Using the technology acceptance model to design inclusive digital solutions

A crucial part of eliminating barriers to technology creation and driving technology adoption is ensuring that what is built is not only inclusive of diverse perspectives, but also of the various levels of understanding and comfort with digital tools and technology.

Why technology inclusivity is important for health

As digital technology continues to be integrated into healthcare and health systems, across areas including telemedicine, EHR, and mobile applications, it is important that technology developers and designers consider the end users and empathize with their experience.

Technology can serve as a tool to improve service quality and health outcomes, as well as support staff capacity. However, in order to have significant impacts, adoption is key. For instance, a person with limited technological experience and comfort might perceive certain tools as a waste of time or too difficult to use. As a result, it is highly unlikely they will successfully adopt the technology, even when provided with training and education.

The Technology Acceptance Model

A helpful model for understanding how users come to accept and use a technology is the Technology Acceptance Model.

This model focuses on two critical factors that underlie an individual’s intention to use technology: perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. As mentioned in the example above, if the user does not perceive technology as reasonably easy to use and useful, successful adoption will be difficult to achieve.

Another important factor in this model is that the focus is on the user’s perception, not that of the technology creator. While the developer or creator of a given digital solution might believe that a tool is useful and user-friendly, if the end user does not share that view, the tool will have a low probability of being adopted.

Telemedicine and health applications are areas in which the Technology Acceptance Model has been studied significantly, particularly in the ways in which mobile applications help facilitate patients' relationships with providers. Research from Technology Acceptance Model studies spans both provider and patient adoption of digital applications, and points to three important areas of consideration: accessibility, self-efficacy, and perceived incentives.

These areas focus on the user’s experience and feelings throughout the technology adoption process, including a user’s confidence in their ability to understand and succeed, as well as their ability to benefit from usage. Chorus helps ensure each of these areas are considered in the development process, as the no-code platform facilitates user engagement and input at every stage of the build.

In addition to these three areas of focus, a few other considerations have been shown to be important for technology success and adoption. Although the priorities of providers and patients differ somewhat, each should be weighed equally.

Providers’ areas of focus in technology adoption:

  • Standardization
  • Perceived value
  • Work culture and norms
  • Usefulness and habit forming 
  • Support and training

Patients’ areas of focus in technology adoption:

  • Security and patient trust, privacy
  • Fitting with social norms
  • Support and training

How a no-code platform like Chorus can facilitate opportunities for improving technology acceptance

There are many areas to consider in building with a technology acceptance model in mind, with successful implementation largely dependent upon a clear understanding of the technologies’ end users. In health, this means understanding the patients and providers needs, as well as their varying levels of understanding and comfort.

A solution that becomes possible with a no-code platform like Chorus is ‘rapid prototyping,’ which can occur in parallel with users testing the products during the development phase. The Chorus platform facilitates rapid deployment and testing of early prototypes, so users can interact with technology and provide robust feedback on what works and areas that need improvement.

In building for patients and communities, this becomes a critical component of ensuring that solutions are in line with the Technology Acceptance Model’s two key dimensions: perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. Providing users with the opportunity to give feedback in real-time, with real products that can then be integrated into the development of a more engaging, easy-to-use, and useful solution, is core to the Chorus values of democratizing technology and helping everyone to be a creator.

Additional resources on the Technology Acceptance Model in health, compiled by the National Institutes of Health, can be found by clicking here. For more information about how the Chorus platform can help you incorporate these key principles, please contact our team today.

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