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Tag: Design Thinking

Why Healthcare Needs Designers

By TINA PARK, MFA

Designing a functional lamp is simple. Building the Mars Rover is complex. Getting a doctor to ask the right questions so that a patient feels confident about their care in a highly regulated and time constrained environment? That’s complicated.

Healthcare is filled with complicated challenges. Increasingly, healthcare companies and institutions are attacking these challenges with cross-disciplinary teams — doctors, data scientists, marketers, quality officers, financial experts, information technologists, and more. An often missing member of these teams are design leaders. Designers can provide an invaluable role in healthcare, but too often healthcare does not take advantage of all that design can offer.

Good design is invisible. Think about the last time you obtained or purchased something that was well designed. When you get a new blender, you plug it in and turn it on without looking at the user manual, and it works. You don’t necessarily think “Wow, they put that on button right where I thought it would be.” You use it and get on with your day. And every day you use that blender, putting in new mixtures of fruits and vegetables. Sometimes you get a delicious jackpot mix and think this is the best blender ever. Sometimes you get something brown and sticky and you make a mental note never to try that one again, even as you choke it down.

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Could the ‘Design Thinking’ that Led to the Apple Mouse Transform Health Care?

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In 1980, Apple gave a small California design firm (that later became IDEO) a simple yet incredibly complex task: do more with less. The challenge: take a computer mouse that cost $400 and make one that cost $25 while simultaneously improving the quality, functionality and user experience. The result: IDEO not only delivered an exceptional product, but also pioneered a design thinking approach that has allowed it to make innovation a regular occurrence.

This month, as part of the first Evolent Health Clinical Innovation Summit on high-value health care delivery, we visited IDEO at its Palo Alto headquarters. Twenty health care leaders from across the country visited the IDEO toy lab, heard the story of the first Apple mouse and marveled at a 3D-printer. The question on our collective minds: could the design thinking principles that produced the first Apple mouse be used to transform U.S. health care?Continue reading…

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