The Near Field Communications (NFC) Community Circle of MIT’s Enterprise Forum met this week to discuss the current and potential impact of NFC on health and wellness. An interesting cross-section of experts in the field, from developers to marketers, debated the relative success of NFC to date. Though there was a general belief that NFC … Read more
May 13th’s Innovation Series from the MIT Enterprise Forum featured a panel discussion on the impact of big data on Healthcare in general and Pharma in particular. The panelists represented diverse backgrounds including academic research, large pharmaceuticals, and venture investment and proceeded to identify a series of challenges and opportunities manifest as a result of … Read more
The field of diagnostic testing is going through a quiet revolution. Healthcare reform’s emphasis on results-driven medicine has put a greater urgency on early and accurate diagnosis. At the same time, advances in technology are leading to new breakthroughs in research almost daily, increasing the opportunities for new clinical devices. The reality, however, is that … Read more
Watch Sean Brennan discuss The #NXT Generation of Healthcare at the 2013 Healthcare Experience Design Conference in Boston.Read more
Last week, Continuum kicked-off its second year of involvement with Healthbox, a heathcare-focused start-up incubator headquartered in Chicago, with offices in Boston and London. During the three-month program, Continuum will work as thought partners and coaches to the ten start-up companies accepted into the program. While the companies address many facets of the healthcare market … Read more
With so much being reported from the design and innovation communities, we’ve decided to pull together some of the most compelling stories we’ve been reading each week. Keep an eye here for a round up of news every Friday. Demand for Tailored Customer Experience Put Brand Loyalty at Risk, by Marisa Peacock CMS Wire … Read more
Hospital environments are stressful scenes: blaring alarms, beeping machines, busy monitors, and endless tubes and wires all vie for doctors’ and nurses’ attention and overload their senses. “Alarm fatigue,” the phenomenon whereby health professionals get overwhelmed by and ignore the constant cacophony of alarm sirens has become a national problem. One study at Johns Hopkins … Read more
We have had so much fun watching your videos and decoding your tweets! We were impressed by the wealth of creativity, thoughtfulness, and progressive ideas you shared with us about what you envisioned a doctor’s appointment may look like in 2033. With no further ado, we are pleased to announce the winners of two passes … Read more
If our healthcare system was a person, she’d be sick. Very sick. You know the diagnosis: skyrocketing costs, doctor shortages, inefficiencies, overprescribing tests – the list could go on and on. That’s why every year Continuum participates in MadPow’s Healthcare Experience Design Conference, a confab of healthcare superheroes working on the edge to design a … Read more
As medical treatment becomes more personalized and tailored to individuals—and medical devices become more portable—there is a growing concern about ensuring these devices are safe for home use. The home environment introduces new risks for equipment including: less sterile areas, untrained individuals, and less checks and balances. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the … Read more
The healthcare industry is demanding change, and thousands of healthcare entrepreneurs are vying to deliver. They’re building companies focused on changing the system by reducing waste, increasing quality, and decreasing costs. And investors have responded, leading to 60 percent more deals in 2012 over the previous year and almost 50 percent more venture capital funding. … Read more
If you’re like me, every January presents two constants – the resolution to lead a healthier life and the excitement of seeing what gadgets are revealed at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This year, the two were surprisingly aligned. More than 200 of the over 3,000 exhibitors showed off health-related gizmos—a 25% upswing from … Read more
What started out as something only a small group of devoted quantified selfers cared about was the hot topic at CES 2013. Whether you want to call it quantified self, connected health, or wearable health – it’s a space to watch. I’m a quantified self enthusiast. I’ve owned two Fitbits, have been using some combination … Read more
Recently, I attended Xconomy’s “Healthcare in Transition Conference,” held at Microsoft’s NERD Center near MIT. iRobot CEO Colin Angle did a live demo of the FDA-approved RP-VITA telemedicine robot that the company has developed in partnership with inTouch Health. If you’re not familiar with iRobot, the company produces robots that make everyday tasks (vacuuming, gutter cleaning) … Read more
A not-so quiet revolution is emerging in healthcare. Health accelerator programs like Healthbox are causing entrepreneurs — who previously didn’t know how to approach the industry — to flock to opportunities to make real change in a broken system. “People from really varied backgrounds are taking a lot of skills from different markets and applying … Read more
This post was written by Gianna Ericson and Daniel Sobol “Here’s the deal. You will wear an adult brief (which is what you think it is). No, you will not have to actually use it. They are testing whether the system works when the brief is on an actual person rather than sitting in a … Read more
We’re thrilled to welcome AdvaMed 2012, an annual conference for MedTech professionals, to Boston from Oct 1-3 for the very first time. For the past five years, the conference has been held in Washington, DC but chose to come to Boston in recognition of the high profile of our vibrant MedTech cluster. Continuum has helped … Read more
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has multiple mandates. One of the agency’s primary responsibilities, according to their website, is to advance “the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines more effective, safer, and more affordable.” How does the FDA attempt to accelerate innovation? Recently, I heard Dr. Vicki Seyfert-Margolis, Ph.D., Senior … Read more
I recently attended a talk by Harvard Business School professor and innovation guru, Clayton Christensen. During his presentation, Christensen used a simple chart of concentric circles to explain how industries change from decentralized to centralized systems—and back again—as technology evolves and prices fall. The chart captures the initial drive toward centralization to capture profits, followed … Read more
By: Kara Miller, WGBH “There have been times in American history when lifestyles changed so dramatically that the very products that shape our lives had to be completely rethought. One of those times was the mid 1940s, when millions of returning veterans wanted houses – and builders like Bill Levitt began to understand the power … Read more
The Compass System, which Continuum designed in partnership with Herman Miller, provides a flexible and economical furniture solution for healthcare providers. Its modular components are easy to install with interchangeable parts that can be adapted and adjusted, giving users the ability to efficiently navigate change. The Madonna University College of Nursing and Health recently installed … Read more
This article was written by Devorah Klein and Gianna Ericson If you want to know what’s ailing the U.S. health care system, just ask the person next to you. Chances are, she’ll have a personal horror story to share about outlandish costs, inaccessibility of care, the regulations strangle on innovation, the battery of tests that … Read more
This article was written by Augusta Meill and Gianna Ericson To be a patient today is to be treated as a consumer. But treating patients as typical proactive, in control, well-informed consumers can backfire. Asked to take on increasingly complex decisions and digest ever-larger amounts of information, patients find themselves placed — often by design … Read more
In my last post on Co.Design, I wrote about how mandatory implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs) technology is forcing highly skilled physicians out of practice. The trend is primarily affecting the older generation of physicians, who didn’t grow up with computers. These doctors aren’t used to interacting with a big screen between them and … Read more
Every year, the biggest ideas in health care are presented at the Mayo Clinic’s Transform conference in Rochester, Minnesota. I was there this year to present a pre-conference workshop with a Continuum colleague on everyday creativity, and another pair of Continuum designers gave a main-stage talk entitled, “Patient Centricity: A design identity crisis.” Also on the lineup were John Hockenberry and Roger Martin, bigwigs from J+J and GE Healthcare, and practitioners from the top-tier design and innovation firms. Many cutting-edge ideas were presented, along with some spirited debate on the hot topics of delivering care and the role of technology.
Here are my top five conference takeaways on the future design of health care.
First off, I keep running into the fact that…
1. Medicine is changing rapidly, and technology must keep up.
It’s often said that humans can’t keep up with technology. To a certain extent, that’s true. Generations of technology happen much more frequently than generations of people. However, there is a counterintuitive corollary to that, which is that medicine is moving so fast that the IT systems that support it aren’t flexible enough to adapt.
The practice of medicine changes constantly, and your product will have to change as well.Read more
Last May, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center shut down its living donor kidney transplant program because of a serious medical error. A man in need of a transplant was given a kidney from a donor who did not know she had tested positive for hepatitis C. The positive test was, however, included in the donor’s medical record, and an automated alert saying as much was missed by all six members of the team reviewing the procedure. The incident resulted in the immediate shutdown of transplants, the demotion of the department head, the suspension of a nurse, and the initiation of two federal investigations.
There are two reasonable explanations for this incident. First, the six medical professionals reviewing the transplant records were incompetent and inattentive. Second, the system that was supposed to warn practitioners of the infection did not do its job, even though it did show a highlighted alert. Neither is easy to swallow. But there’s a growing body of evidence showing that the electronic medical records software designed to prevent precisely these types of errors may be contributing to them.Read more
Fixing our floundering healthcare system may be the single most complex design challenge ever. Bad design forced Dr. Bruce Mason*, the clinical director of a large outpatient department at one of the preeminent teaching hospitals in the country, to force out one of the best doctors in his department. The doctor who was let go, … Read more
The healthcare landscape is rapidly changing. Chronic illness has become the true burden on the healthcare system — accounting for over 75 percent of national health expenditures. To combat this systemic strain, the treatment of chronic and long-term care is being transferred out of hospitals and clinics and into the home. More than 65 million … Read more