3 Ways UX Can Improve At-Home Testing Programs

At-Home Diagnostic Testing

3 Ways UX Can Improve At-Home Testing Programs

Ash Team

User experience (UX) refers to aspects of user interaction with a product. Good UX has a deep understanding of user behavior, including abilities and limitations, as well as business goals and objectives. It builds on disciplines from user research, design, evaluation, content, accessibility, and analytics. At-home testing programs benefit from UX research to guide patients through the remote care flow, result test kits, and reduce help desk interactions. 

1. Copy matters 

UX writing guides users through an interface, allowing them to navigate a product and complete certain tasks. This may include menus, definitions, buttons, instructions, and other small pieces of “microcopy.” 

At-home testing programs require products like patient portals to help users navigate the testing experience, receive results, and contact providers. Some programs cater to a particular patient demographic, such as a company that handles medication patience for PrEP targeting men who have sex with men, but there are likely to be variations in any community. Not all patients may understand the same phrasing, so copy should accommodate many demographics. 

The key to successful UX copy in at-home testing programs is writing for the lowest level of understanding. Medical jargon, while more accurate, may confuse some patients. For example, a “non-reactive” result indicates that the condition being tested (HIV, cancers, etc.) is not present, but a patient with little experience in medical screening may not understand the phrase. 

“Positive/negative” is less accurate, but offering this binary as an alternative to “reactive/non-reactive” in a client portal helps more patients determine whether or not they need to seek confirmatory testing or treatment. It brings more patients through the remote care flow without engaging additional support resources, such as a help center. 

2. Add tracking information 

When tracking information is available to patients, they are more likely to self-navigate the at-home testing program without help center support. Collecting and sharing notifications like confirmed online kit registration, sample submission arrival, and test results are not only valuable for patients trying to ascertain their progress in a remote care flow, but for program administrators as well. For example, if only 50 percent of kits shipped are resulted in a lab, program administrators can troubleshoot specific failure points to determine when patients drop out of care.

UX writing can also improve tracking information usefulness. Program administrators can alert patients with SMS or email throughout the testing process, as well as experiment with different types of UX writing to determine maximum compliance. Details like “Check your email. Your results are ready!” or “The lab received your kit” can enhance the success of testing programs. 

3. Offer ongoing resources 

Some at-home testing programs compile resources into a separate section of the client portal, where patients are unlikely to seek it out. These resources might include how-to videos or other compliance materials, information about interpreting results, or links to outside websites. 

Patients who encounter these materials on the user journey have more opportunities to activate them. For example, when patients register a kit online, the instruction videos for using that kit should be displayed on screen. Resources for a reactive screening should be available upon delivery of results, though in some cases, providers also reach out to patients directly. 

How can Ash support your at-home testing program? 

Ash Wellness partners with public health, traditional medical institutions, digital health, and student health to launch successful at-home diagnostic testing programs across the United States. We rely on UX research to build better products such as scalable lab testing API, client portals, and kit notifications to improve patient compliance through the remote care flow. We work with clients to support remote medication management through diagnostics, set up population screenings, and improve telemedicine offerings.

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