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Participants Sought for Olin's Co-Design for Better Health Innovation Lab

A secret weapon to unlocking innovation in the health care system is one of the least tapped but most obvious – patients. As one example of successful co-design in health care, a veteran GE equipment designer developed a new industry standard for MRI suites when he happened to observe a child undergoing the procedure. He felt such empathy for the stress of situation that he set about redesigning MRI suites to look more like playful adventure rides, calming children and reducing the need for sedation. There is now an opportunity to employ co-design, which previously happened by chance in health care, with rigor and intention to solve a variety of challenges in field.

To learn how to co-design better experiences for all involved in consuming and delivering health care, Olin College is convening a one-day Innovation Lab called “Co-Design for Better Health” on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at athenahealth in Watertown, MA. Olin College and its sponsors—athenahealth, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Children’s Hospital Innovation Program and—MadPow are seeking a diverse group of participants to attend this highly interactive learning opportunity. Physicians, nurses, support staff, patients, patient families, insurers, medical start-ups, government health officials and advocates are invited to register

Are you a physician trying to improve patient communication? A patient who wants to make the system easier to navigate for others? An insurer trying to make medical bills more understandable? A technologist developing an application for better management of a disease? Wherever you sit in the health care system, your experience has deep value in a human-centered design model.

The Innovation Lab starts with inspirational stories from the front lines, including:

  • Sara Hendren, an artist and design researcher, who co-designs adaptive and assistive technologies for people;
  • Kim Goodwin, an experienced health care designer who has designed everything from medical records to glucose meters, and now focuses on technology to connect patients on their medical journeys; and
  • Michael Docktor, a pediatric gastroenterologist who is passionate about using technology to educate, communicate and engage with his young patients and their families.

Participants will then engage in a Co-Design 101 session led by Olin-trained facilitators, followed by an afternoon working in small teams to design for real health care problems. Learning how to catalyze change through co-design has the potential to vastly improve the current system of care, and it’s easy to get started. Our goal is to give participants actionable takeaways for applying co-design in their own organizations and to connect potential collaborators with each other. 

For more information, contact or call Michelle at 781-292-2251.