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Healthcare digitalization and its implementation around the world

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Tina Ličková Tina Ličková
•  17.09.2023
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Tjaša is an internationally renowned digital health speaker and moderator, known for her expertise in global healthcare digitalization, telemedicine, and her role as the founder and host of the highly-rated Faces of Digital Health podcast, where she explores the evolving landscape of digital healthcare with top industry experts.

Welcome to the 11th episode of UX Research Geeks, the podcast where we explore user experience research. In this episode, we continue our digital healthcare special by talking to Tjaša, a digital health moderator and speaker with international acclaim, known for her “Faces of Digital Health” podcast. Tjaša’s insights shed light on global healthcare digitalization, patient-doctor experiences in telemedicine, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in healthcare companies.

Episode highlights

00:00:00 – Introduction to Tjaša and Her Work
00:05:52 – Differences in Healthcare Systems: Europe vs. U.S.
00:13:14 – Changing Patient-Doctor Relationships in Telemedicine
00:20:15 – One London Project
00:24:47 – Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare
00:39:32 – Connect with Tjasa Zajc

About our guest Tjasa Zajc

Meet Tjaša, an internationally recognized digital health moderator, speaker, and founder of the top-rated “Faces of Digital Health” podcast. Tjaša’s diverse background includes roles as a business developer in healthcare IT company Better, a patient advocate, and a former medical journalist. With a passion for understanding healthcare from various perspectives, she shares insights into global healthcare digitalization, patient-doctor experiences in telemedicine, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in healthcare companies. You can connect with Tjaša on LinkedIn or tune in to her podcast for valuable insights.

The less good part about telemedicine from my perspective is that if you completely move the communication to emails and to just written communication, that just hinders the relationship that you have with your doctor.

Tjasa Zajc, Digital Health Expert
Tjasa Zajc, Digital Health Expert


Podcast transcript

[00:00:00] Tina Ličková: 

Hello and welcome to UX Research Geeks. I’m your host Tina Ličková, a researcher and a strategist, and this podcast is brought to you by UXtweak, an all-in-one UX research tool.

This is the 11th episode of UX Research Geeks and the third part of the digital healthcare special. In episodes 9 and 10, we spoke to James and Sayali about the experiences with inclusive research and the importance of inspiration from the academic field, behavioral science, and all of that. This time we spoke to Tjaša, who is an internationally recognized digital health moderator and speaker focused on global healthcare digitalization.

She is the founder and the host of Faces of Digital Health podcast. Which is consistently ranked amongst the top digital health industry podcasts. And she works as a business developer at the healthcare IT company Better and is a patient advocate. So really a really good match for this special. Tiasha helped us to understand the basic differences of healthcare in different continents.

We also explored the patient doctor experiences in telemedicine and the importance of D&I starting in the workforce of healthcare companies.

Hello Tjaša.

[00:01:24] Tjasa Zajc: Hi, Tina.

[00:01:25] Tina Ličková: Before we start to talk about healthcare, digital healthcare, I will take this minute to actually introduce where we come from because this is an important thing because we both, I wouldn’t say suffer, but sometimes get misunderstood where we come from because there are two countries named Slovakia and Slovenia.

You are from Ljubljana, Slovenia, which is a country closer to Croatia, and I am from Slovakia, Bratislava, which is closer to, let’s say, Austria, and with this I can give you the word and ask who you are, except where you’re coming from. What do you do? Tell us everything. What is important about you?

[00:02:09] Tjasa Zajc: Hi, Tina. Thanks for having me on the show. My name is Tjasa . As you mentioned, I’m from Slovenia. I speak a little bit of French and English, and understand German. I do not. Understand or speak Slovakian. So two different languages. So we’ll stick to English. Apart from that, I work as the business developer in healthcare IT company, Better.

Most people know me as the founder and host of Faces of Digital Health podcast, which explores healthcare digitalization across the world. It’s been running for over five years. I’m also a patient advocate because the reason why I’m so interested in healthcare is the fact that I’ve been a chronic patient for over 20 years.

And I decided to leverage that patient perspective by studying healthcare management and economics to understand the management and economics side of healthcare. And I later worked as a medical journalist for a magazine for doctors. Which really helped me understand what the doctor’s perspective is as well.

And then I moved into the healthcare IT industry to, again, get a different perspective on what it means to actually design solutions for all the stakeholders that are involved in healthcare.

[00:03:26] Tina Ličková: I consider you really the expert for digital healthcare in a way. Okay, you are not a researcher, so we are stepping out of our usual scenario here.

But the point is what you said, you have had this podcast for five years. Maybe you can give me more insight because I’m really curious as a new podcaster, how you started, why you started and how the journey was in the last five years.

[00:03:50] Tjasa Zajc: Sure. So when I was still working as a medical journalist, The magazine that I worked for was published by a larger media company and during my employment, I also became an audience developer for the whole company.

So we started looking at how we could reach the audience better, how we could approach retention and just bring readers and audience to us in different ways. And at the time the podcast industry was already well developed, but not as popular as it is today. And it felt like this could be something that we could also do.

So I first started a podcast for the financial magazine in the company that I worked for. And then later on, I also started this podcast about digital health. I started noticing already in 2015 that digitalization is increasingly impacting health care and the way health care is delivered. And I felt that as a magazine that focuses on healthcare policy and on clinical guidelines and on the medical profession, just being mindful of how the space is changing due to technology could be an advantage. So that’s how everything began. And after a year, when I left the company, I still wanted to continue, to offer listeners a global perspective on how different countries look at healthcare digitalization, how different healthcare systems differ, how culture impacts the way you look at solutions to help people manage their health.

And I continued the podcast and it’s still running today.

[00:05:34] Tina Ličková: Nice, very nice and very nice work and you already mentioned that you are looking into, okay, what are the differences between countries, continents, cultures, maybe we can already jump there, what do you see now, how it’s developing also through the years.

[00:05:52] Tjasa Zajc: So I guess the main differentiation, if we look at the European market compared to the U.S. market, is the fact that Europe is very diverse in terms of the way healthcare systems are structured. We do have European regulation, but then as a company, you also have to know what the local regulations are.

That’s one of the bigger advantages of the U. S. healthcare market because it’s just bigger. So from the business perspective, that’s what’s potentially more appealing to many companies. There’s just less crumbling regulations as it is in Europe. But more than that, Europe is full of public systems.

Whereas the U.S. has a free market, so healthcare there is developing in a much different way. Much more money is spent on healthcare, 23 percent of GDP, whereas in Europe there’s between 9 and let’s say 11 percent of GDP that goes to healthcare, which doesn’t necessarily translate into healthcare outcomes.

So Europe has much better healthcare outcomes compared to the U.S. and I could probably spend hours on just going further into details about the negative sides of the free market in the U.S. where hospitals and every healthcare encounter is considered a business. The way you’re going to pay for that and try to make a profit is much different than in Europe.

One of the bigger worries for patients in the U.S. Is to get surprise bills, to, even though you have insurance, be subjected to high medical costs. We don’t really know what that feels like in Europe. On the other hand, looking from the innovation perspective in the U.S., there’s a lot more space to really dive into and invest into the user experience to really look at how the whole encounter with healthcare could be good for the patients. So we can learn a lot from the U.S. in that regard.

[00:07:58] Tina Ličková: That’s really interesting. And I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I can imagine that an American looking at the European healthcare system is surprised by some of the things. I was just trying to get an appointment for my ex American boyfriend who doesn’t speak German in Berlin, and Berlin is overwhelmed with people in all kinds of areas, healthcare included. And when I told him you can’t have an appointment in the next few weeks, he was super surprised. And we got him one, and it’s a specialized appointment in October, and he couldn’t believe that was happening. So from an American perspective, the European is somehow non progressive at all. From the European perspective, we look at it as too much businessy or business ish. On the other hand, as you are saying, it’s more innovative. Are there any kind of challenges that both systems face together in healthcare globally?

[00:08:58] Tjasa Zajc: Would say that all healthcare systems across the world are currently faced with one really worrisome issue, and that is the lack of workforce. So workforce shortages are becoming a huge problem. That’s a really big challenge because in public healthcare systems in Europe, If you’re used to one thing, you’re just going to be able to access a health care provider.

Now, with the lack of workforce, that’s becoming increasingly more difficult. And the waiting times can be ridiculously long. And while we’re introducing technologies in order to save physicians time to potentially enable physicians to take a look at more patients to make healthcare more accessible.

It’s also clear that you can’t just replace doctors completely with technology, especially since healthcare IT systems and technology oftentimes introduce new problems. Don’t necessarily save time if you look at any report about US healthcare, you consistently read about how burdened physicians are with all the bureaucracy that’s related to healthcare digitalization.

So that’s one of the challenges that I would outline at the same time with new technologies coming into the space and the digital health industry developing. So for the last six years, investments in digital health have been rising. So there’s more and more companies in the space. It’s true that in the last maybe year or two, the number of vendors or startups is not rising as much as the existing startups getting higher investments.

So the market is also maturing. But what I’m trying to get to is the fact that all these companies also attract a healthcare workforce and are changing the way healthcare is delivered, which is great. But in the last two years, with the rise of telemedicine, we also see that many doctors moved to just providing telemedicine.

If we are all redefining our workplace, why wouldn’t the doctors have the right to do that? They usually work crazy hours in the hospitals, shifts are really inhumane in my opinion. So I can totally understand why somebody would want to change their working agreement to partially working for a telemedicine company and just providing people with healthcare advice online in the comfort of their home, instead of just spending days and nights in the hospital.

So the changes in the way healthcare is delivered and how that’s impacting also the workforce and what’s going on in the environment doctors want to have in their daily work. I think that’s one of the bigger challenges that is seen across the world, because even in countries, let’s say we have more developed countries that have worked for shortages, obviously you can attract, let’s say nurses from less developed countries to come work in your country. But that means that the problem is just transferred or enhanced then in another environment.

[00:12:11] Tina Ličková: Speaking of telemedicine, that’s an interesting point. And when we had our people, if you were mentioning it, you were also a little bit critical about it. And I’m just thinking about the whole patient experience with my American ex, but also in my case, thinking about ordering a telemedicine appointment. And funny is how I have been doing my therapy for the last year online, and I’m totally okay with it. But when it comes to the telemedicine thing, I’m still like: oh, but they should see me, they should see my body, how I walk, whatever, which is not necessary when it’s about when they have the test results and everything. And you were also mentioning previously that the patient’s role is changing. And I think that it’s really important in the European market where we just are in a way like, okay, the doctor, I do what the doctor says, but I’m not putting myself too much into it.

Can you maybe explain more on this one?

[00:13:14] Tjasa Zajc: Sure. First of all, when we’re talking about telemedicine, we need to mention that telemedicine is not necessarily a video call that you have with your doctor. Telemedicine encompasses everything from emails going back and forth to just phone calls when you’re trying to reach a doctor’s office just to get advice.

For milder problems, when you really just worry about something or when you just need to have the prescription filled with telemedicine, it’s great. It’s like why would I have to spend an hour or two to go to the doctor’s office just so I can get a prescription filled when I can just write an email in one minute and go straight to the pharmacy.

So the good part. I guess the last good part of telemedicine from my perspective is that if you completely move the communication to emails and to just written communication, that just hinders the relationship that you have with your doctor. And that’s especially important for chronic patients. As a chronic patient, you unfortunately have more encounters with the doctor as a regular person. And it’s already annoying that you feel that you are constantly bugging your doctor. And if you only communicate with the doctor through an email, just the relationship deteriorates. And it’s what if there’s something that you want to talk to the doctor about, and you don’t want to write that in an email, how do you approach that?

If the doctor will only see you based on what you write in an email, there’s things in the relationships that are changing. It’s also for some people going to the doctor’s office is like an event. And the key thing with healthcare and doctor’s appointments is that, when we need medical care and when we have healthcare problems, we’re in a very vulnerable situation and I think that’s what makes the need for in person visits so much more important.

I just think that there’s really great things about telemedicine, even diagnostics is changing to the at home setting. So there’s companies that are providing infrastructure. So you can just order a test kit, get that to your home, take some blood or other biological samples and send that to the lab. So you don’t have to spend time actually going to a lab.

And that’s giving immense improvements in the user experience with healthcare. But just healthcare, and the care part of healthcare is very person and empathy driven, and we shouldn’t forget about that. You need the personal touch in order to really have that. So that’s something that I think we sometimes maybe don’t really think about when we think about the impact of digitizing everything.

[00:16:11] Tina Ličková: I got stuck on the information, that you said that you as a chronic patient feel like bugging your doctor and it’s annoying that goes directly to the empathy and I don’t want to bash here doctors because I have a lot of friends doctors, but already and coming from the Slovak healthcare system, which isn’t the best also for the doctors, It’s sometimes in face to face interaction, you are missing the empathy because they never got trained and they’re in the system where they just have to go from one patient to another.

And I’m wondering, what do you think, or what did you learn about the doctor’s experience of all this digitalization in telemedicine?

[00:16:52] Tjasa Zajc: Just to comment on the chronic patient and the doctor relationship, I always feel bad about doctors- it’s the care of chronic patients, because there’s a feeling that they’d never get the satisfaction of curing someone.

There’s a special satisfaction when you can tell someone now you’re okay, now you’re cured, your problems are gone. But with chronic patients, they just keep coming back. And that must be so frustrating to a certain degree, I guess that’s just, yeah, my perspective. And if you start thinking like that as a patient, you feel bad every time you have problems because you’re nagging your doctor again.

From the doctor’s perspective, the doctors will definitely tell you that with telemedicine, especially if we’re talking about emails, they just, their close change. So they are also spending more and more time just replying to questions and requests. I’m pretty sure that they also have more requests than they used to because sometimes you just wouldn’t reach out to the doctor, unless you thought things are really severe, but it’s much easier to just send a question over an email and it’s also, yeah, to a certain degree, if it’s a sensitive topic, it might be easier to do that compared to actually saying that eye to eye in the doctor’s office. So I believe that doctors are a lot more burdened than they used to be.

With technology, that’s again, just a part of the whole digital transformation. So digital transformation is not just about digitizing distinct workflows. It’s the radical shift, in the way things are in order to achieve optimization and efficiency. So even though the hope of technology is that we could increase access to healthcare, I don’t think that technology is really bringing back time to the doctor and patient relationship. Because as mentioned earlier, if we have to work for shortages and the rising number of patients and the older and the aging population, the need for care is increasing. So the only way you can solve that is by expecting more for those that still are in healthcare.

So more people in a day… Just, yeah, different approach to care.

[00:19:05] Tina Ličková: I want to emphasize this because this is really important and I think it’s fantastic that you are mentioning it. Technology won’t solve the workforce shortages in the healthcare space. That’s important because what I see, for example, in Austria, in the daycare and elderly care is that there are many digital products trying to get on the market or the processes try to be digitalized in the German speaking area overall.

And I think it’s helpful, but it’s also bringing a lot of people who are not specialized or not professional in that field. One of the things, which is tricky, it could be good or it could go bad. On the other hand, I see states trying to be a little bit like alibistic or politicians like, oh, we will digitize it.

But it won’t solve the workforce problem. And this is, yeah, I had the urge to repeat it. But with that, another nice bridge to, you were mentioning a really nice example from London, which is exactly in the field of care. Could you tell us more about it?

[00:20:15] Tjasa Zajc: Sure. I can reply a little bit on the fact that you mentioned the political will or the promises that we hear about healthcare digitalization.

I guess there’s at least two sides to this topic. So on the one hand, you’ve got various solutions that are addressing individual needs. How can we become more empowered as patients? How can we work on preventions on our own and take better care of our health? Many lifestyle related changes are suggested and recommended for the prevention of cancer, for example.

So a lot is happening in the space of trying to help people take better care of their health. At the same time, trying to digitize care records, the challenge becomes that different hospitals use different systems and it’s difficult to connect them. So for a long time, I guess, my perception was that the only way we as patients will be able to have the full digital health record will be if we are the carriers of that data and hospitals just give that to us in the digital form.

So in essence, you’re going to have your app and that’s where all the data is going to be stored. But you won’t expect that regardless of which doctor you go to, that doctor is going to have access to your data unless you give him the information by showing it to him on your device. Now, this is where healthcare policy and projects such as One London come into place. If you really want to achieve a widespread healthcare system change, it has to be a policy change. It has to be done from the broader political desire and agenda. So I think that, and that’s partially easier in the public healthcare systems where just decision making is centralized. And if the right person or the right team is in that position and can suggest policy changes and also has a really good understanding of how to implement them, then you can really get to a broader change. So what happened in London is That one London is a huge project that aims to bring interoperability and connectivity among different systems. And in this case, one, which just went live in July is the urgent care planning, which basically connects 40 NHS trusts and 1400 general practices. This means that data about urgent care plans of 11 million people is now connected. So in this case, you can really actually expect that you as a patient don’t have to put much effort into being sure that regardless of which doctor you visit, he’s going to have access to your urgent care plan.

Because what’s been going on so far and what still happens is that you have a terminal illness, you often visit your different specialists or care providers, and each time you visit someone, you have to repeat your story over and over again. And that can be very frustrating. It can be demoralizing because that’s what’s the big change now with the urgent care plans.

You actually have a digitized record of your values, of what’s important to you. I guess the One London project really shows that when we’re talking about broader improvements in public health on a broader level, that’s when you really need national or a regional strategic approaches that are then able to implement everything.

I mentioned earlier how different hospitals would use different systems and it’s impossible to exchange data because of that. A lot has been happening and a lot of progress has been made in that space with various standards, but still you need some sort of a consensus and interest on both ends in order to achieve that interoperability.

But if you have policy and decision makers that say: this is what we want to give to the patients. This is what we want to give to the citizens. And just the demand comes from a different side. That’s where changes can really happen. That’s why policy is also really important. When we’re talking about longer term systemic changes.

[00:24:47] Tina Ličková: It’s interesting because when we started also the healthcare special, and when talking to you already in the kickoff, I realized, okay, how systemic has this healthcare field to be approached also in the digital space, but on the other hand, or it’s connected to how political the topic is. And this is where I’m super, not surprised, but it actually verifies, okay, this is very connected.

And before we jump to some of your favorite examples, I’m thinking about, okay, we talked with James about it in the first episode of the healthcare special, and it’s a really big topic overall in the world is D&I – diversity and inclusion. What is your view on diversity and inclusion and how digital healthcare companies do in it? Maybe dive a little bit into that one.

[00:25:42] Tjasa Zajc: Okay. Okay. So I think that’s a broader just workforce question that doesn’t just refer to healthcare as such. But it did make me think recently when I had an interview with a U.S. company that positions itself as the supporter of queer and marginalized communities and also all their employees are identified as queer.

And I thought that was very interesting because I don’t see that we would discuss that so openly in Europe. The discussions about gender neutrality of equality among employees. These discussions are strong, definitely stronger in the U.S., but we also slowly see them in Europe. There’s studies that show that the more diverse your workforce is, the more success you can expect because of different cultures, different views.

Can just have a broader view on the same problem and you can get to better solutions. But in order to achieve that, the mindset of companies needs to change. While a lot of companies struggle with diversity in their workforce or in the managerial positions, they need to think more from the value perspective.

So what are the values that they want to identify with as a company? What’s their vision about diversity and inclusion? And I still remember when I had an interview with a Spanish VC company, Nina Capital, and the way they explained this to me was that basically when they’re looking for new candidates, they wait to have a diverse pool of candidates before starting the recruitment process. When we’re talking about diversity and inclusion, it’s wrong to assume that you’re just going to hire a woman or hire someone with a different ethnicity just for the sake of diversity. But if you don’t even think about that, From the beginning, you don’t stand a chance in succeeding.

So in essence, the point is just to have this in mind and make sure that even at the beginning of that the problem is addressed early on, it has to be a mindset shift if you want to see changes inside the teams that you have in a company.

[00:28:25] Tina Ličková: Yeah, but you’re basically verifying what I hear also from my work that diversity and inclusion first starts with how diverse and inclusive the workplace is.

So the company itself. And the second is that diversity doesn’t happen or the inclusion doesn’t happen if you are not diverse, of course, but you have to act for diversity. Won’t happen that marginalized groups just suddenly show up.

[00:28:55] Tjasa Zajc: Yeah. You have to make a certain effort. So today there’s tons of really good candidates for various positions. You don’t have to take the first one that comes in because what’s the problem if the workforce is too homogeneous. It’s just, the mindset can be too similar from person to person. And so you’ve got the reinforcement of stereotypes and you don’t get the changes that we might want to see as a progressive society. That’s why diversity matters. And maybe to just give you a very plastic example, my podcast tries to give an overview of the global healthcare digitalization space.

So when I choose my guests, I look at which countries I already cover? Who do I want to cover next? And then I have to put an active effort into trying to find people from Ecuador, South America, Africa. If I want to have that, those speakers on the show, tons of requests for podcast guests, and most of them are from the U. S. And I have a lot of guests from the U. S., of course, but I unfortunately have to turn many of them down because I want to bring the audience that diversity and diversity. For me it means that I not only look at the fact that people come from different countries, I also look that I’ve got representation of female and male leaders. That’s what it means to have the mindset of diversity. So if you want to have the end result where I can say 50 percent of speakers were female, 30 percent of episodes were focused on the U. S. and 70 percent of episodes were focused on other countries across the world, that takes an active effort.

[00:30:43] Tina Ličková: Yeah, totally getting you because we discussed this and we were also trying to understand privilege. We were discussing some articles between the team on the podcast. Okay. What is the actual chain of privilege who we want to invite? How do we make sure that enough people of color are represented, that enough women are represented?

We are unapologetically inviting more women, because I think we don’t have representation there. And this is bringing me for researchers also because When I’m thinking we are at the forefront, when you start a project, we start to research and we already have to put this work diversity there. Look for respondents, which are not the usual ones, because, for example, the website that I work for now is for sure one with white colors, white wealthy people from German speaking countries, but I want to make sure to speak to blue collars as well. We do the comparisons And of course, I have to do much more work in that area as well, but it’s active work and that’s a very important message just up there.

[00:31:48] Tjasa Zajc: What I want to emphasize here is that we’re not talking about positive discrimination and favoritism, but at least giving everyone a chance, it doesn’t mean that a person of color is going to get hired just because it’s a person of color, but at least that person is included. And maybe that is the best person that you want to get into the team in order to just achieve broader positive impacts on your company.

[00:32:15] Tina Ličková: And I’m thinking about the healthcare space. In this one, can you, when we go into negative examples, can you imagine, or do you even have an example of it where not being diverse, not looking into how to be diverse affected the ways different people could approach health care?

[00:32:32] Tjasa Zajc: That’s definitely a huge problem that’s being raised with the development of AI, because for example, clinical trials, if you don’t include diverse populations in clinical trials, and for example, if you just have predominantly caucasian population in clinical trials and the design of solutions, then that can mean that the recommendations for the black communities or Latina communities, I’m again referring to the U. S., can be inaccurate. And the same goes basically to transferability of algorithms. If they’re designed on one population, it can very well happen that they’re not gonna work on another population. And now there’s a huge movement in the U.S. to really just increase the diversity and inclusion in the design of algorithms because otherwise we risk getting into a very discriminative situation due to technology. And that’s one of the reasons why there’s still a lot of fear around AI, because it’s just not accurate enough. There’s too much bias. And we also expect 100 percent reliability and accuracy from AI. Doctors make mistakes. It takes two years for patients to go from specialist to specialist, to finally get to a final diagnosis.

And we’re not okay with that. But we’re, we understand that it’s a human factor. It’s a human error. Even if technology is better than doctors, until it’s 100 percent accurate, we don’t have a high level of trust in it. So that’s one of the challenges that’s also talked about in the development of healthcare technology.

At the same time earlier, we were talking about how technology can’t replace doctors. I’m sure that many things are going to get improved throughout the years. After all, when we have futuristic ideas, we just have to be fair that nothing happens overnight. So development takes time. Drug development takes 10, 15, 30 years of time before you actually get to a regular use of a specific product.

So the same goes for technology. It just takes time for us to really figure out and iterate and go through the evolution of products before we just can’t get to the positive impacts that we hope to see where, yeah, much more will be able to be done.

[00:35:11] Tina Ličková: And this gives me the idea for one of the pre last questions. Can you imagine technology undergoing medical trials or is that already happening?

[00:35:25] Tjasa Zajc: Technology undergoing medical trials. What do you mean by that?

[00:35:29] Tina Ličková: I’m imagining because you say, Oh, okay. New drugs are delivered 30, 40 years. I could imagine new AI being developed and undergoing medical trials, like we do with drugs.

Just to find out, okay, if it, what does it to people, it’s interesting for, of course, I’m geeking out right now, but that’s why we called it UX research geeks, but it’s this intersection of, okay, testing technology and medical trials, where it makes sense in my head, but I’m curious about your opinion.

[00:36:02] Tjasa Zajc: Yeah. So the, while the industry is still evolving, the development is happening faster and the industry is maturing and a part of that maturing process is also the demand for the validation of solutions even with, yeah, regulation and just from the basic fact of the trust of people. Most technologies that are either decision support systems or aimed at claiming that they have a therapeutic effect need to undergo clinical trials.

And you need to prove that you have data that supports claims, how your app is changing someone’s clinical outcomes. So that’s happening.

[00:36:46] Tina Ličková: Okay, good. That’s very reassuring. I feel much safer now.

[00:36:53] Tjasa Zajc: Yeah. Okay. To be fair, there is, there was a research published recently that showed that a very low number of tech companies have clinical trials because there’s a lot of progress also happening in, in clinical trials, the recruitment process, the speed, the analysis that you have to make, but it’s still relatively difficult to just get people to participate in a clinical trial.

Then it takes time for you to really evaluate the impact of something. And at the end of the day, this is very expensive. So many companies still don’t have that clinical robustness, but the demands definitely are going in that direction.

[00:37:35] Tina Ličková: Okay, that’s even more reassuring if I wasn’t feeling safe enough before. Good news. Tiasha, I could talk another hour or two, because you have a lot of insight on the topic, but I’m thinking about, because you mentioned a lot of the experience from patient’s side, doctor’s side, what would be your non-researcher, Although you do speak with a lot of people and ask them a lot of questions.

What would be your advice for researchers who want to enter the healthcare space and especially digital healthcare? Yeah. What would be your advice?

[00:38:12] Tjasa Zajc: My advice would be to read a few books that relate to the way healthcare works in the last few years. A lot of really great literature has been published from doctors explaining how their position looks on a daily basis.

What are the complications in the clinical setting? There’s just critical perspectives on technologies. I get very informed and most of all, when you’re addressing a problem, just speak to as many end users or targeted populations that you aim to help, because there’s a good chance that you have assumptions that are not accurate.

And it’s always surprising to find new aspects that you don’t expect when you’re actually talking to the end user. So that’s the main thing that I would emphasize.

[00:39:06] Tina Ličková: Yeah. If we are empathizing or I am empathizing something is like knowing the larger context, and especially in our times, there is a lot of happening in the outside world that is affecting the products that we work on. And I think it’s especially important in healthcare. So pointing to that one. Thank you for that.

Last but not least, where can people follow you? Where can people talk? What do you do?

[00:39:32] Tjasa Zajc: So I’m definitely most active on LinkedIn and I would suggest to them to reach out there if they like. And then obviously there’s Twitter and yeah, the podcast. So go to facesofdigitalhealth.com and see what we are working on.

[00:39:49] Tina Ličková: Beautiful. Thank you very much for coming to our podcast. It was really delightful.

[00:39:54] Tjasa Zajc: Thanks Tina.

[00:39:56] Tina Ličková: Thank you for listening to UX Research Geeks. If you liked this episode, don’t forget to share it with your friends, leave a review on your favorite podcast platform, and subscribe to stay updated when a new episode comes out.

💡 This podcast was brought to you by UXtweak, an all-in-one UX research software.

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