Makers of Monument Valley create game app for Alder Hey pediatric hospital

Digital studio UsTwo, well known for their gorgeous puzzle game Monument Valley, recently launched an augmented reality game app for pediatric patients at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England. Before hospitalization, they download and personalize the game, Alder Play. Then, as they make their way to different areas of the hospital,kids can go on augmented reality scavenger hunts, unlock dancing characters, and receive stickers for achievements like having a dressing changed or being scanned.”

Alder Hey Consultant Nik Barnes, who originated the idea of Alder Play, explained: “Our vision is to transform the experience of children in hospital. We wanted to distract patients during procedures, and reduce their worries and fears. Rewarding children following procedures and treatments was another vital element as it helps to encourage their progress. Rewards can be given for something as simple as having a dressing changed, to getting out of bed after an operation or having a scan.”

Designers spend time at the hospital to understand the culture and the architecture, so the app feels like a natural and bespoke part of the patient experience. Even the avatars were based on cartoon characters who appear in the hospital’s environment. In addition to the gamification aspect of play, the app also uses IBM’s Watson technology so that parents and kids can ask common questions and get real-time answers. The game is supported by NHS England and NHS Digital.

Via FastCoDesign



Inga Wellbeing

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Design and healthcare isn’t always only about the built environment. Wearing a backless, paper thin gown will be dehumanizing in even the most thoughtful designed spaces. Enter: UK based Inga Wellbeing. Founded by Nikla Lancksweert after her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the line features discreet openings to the arm, back, chest area, sides, stomach, groin and legs that enable many routine examinations and treatments to be easily performed while maintaining patient dignity. Cuff-to-neck snaps on the sleeves enable most patients to dress and undress themselves easily even when hooked up to IV lines.

Via: Fastcodesign

Little for Concerta

Really enjoying Little’s interior design and overall brand strategy for Concerta.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.06.32 am Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.06.41 am Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.06.50 am Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.06.59 am Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.07.09 am

Can we just take a moment

To discuss how adorable this impatient check-in desk at Montreal’s new Shriner’s Hospital for Children is?Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 1.18.02 pm

What is a design studio doing in a hosptial?

UK design studio Helix is a collaboration between the Royal College of Art and Imperial College. HELIX is short for “Healthcare Innovation Exchange.” It’s an exploration into how design can transform health when it’s placed on the front line of the medical world – an acute general hospital in Europe’s busiest city. As part of London design week, they opened the doors to a small studio space within the walls of St. Mary’s Hospital. The idea is to foster design-based innovations through collaboration between patients, clinical staff, administrative staff, and their design team. At the moment, it looks like most of their projects are still in the early-phases, with nothing being fully implemented yet, but some (like Improving uptake in Bowel Cancer Screening) look super promising and refreshingly multidisciplinary!

Jamie Drake’s Oncology interior

Legendary interior designer Jamie Drake dabbled in healthcare design when he worked with Oncologist Scot Ackerman and his wife, Alexandra, to design the interiors of their brand new facility in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time of the commission it was called First Coast Oncology, but now seems to be called the Ackerman Cancer Center. Information about the project is scarce, and it is left off of Jamie Drake Design Associates online portfolio but I found the below images and am really excited to share! According to Interior Design magazine, Drake  enjoyed the challenge of working in healthcare, saying “I dislike stagnation. I love challenges—branching out into health care stretches me and exposes my work to a new demographic.”


Waiting room featuring Karim Rashid sofas


Secondary waiting room


Staff workstations

Staff workstations


(via InCollect)

Illustrator and designer Nick Deakin took to the walls of 14 rooms at the eye department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in the UK, aiming to add some spunk to the unit’s build environment. The colorful illustrated works transport patients from outer space to the park and the beach. Sometimes, they even serve a practical purpose, helping providers evaluate eye function.

Many Deakin’s artworks are the latest in a series commissioned for the hospital by Artfelt, an art-in-health branch of the Children’s Hospital Charity and form part of a wider plan to transform its patient spaces using art and design.

(Via Creative Review)

Studio Dental – “Uber for your teeth”

Studio Dental

Studio Dental is a mobile dental practice that brings the dentist to you! Perhaps unsurprisingly, it launched in technology hotspot San Fransisco, and much of their marketing seems geared to employers who are always trying to out-amenity one another as they compete for the most talented employees. Founded by dentist, Sara Creighton, the practice lives in a 26-foot-long trailer designed by Montalba Architects that features a waiting area and two patient rooms. According to Studio Dental website “The practice delivers the full range of dental services to patients, but sets itself apart with technologies that streamline the process of going to the dentist. Patients schedule appointments online, receive a text reminder on the day of their appointment, and pay for services with a credit card.”

Studio Dental

Studio Dental

Studio Dental

The design is beautiful, and the ceiling is particularly clever. According to the architect, David Montalba “Rather than opening the side panels to potentially unattractive exterior environments, such as urban parking lots, we decided to install skylights to capture diffused natural light and house TV monitors to help patients remain relaxed while looking up during procedures.”

The project was partly funded by an Indie GoGo campaign that raised $41,515 in just one month, perhaps making a mark as the first crowd sourced dental office in the US?

There’s a nice interview with Dr. Creighton over at Wake Forrest University (her alumnus) if you’d like to learn more about her own personal decision to start a mobile dental practive.

(via Healthcare Design Magazine)

“Majoring in Medicine, Minoring in Design”

Hello there world. Long time no post. I’m going to try to be better about keeping this up.

Thomas Jefferson University launched a first-of-its kind “college within a college” to introduce medical students to design thinking. The Design Track includes modules like:

  • Implementation: How Design Thinking Can Reframe Health Care Challenges
  • Redesigning the Patient Experience: The Use of Role Playing to Test New Ideas
  • Mobile Technology in Health Care
  • Improving Population Health through Design Thinking Methodologies

I’m excited to see what comes out of this course, and thrilled to see a traditional medical school so pointedly incorporating design within a more traditional curriculum.

(via Doctors Who Create)

“Is This a Hospital or a Hotel?”

“Is This a Hospital or a Hotel?”

I don’t know how I missed this silly quiz the NY Times ran back in September as part of an article about patient amenities and hospitality influenced design in hospitals.

Picture 5

In a highly competitive field, patients — sometimes now referred to as “guests” — appreciate amenities. The tactic works. “We found that patient demand correlates much better to amenities than quality of care,” said Dr. John Romley, a research professor at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics of the University of Southern California, who has studied the trend. That means that hospitals can improve their bottom line and their reputation by focusing more on hospitality than health care — offering organic food by a celebrity chef rather than lowering medication errors, for example.

The article provides very few real insights and completely ignores years of evidence that make s strong case for patient comfort as a measurable factor in a speedier recovery…but I must admit taking the “quiz” is enjoyable. I managed to get 11/12 – and the one I got wrong is a private “medspa” within a hospital so I don’t think it should count against me!

Dementia Village ‘De Hogeweyk’

De Hogeweyk

De Hogeweyk “Dementia Village” is a remarkably design-oriented facility for aging Dutch with advanced stage dementia. Located in the city of Weesp outside of Amsterdam, the facility houses around 150 residents in 23 small residential units with 6-7 dwellers per unit. Opened in 2012, the village strives to maintain a sense of normalcy for its residents and does so in large part through design. Caretakers wear street clothes. Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen’s master plan includes a Boulevard complete with grocery store, pub, restaurant, theater, and hairdresser. Particularly striking is the interior design throughout – there is no cookie cutter influence of a typical healthcare designer’s pragmatic please-everyone details. Instead, residents can pick from houses each decorated with a distinct and very residential feel designed to replicate a “genre” of lifestyle and create a link to the life they enjoyed outside of the village. These include homey, Christian, artisan, farming, “goois” or upperclass, Indonesian, and cultural. The restaurant and pub would not look out of place in downtown Amsterdam. The facility is owned and operated by a government-owned nursing home group called Vivium. There are also some good images available on the architecture blog Detail.

Jason Bruges Nature Trail installation for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

London based lighting designer Jason Bruges created the above interactive installation, made with over 72,000 LED lights embedded in a custom printed hospital-grade wallpaper, for a 165 ft long corridor leading to the operating rooms at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

From Bruges’s website:

“The brief was to design and install a distraction artwork helping to create a calming yet engaging route that culminates in the patient’s arrival at the anesthetic room. Inspiration came from the idea of viewing the patient journey as a ‘Nature Trail’, where the hospital walls become the natural canvas, with digital look out points that reveal the various ‘forest creatures’, including horses, deer, hedgehogs, birds and frogs, to the passerby…. The LED panels are embedded into the wall surface at various heights in order to be accessible to the eye levels and positions of patients traveling along the corridors. Across these digital surfaces abstracted ‘animal movements’ are recreated as interactive animated patterns of light which reveal themselves through the trees & foliage of the forest.”