Design thinking

How to succeed with patient-driven adherence

Laura Almenberg

Non-adherence in healthcare has been a significant source of waste, cost and poor outcomes globally. The tendency is to blame patients and HCPs for non-adherence, however, as an industry, we continue to build, enforce and rely on antiquated and ineffective methods and technologies.

We can design for engagement and people-driven adherence. Here’s how:
A new diagnosis can have a devastating impact on patients and their families, and the burden of self-care that comes along with a new treatment is often overwhelming and unwelcome. The way that patients cope with their condition, the burden of treatment, and the healthcare system all impact adherence outcomes.


Typical adherence programs aim to increase engagement with a prescribed device, regimen or complementary lifestyle. These approaches fail to take into account the personal experience that accompanies a condition or its outcome goals. Our ambition should be to engage people in their own health – to build a foundation of knowledge and confidence that enables them to act responsibly in the presence of tradeoffs and other priorities.

These issues apply as much to healthcare professionals, staff, operations, facility services and advocacy groups as to patients. To improve adherence and, ultimately, health outcomes, we must address all stakeholders in the medical and healthcare community.

Ways to design for adherence

Veryday has been working within the healthcare and medical sector for over four decades, applying people-centered design methods to create unique products and services that improve quality of life.

Along the way, we have learned a lot about people, their habits, their desires and their aspirations. Our interest is in creating the best possible healthcare products and services for people, with people, so they can focus on what they love and live their lives the way they choose.


The drivers of adherence are commonly known: access, simplicity, motivation and support. Many solutions for both patients and the healthcare community generically aim to improve adherence in these ways. But Veryday offers a more nuanced understanding of these drivers with suggestions of ways to design for adherence. We offer recommendations and best-in-class examples for each of the ways we design for adherence.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss these ideas in more detail and explore how your organization may address this challenge and opportunity.