Seeing a future where doctors, nurses, dentists and engineers work in cross-collaborative teams as opposed to silos, a university's health sciences campus wanted to prepare their nursing, dental, and medical students to be ready for a more holistically integrated health practice of the future, and pioneer in areas outside health's traditional realm, (eg., space design, service design, UX, disruptive platforms)


While design is increasingly being recognized as a strategic differentiator in several industries, it's role in healthcare has just started. Applying design thinking and other related methods (user-centered design, design sprints, Agile, Lean, etc.) is relatively new to healthcare and a ripe area for development in curriculum.

Designing for Care and Wellness is flipped class that introduces students to human-centered design and design thinking. Throughout the semester, students work in  groups to identify a health design challenge and make progress toward an MVP. On the class website, students access materials for that week, complete the assigned tasks, and use class time to work with their groups, share works in progress, and provide feedback to specific questions their colleagues have about their projects. During class time, I move throughout the classroom to check in with groups to see where they were at and if they needed clarity on any concepts. 


Students exceeded expectations in this inaugural Design Thinking course, creating a wide variety of solutions including apps, space/service redesigns, meal kits, modified walkers, and mobile vans. The class was selected for presentation at the 2017 International Council of Nurses Congress and one student entry was adopted my a major distributor of healthcare products.