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The Magic of Medical Devices: A case study exploring a novel approach to medical equipment design

Format: Papers, RSD12, RSD12 Papers Pre-release

Stephen Wood, Jeanette Andrews, Miso Kim, Estefania Cilliotta Chehade, Michael Arnold Mages, Linda Tvrdy and Paolo Ciuccarelli
This report explores the shift towards patient-centered healthcare and the role of design in facilitating this transformation, drawing inspiration from magic as a catalyst for change. A team of interdisciplinary scholars from design and healthcare collaborated to organize a hackathon focused on designing patient-centered medical devices with the theme of magic. Through this approach, correlations between magic’s strategies and thinking processes and patient-centered medical solutions were explored. The findings emphasize the power of interdisciplinary design thinking and the potential to transform healthcare systems, suggesting that the interdisciplinary research of design, magic, and healthcare deserves further exploration in the future with theoretical exploration and projects.
How might magic facilitate conversations and play a role in re-designing/changing our healthcare systems? In healthcare, function often is considered more important than design, although as in the real world, form and function are often closely intertwined. It is not uncommon for medical devices and other medical products to be designed by non-medical practitioners, including biomedical engineers and product designers. While these products may perform their function, the design and layout of the product may be less usable than intended.
To better understand the transformative potential that arises from form, function, and patient-centeredness, and created a “Design Sprint” using a unique and unlikely source, magic prop design, to evaluate the function and design of central line kits. These kits are made to gain access to large vessels to obtain certain hemodynamic measurements and deliver particular medications.
The design sprint was open to students across an array of disciplines and was attended by students in art and design, engineering, physics, and health sciences. They were first taught about the central line kits, followed by several principles of magic prop design. They were then divided into groups and challenged to redesign a safer, sustainable, and more user-friendly central line kit using magic prop design concepts.
What emerged were several creative mechanisms to improve design, safety, as well as patient-centeredness. This design sprint demonstrated the need for creative, interdisciplinary approaches to complex problems in healthcare. This project suggests that an interdisciplinary approach that includes art and design with engineering and healthcare can improve the overall patient and provider experience, and open new doors of discovery into these fields.
Keywords: magic
design
healthcare
hackathon
case study
interdisciplinary collaboration

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Citation Data

Author(s): Stephen Wood, Jeanette Andrews, Miso Kim, Estefania Cilliotta Chehade, Michael Arnold Mages, Linda Tvrdy and Paolo Ciuccarelli
Year: 2023
Title: The Magic of Medical Devices: A case study exploring a novel approach to medical equipment design
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/medical-equipment-design
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD12

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