Putting people at the heart of care: Humans of HealthTech

The Humans of HealthTech event was the first annual One HealthTech event of its kind. The theme was ‘Putting People at the Heart of Care’ and included a diverse range of speakers including designers, healthcare professionals and patients. The event focused on supporting and championing greater inclusivity in the future of health.

“Test early, fail fast”

Advice from Grace Davey of BCG Digital Ventures, and previously the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. Grace spoke about the importance of the user during the design phase. Having worked across the world as a designer and user researcher, Grace realises the importance of the involvement of the user from the outset and throughout. Grace also highlighted the blind spot between developing a product and validating its need: “You are not the user, and the problems are not your own”. 

“Nobody understands inclusion like those who have been excluded”

Molly Watt is a 23-year-old inclusive design evangelist. She has used her experience of Usher Syndrome, the most common condition of deaf blindness, to educate and inspire through consulting on digital and environmental accessibility and usability. She emphasised that designing inclusively is of benefit to the majority: “Designing inclusively will not just benefit ‘minorities’ but will benefit everybody at least once in their lifetime”. 

“It’s not about just putting patients at the centre, it’s about allowing them to drive”

Anne Cooper, Chief Nurse at NHS Digital, is the co-founder of People Drive Digital and has type 1 diabetes. This combination allows Anne to see healthcare from a more diverse view point, or as she likes to put it, makes her a ‘hybrid’. This alternate view of the NHS and care system as a whole has shown Anne how “a great idea isn’t enough”. Connecting the users to the designers is the key to creating a great solution for a realistic problem.

The event kept true to it’s focus of truly user-centred design. Ir highlighted the importance of patient involvement; designers need to utilise patients experiences. It begins with understanding that you cannot design for them, but instead design with them.

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Dan Simmons

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