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design thinking

Dateline: November 2011
Location: MIT Sloan
by MIT Sloan student David Xie

Summary This essay reflects on the strength, outcome and challenges associated with the Mayo Clinic’s design thinking approach to improving healthcare delivery, and discusses the merit of applying design thinking towards improving global healthcare delivery especially in resource poor settings. The essay concludes by saying that it could be useful to funnel healthcare delivery ideas through a local design-thinking center funded by non-profit organizations. Doing so create at least three values: to provide a common/open platform for social entrepreneurship, to rule in or rule out ideas efficiently through prototyping before significant investments are made, and to build a knowledge base for a local market that benefits future similar endeavors. Challenges for such local design center include the ability to retain top talents, to respond to high number of ideas, and to engage the local market.

Innovation is not just about creating new solutions; it is also about creating new problems to begin with. The world has put a lot of emphasis on the former, but the latter could be even more important, especially for breakthrough products or services. Apple is a classic example. Steve Jobs’ biggest question is how can one produce something that is as aesthetically beautiful as a Macbook? It later transcends from a good to a great product.

Analysis of the Mayo Clinic Design Innovation Model

Mayo Clinic certainly knows that asking the right questions to begin with is the first step towards improving healthcare delivery. So they set up SPARC, with the sole purpose to explore the current ways by which patients experience healthcare. This open-mindedness allowed them to examine every step of the current workflow [click to continue…]


What is the role of design thinking in global health delivery?

December 1, 2011

We were lucky enough to have Jose Colucci, IDEO’s Health and Wellness lead in Boston, join our class yesterday for an interactive workshop on design thinking and human centered design.  We’ve spent much time this semester looking at different business models and evaluating the care delivery value chain (see this great article for an example more »

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