A slice of HxD pie

In my experience, the healthcare industry has always lagged behind in adopting new technology. Reasons for push-back include fear of the unknown, accountability, time constraints and of course, the cost factor.

Yet, this doesn’t mean there isn’t invested interest in designing technology for doctors. With upcoming conferences such as the healthcare experience design conference @hxdconf and the Mayo Clinic’s Transform 2012 symposium on healthcare design, one can expect/hope for dozens of innovative projects to be undertaken in the next few years – from academia and research institutes to manufacturing industries to consulting firms.

Sadly, I have been disheartened. HxD isn’t quite the lucrative business it appears to be… at least not yet. Having worked in each of piece of the HxD pie, (2 yrs in academia, 2 yrs in manufacturing and now 6mo in consulting), I see benefits and disadvantages of each.

  1. Academia lacks the short-sightedness to consider today’s implementation problems.
  2. Manufacturing lacks the patience and the funds (since time=$) to invest in innovation & research.
  3. Consulting, well that depends on practical experience… and how do you get experience without having some success in 1 and 2?

All these setbacks leave me wondering… If one attempts to pursue HxD, from which ever angle, and fails – will the rest of our ambitions be forever poisoned? Will we be left starved of our dreams for better “Healthcare Experience”?

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