What are the biggest issues in fertility-treatment today?
Fertility healthcare is still lacking good user experiences and remains behind other industries when it comes to digital user experience. At wawa fertility we are working to address these issues and create a better experience and thereby better treatment for women and couples in treatment.
Cecilie Hvidberg Jakobsen
28. december - 2021
Today's consumers have greater sensitivity and are more technologically savvy. This is the same for patients in fertility treatment. Fertility patients are also users, and they have the same high expectations for their experience here as they do in their everyday life. They expect to have a say in making critical decisions, secure help when required and be able to understand their own patient journey. This means being able to research decisions on their own terms, getting help with facilitating their journey and having information available that is consistent and relevant.
Yet fertility healthcare is still lacking good user experiences and remains behind other industries when it comes to digital user experience. At wawa fertility we are working to address these issues and create a better experience and thereby better treatment for women and couples in treatment.
What are the biggest issues in fertility treatment today?
No focus on customer (patient) experience: The healthcare industry is ranked second-lowest in terms of being fast to respond and offering choices for communications (Consumerization of Healthcare Study by Adobe, 2019). And it is not because patients expect less: 75% of patients stated they wanted the same experience in healthcare that they knew from their normal life.
Some of the basic expectations that are lacking in fertility treatments are transparency, ability to understand the process and help getting simple tasks completed. As in other aspects of life, fertility patients are looking for highly personalized, simple and connected experiences that place them in charge and make them feel in control of what they are going through. They want to be heard, understood and accompanied by relatives, partners and fertility experts.
We have the best fertility healthcare professionals, but they are too busy: In addition, there is a shortage of fertility healthcare professionals, both doctors and nurses and at the same time waitinglists are booming. In some countries there is 12 months of waiting before having the preliminary meetings and starting up treatment. This also affects the time with patients in treatment and gives healthcare professionals a short time with each patient every time they meet. Kathrine Birk Petersen is CEO and Medical Director in the private chain of fertility clinics called the ‘The Fertility Partnership’. She says:
At many clinics, we haven't got the time and resources to sit down with all patients and review treatment plans, calendars and medications. Therefore, there may be information that is lost. What seems logical to the doctor and nurse may not be logical to the patient.
The time and restricted time with doctors is a big part of creating the feelings of insecurity and stress that are affecting the patient throughout treatment.
The data gap: There is a lack of integration between each of the contact points a fertility patient has in their treatment, where systems, processes and data do not talk to each other to create integrated and fluid workflows. This is due to decades-old legacy systems and the fragmentation of health records. And it is preventing transparency between different clinics, patients and healthcare professionals. Fertility patients and fertility healthcare professionals don't have all of the appropriate data in one place. This also makes it difficult to gather enough data to do better research and development within the field to improve medicine and treatment in the future.
The future of fertility healthcare
Consumer expectations are just as high as in other industries today, but most industries are much further along than healthcare. For example in finance (another highly regulated industry) there has been an evolution of personalization moving from transactional services to digitized self-service and great online experiences. The healthcare industry must evolve and put patients in charge of their own health, like we have seen it in other industries.
For us at wawa fertility, the future in fertility-healthcare should be personalized, simple, connected and give the consumers an active role to play in their treatment. wawas fertility assistant will provide 24/7 fertility advice, ask questions when patients don’t understand protocols and explain to them what will happen and what to consider. It will be an efficient and compassionate fertility assistant which is an essential component of high-quality health care. At the same time, wawa fertility assistant will be a part of closing the data gap in the fertility sector.
It’s time to bring the fertility-healthcare industry on par with other industries.
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