The Atlantic: Design Thinking and Health

http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/10/design-can-improve-healthcare-can-it-also-lead-to-new-cures/246437/

An interesting, albeit scattered, account of how Steve Jobs style “design thinking” can effect not only the physical experience of a patient within a healthcare environment, but also potentially increase patient compliance and radicalize research for cures.  An excerpt:

“While in some circles (radiating concentrically from Palo Alto, one imagines), design is, if not quite passé, at least associated with irrational exuberance and extravagant expectations (see this 2009 posting by Peter Merholz, founder of the user experience consultancy Adaptive Path, and the energetic dialog his remarks engendered), these principles have made only very preliminary inroads into medicine and healthcare.

For starters, medicine is far less “human-centered” — that is, patient-centered — than most observers appreciate. In the exact same way that well-intentioned engineers often go awry by creating features based on their own perception of what they perceive users must want, medicine has spent a lot of effort focused on a physician’s idea of a patient, rather than developing a more nuanced view of life from the perspective of the patients themselves.”

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