Pioneering design research in health and care

Our design researcher, Angela Tulloch during an Experience Lab

A flavour of our design research in health and care

As well as a home to post-graduate teaching, GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus plays host to a portfolio of pioneering design research. The campus is home to the Experience Lab team, a group of design researchers who are central to the Digital Health and Care Institute.

Lasercut model of a nurse used in a design tool during an Experience Lab

Lasercut model of a nurse used in a design tool during an Experience Lab

So, what does all this mean? Why do designers work in healthcare? What do they do exactly? How does Design make a difference? What is an Experience Lab?

These are just some of the queries raised around the exciting and developing role of Design Innovation. Our design researchers specialise in the discipline which sees them designing beyond products, and into services.

To help explain our work to you, one of our research fellows, Gemma Teal is here to help in the video below. Gemma is an experienced design researcher who has almost a decade of experience working in the area of health and wellbeing. 

Gemma Teal Diabetes Experience Lab

Project lead Gemma Teal during a Digital Diabetes Experience Lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

Before we hear from Gemma, here are some frequently asked questions:

What do our design researchers do?
Our researchers work in many different contexts, from business to healthcare.  They address complex issues through new design practices and bespoke community engagement. Our team research the new qualities of design that are needed to co-create contexts in which people can flourish: at work, in organisations and businesses, in public services and government.

Why is this important in a health and care context?
Gemma and our wider design research team play a core role in the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI). Across the world, models of health and care are struggling to meet the challenge of our ageing population. Digital health and care interventions are recognised as key to the solution in tackling this. Our design researchers explore and prototype possible solutions to these issues.

What is an example of this in action?
Recently, our team has explored how to innovate the experience of Outpatient departments in hospitals.  The waiting period ahead of an Outpatient appointment was identified as a key area to innovate working with the NHS staff, and those who live with long-term conditions.

“Revolutionising the Outpatient Experience” was a DHI event, which GSA designed and facilitated. This work gave Gemma the idea to innovate the waiting experience.

As our work in DHI continues, Experience labs are continuing to innovate in this area. We are now collaborating with The Scottish Government on The Modern Outpatient strategy. Part of this programme of work will include looking at how to innovate the waiting experience.

Following the DHI event, which involved health and social care staff and a number of projects that explored experiences of people living with long-term conditions, the team held an internal prototyping workshop to give form to the insights and ideas generated. Their aim was to develop prototypes that respond to the identified need to reduce patient anxiety and prepare them to get the most from their appointment. 

The prototypes designed on the day will feed into the ongoing project, which includes:

  • Interviews with people with lived experiences of Outpatient care
  • A series of co-design sessions
  • A pop-up public engagement tool

…All designed to inspire meaningful conversations around aspirations for care with people who use Outpatients services.

Watch our Experience Lab team in action
Here, and with some help from Gemma, you can watch our designers at work together at the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus:

GSA Experience Lab team at work! from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

 

If you’d like more information about our previous work on Revolutionising the Outpatient experience you can read the report online.

To find out more about our portfolio of research please visit our website.

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