The Next Big Frontier in Healthcare
The next big frontier in healthcare lies in the hands of an unforeseen bunch. They’re not developing the next blockbuster drug or groundbreaking surgery. They’re not even publishing their celebrated research in medical journals. Designers are one of the most untapped, underutilized assets in the healthcare industry. Prescribe Design is about revealing healthcare’s new secret weapon: designers.
The designers’ superpowers are empathy and prototyping. Underlying both of these is a commitment to learning—learning about people’s needs, learning through experimentation and trial, and arriving at a solution through iteration and discovery. Design isn’t being used to its full potential in healthcare today. Graphic design, device design and architectural design are already commonly understood practices in healthcare, and there are many other design disciplines that have a critical role to play. It is critical to create the conditions in the healthcare industry for designers—along with healthcare ‘natives’—to put the disciplines of empathy and prototyping into action. The people who are joining the Prescribe Design conversation are committed to this change.
We are firm believers in the power of design—people-centered design—to radically transform healthcare. That’s why we created this community: to merge the conversations and spark new ones by bringing design natives and healthcare natives together. We call it Prescribe Design for a couple of reasons. First, it’s an action. This platform is about sparking conversation that inspires the real, practical collaboration between designers and healthcare natives. Second, it’s inclusive. The name suggests a merging of communities and we even designed our logo to hint at this. A mortar and pestle blends two distinct ingredients into one new, combined whole: design + health.
For clinicians and other types of healthcare natives, our goal is to reveal new ways for you to cause the transformations you care about and help you make connections with like-minded colleagues around the world. For designers, our goal is to bring to light what is unique about working in healthcare and help you discover and share best practices. We will aim to be “match-makers” for designers and healthcare natives to connect and collaborate. We’ll also continually create and share reference tools and case studies to help you make the case for an investment in design.
To start, we’ve invited six rock stars in the field to share their wisdom. We’re inspired by their thinking and are sure you’ll find their work fascinating.
The Designer Will See You Next by Dr. Matthew Prime
Designing for Behavior as the Critical Path for Patient Engagement by Dr. Steph Habif
Patient-Centered Participatory Design by Dr. Joyce Lee
The Design of Innovation: Taming the Beast in a Complex System by Chris McCarthy
Health and healthcare systems are vastly different around the world, but it’s easy to agree that healthy and productive people are key to flourishing communities. Healthcare systems should strive to be effective—not merely efficient—at supporting healthy people. People-centered design is a powerful tool toward achieving such a symbiotic system—what today seems like a distant reality. We believe there should be a set of common principles that prescribes a way of working for design and healthcare natives after this noble goal—a compass to ensure we’re working in the right way. But no one individual or organization can create this—it must be inspired by people working on the front lines. With that, we’re happy to have you join the conversation.
Join us on twitter using the hashtag #PrescribeDesign.
Join the Prescribe Design group on LinkedIn.
Aaron Sklar is VP of Design at Welltok. And he is a co-founder of Prescribe Design.
Lenny Naar is a Design Strategist working inside an acute general hospital
in London with the HELIX Centre. And he is a co-founder of Prescribe Design.