key to ensuring the methodololgy of heuristic analysis is used to its full potential and solutions like TeleVU’s offerings can more effectively transform healthcare delivery systems and patient care for the better.  

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