Other1/20/12

Health Innovation Summit: Design Day Recap

Written by Halle Tecco

Founder Emeritus


Designers and design-fans packed Fort Mason for Day 2 of the Health Innovation Summit.  For the first half of the day, we learned pro-tips from startups (including WeSprout, MassiveHealth, and Proteus) to large, innovative organizations (Mayo Clinic, MIT Media Lab).  After a break for lunch, a dynamic panel of patients and designers engaged in the conversation of patient-centered design.

Anti-Disciplinary Innovation at the MIT Media Laboratory
Ian Eslick spoke to us about he disappearance of disciplines.  The only requirement of the MIT lab: Do something different. It is about the diversity of thoughts and perspectives.  “Diversity will be your saving grace.”

Designing to Make Technology Invisible
Arna Ionescu, Director of Product Development &  UX at Proteus Biomedical, challenged us to consider efficacy versus effectiveness.  Healthcare is after efficacy, but the problem is that the molecule might not be effective in the real world.  She left us with this question: “How do we design products that evoke positive emotions in the healthcare space?”

Design for Emotion: Love and Hate is Better than Indifference
Enrique Allen, founder of the Designer’s Fund, talked to us about leading with emotion.  Form follows emotion.  Without emotion, our decision-making ability would be impaired.  Visceral Design is key. How are you going to make an impression on people?

From Idea to Execution: Designing for Success
22% don’t finish their antibiotics. Who’s at fault — the patient or the intervention?  Aza Raskin, Co-founder & CPO of Massive Health, spoke about designing for behavior change and the power of feedback loops.  Humans struggle with the symptoms of delayed gratification and time discounting.

Form Reform: Data Entry for Humans
Jackson Wilkinson, Co-founder of WeSprout, gave attendees practical advice for data entry.   Data is an important part of the healthcare equation, but input design is blocking progress.  Quick take-aways: Don’t ask for anything you don’t need; whatever you request, return the favor in spades; make it fast, accurate, and simple.  And don’t forget: The best form is the one you never have to fill out.

Strategies for Creating Healthcare Tools that People will Actually Use
Maggie Breslin, Healthcare Designer & Researcher at the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, gave us insight into designing within the system.  It is important to remember that there are no “bad people” in healthcare. It is a place where we have really good people caught in a really bad system.

Patient-Centered Design
Sean Ahrens, Founder, Crohnology
Amy Tenderich, Founder, DiabetesMine.com
Julie Wilner, Director of Product, Basis
Stefan Klocek, Principal Designer, Cooper

  • Patient needs are complex, they have a strong base desire for knowledge and social connection
  • The industry spent decades ignoring patients. Let patients help! It is about people.
  • Focus on three things: improving lives, being ethical, and involving patients every step of the way
  • There is no uniform description of the patient, but universally everyone wants to be better

We ended the day with the Redesign Challenge, where 10 groups were given an aspect of healthcare to redesign in 90 minutes.  From the waiting room to the car, groups came up with creative plans to build better system. Judged by experts from Qualcomm, Health & Human Services, the California HealthCare Foundation and the Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab, they rewarded the teams who presented the clearest ideas and goals, that had team cohesion, and mentioned some sort of specific behavior change. And the teams got very decent prizes–signed copies of design books from our friends at Cooper. Congrats to the winners!

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