Health Care Products that Work – Creating Innovative Disruption by Design

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

healthcare products that work design 150x150Healthcare Products That Work is an emerging frontier for state of the art design principles … according to an article from FastCompany’s sister site devoted to design (fastcodesign.com).

The magazine’s Alan Velzy states:

“The good news is 2012 will be the year of good health–at least in the world of design and technology. Where I live in Silicon Valley, many people believe home health will be the next big boom. The Rock Health incubator is churning out a slew of startups that will help you manage your health, the iPhone 5 is expected to launch with a built-in heart rate monitor, and sick people everywhere will begin to look at health care more as consumers than as patients.”

Velzy goes on to draw a nice distinction between Wellness and Medicine … in his words …

Health used to be something we worried about at home and solved at the hospital. The reality is more and more health care management is happening in the home, and that’s where many solutions actually belong. One of the biggest shifts in how we define “health” is our recognition that there are two distinct parts of the equation: wellness and medicine.

When it comes to wellness, or living a preventative lifestyle, Americans have been obsessed with losing weight since we started getting obese in 1990. But only in the last couple years have we actually started to care about full-body wellness. As an example, just look at the number of yoga studios and natural foods markets popping up throughout the Midwest and South. This movement is mainstream, not just for the hippies where I live. It represents a big shift: body weight to full-body wellness.

Compare that to medicine, or the treatment of a condition, where we used to think doctors were the only ones in control of our health. Now, with our health care system so messed up, we only go to the doctor when it is absolutely necessary–for procedures and prescriptions. And with that health care system incentivized to push patients out of the hospital as fast as possible, people are quickly learning to take recovery into their own hands. Access to medical information through resources like WebMD has forever changed the way we handle our health. This is another big cultural shift: responsible doctor to self-responsibility.

Velzy then goes on to call the design community out to put innovative design into health care products that work. Power to the people — and really cool gadgets. I will bet that a lot of them will end up being apps on your phone.

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PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT what new healthcare products (or improvements on old ones) would you most like to see?


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