Forget patient centricity for a moment. Park digital. Pack away those journey maps.

Because we need to talk about the elephant in the room: health literacy.

More than half of UK adults don’t understand the health information provided to them.

 61% to be precise.

And that’s not because patients have some sort of ‘deficit’ that makes them unable to understand health topics. It’s because the healthcare system is systematically failing to meet the health literacy needs of the population.

Take pharma. We understand the need for so-called ‘around the pill’ services to really add value to our patients’ lives.

But too often we’re getting the basics wrong.

Take something as simple as readability – the ease with which a reader can understand written text. Research on pharma patient materials has consistently found that the vast majority are written well above the reading level beyond that of the average UK adult.

If you want to make a difference to patients lives, that’s a problem.

But The Difference Collective isn’t about problems. It’s about solutions.

And the good news is that there’s plenty of research on what makes health information understandable and actionable. And plenty more that demonstrates the difference that evidence-based patient support design can make to people’s lives and health.

Want to help someone adhere to their medication? How about designing their health information in a way that’s specifically built for comprehension by a health information design expert? Want to design and build a patient support portal? How about using tried-and-tested digital health design principles that are proven to increase – not impede – understanding?

From font sizes and colour contrasts to readability and digital wayfinding analyses, there are bucketloads of robust research showing how design influences how patients interact with and act on the support they receive. It’s time it was used more effectively.

And that’s why Anatomy Health exists. We live and breath health design. We believe – scratch that, we know – that people can become healthier through design.

From the letter you receive from your GP to the physical design of the A&E waiting room, the healthcare system needs design thinking. And pharma could be leading the way by developing around the pill services that truly meet the needs of our audiences. 

We strive to work with people who want to make a difference. So we’re truly honoured to join The Difference Collective. We look forward to exploring the difference healthy design can make for your brand and patients.

More thinking from Anatomy Health:

Unleashing the potential of digital health isn’t simply a tech challenge

Five practical steps to patient centricity

Read about our Health Content Checkup

About the Author

Olver Childs is Founder and Director of Anatomy Health, a patient information and support specialist. Oliver and his team help healthcare organisations write and design simpler and more effective communication. 

Anatomy Health is one of our specialist partners.

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