I was watching this video of Tim Brown (CEO of IDEO) earlier this morning, and it immediately clicked with me. The idea of design thinking is very similar to the architecture training that I had. Perhaps that is why I’m so fascinated by the opportunity to use technology and data driven insights to improve the consumer experience in healthcare.
I like this definition of design thinking from an HBR article on it.
“it is a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.”
This graphic from the Design Thinking for Educators site (from IDEO) is another good summary.
But, one of the key reasons that I want to talk about this is IDEO’s frameworks are critical for healthcare. If you look at David Kelley from IDEO, one of his key points is that “empathy” is essential to design. That is so true in healthcare. It reminds me of my interview with Michael Graves on this topic. (BTW – IDEO is the group that worked with Walgreens on their new store design.)
In general, the user experience in healthcare is horrible. People don’t understand the system. They don’t understand their benefits. Data is only now beginning to be transparent (but it’s still confusing). People can’t read and understand the information. Their providers don’t speak in plain language.
It’s frustrating because all of us know this is a problem, but it’s so massive to change. I always use the Triple Aim framework to make the point that the consumer experience is critical. Think about evaluating prescription drugs or chemotherapy. Quality of life is really important but often overlooked. This leads to patients getting too much care as physicians try to cure them only to perhaps make their life miserable in their last few weeks of life.
I’m going to have to continue to learn more about design thinking and reflect on how to use it more systemically in my approach to problem solving.