In early 2013, I wrote a blog about how hospitals would be leading medical device innovation efforts.
I also wrote a whitepaper about societal changes and their impact on medical device design. The relevant excerpt:
“A number of hospital systems are establishing centers to help launch med-tech startups. This is a trend that will grow in the coming years as the healthcare landscape changes. Much of the impetus behind the establishment of these innovation centers comes from recognizing that institutions will need to reduce costs if they are to remain viable. Leading organizations are recognizing that the best ideas often come from their own personnel who work on the front lines of healthcare… To an increasing extent, we will see medical devices, products and health care innovations coming directly from hospitals, health systems and others involved at the first levels of patient care.”
And this is indeed what is happening. An article from MedGadget tells us about how the University of Texas Hospital has opened a “makerspace” where doctors and nurses can “hack together new medical devices and tinker with existing ones to create new applications”. We will be seeing more and more hospitals becoming directly involved in medical product design and development. As this happens, there will be new opportunities for designers and medical professionals to collaborate and bring meaningful, effective healthcare innovation to market.