The IDEO Design Challenge

The Design Track for ePatients at the Stanford Medicine X Conference this year was an experience that demonstrated the value of teamwork. Where else could you see a cardiac surgeon, a researcher, GP doctors and a venture capitalist working with a patient to find answers to a health problem posed by a patient?

This is the way the challenge worked: two months before the MedX Conference the patients involved submitted problem statements to Dennis Boyle and his team at IDEO; participants got a shorter list back with requests for clarification and also received background links about design thinking and a copy of the book Creative Confidence Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All.

To start our day at IDEO we had a tour. The company has done amazing work in design and their workplace is full of people doing work that they love. Then we broke up into teams and I presented my ‘How Might We’ problem statements. We had a terrific facilitator, Tanya Rinderknecht, who nudged us back on track when we started to get too ambitious.

In design thinking there is much consultation and questioning with the users of the potential solution. The statement the team chose to work on was [...] continue the story

Three A.M. Thoughts: ‘Doctor’s Orders’

It is a cultural artifact that we regard medical professionals as authority figures. We expect them to command us and we are expected to obey. Hence the phrase: ‘doctor’s orders’. This relationship does not work for Type 1 Diabetes. It infantilizes the patient, which is the worst possible outcome. A person living with Type 1 needs a team of professional health care providers (endocrinologists, opthamologists, general practitioners, nurses, dietitions, psychologists, social workers, diabetes educators) to help with management of the condition. But the patient needs to be the Captain of that team. Healthcare providers should be trusted advisors, not authority figures. Healthcare providers may have relevant and necessary training and expertise in the science of the condition. I say ‘may have’ because in my experience not every healthcare provider who purports to understand T1D actually does. And a little knowledge, as they say… Many conflate it with Type 2, and seem to think that all diabetes — and all diabetics — are the same. This is one of the things that irritates me the most. As far as I am concerned, Type 2 is a whole different medical condition that is not relevant to my life or my chronic medical condition. The [...] continue the story