More good design in medicine please

The result was a pole with cup holders and a tray for people to use, a ring with room for a photograph of loved ones, and a wheel base a few inches off the ground for cleanliness.

In the rush to produce and distribute medical products efficiently good design is often ignored.

(Picture from Core77 design magazine.)

It should not be. Good design can make anything more personal.

Even an IV pole.

Modo, a Beaverton, Oregon producer of medical carts, many of them made for Cardinal Health has just won a design award for its new IV pole.

Core77 has published a case study of the design process. There were many things to consider. Most poles ride low on the ground and get filthy. They lack identification and become commodities.

Goo Sung described the "ah-ha" moment. "The father had his arm on his son's shoulder. The boy had his arm on his IV pole. It was as though three people were walking together. I saw the IV pole as the boy's companion."

The result was a pole with cup holders and a tray for people to use, a ring with room for a photograph of loved ones, and a wheel base a few inches off the ground for cleanliness.

The design should give Cardinal a temporary boost in the pole business, but it also holds important lessons for the rest of the medical industry.

  1. Good design is worth the money.
  2. Design from the user's point of view, not just the customer's.
  3. Humanize.

What other lessons do you have?