Why design in healthcare? A practitioner tells his thought of how to rethink healthcare

Three years ago I was given an opportunity. I could stay in DK and study Design Management, which I was very passionate about – or I could go to London and specialize in Design: Health & Wellbeing at Kingston University. I choose both.

So why design in healthcare? Axel Unger, Partner and managing director of IDEO in Germany tells you here. Its all about putting the human needs in the center – and then think creative, he says. I think he is right.

To solve human needs, you need help from specialists, anthropologist, sociologist, engineers, technologists and health personal and maybe a few more. Then you start systemizing the process and figure out how to be creative within the limits of your research, your input and the insight gathered from the bunch of stakeholders. This, my Professor at Kingston University called Designing for people with real needs. To figure out the real need – takes time! Besides that it is an iterative and messy process. Tracking every insight – to develop an idea and then testing it you need to drag in the patients or users again. When the testing has clarified the idea the hard work begins. The implementation phase.This process as well also takes a lot of time, is complex and iterative.

Thats why we need designers to solve the issues of the future healthcare systems. Why?

1. A designer has the opportunity to understand complex systems, as his brain functions best this way.
2. He is outgoing, curious, social skilled and a good listener.
3. He loves the challenging processes where the aim is to work without a concrete goal – this uncertainty is what makes him going!

Interested in reading more? My thesis “Identifying the managerial issues when practicing design with an empathic approach” explains it in a little more depth of what I have been trying to say…

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Chloe Meineck

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