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Creatives Are Rethinking Healthcare As You Know It. Here’s How.

October 30, 2017

Patty Beirne

When was the last time you thought about how your visit to the doctor was designed? What if you could shape a more empathetic healthcare experience for patients, staff, clinicians, and caregivers? 

Patty Beirne—design researcher and strategist, and assistant professor of Transdisciplinary Design at The New School—is tackling this head-on through her course on Design Thinking for Human Centered Healthcare. She is leading a team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center designing services, environments, and tools for patients, clinical staff, and other administrative staff, to make the patient experience better for those with cancer. Utilizing design thinking—a problem-solving approach that leverages empathy research, ideation, rapid prototyping, and user feedback to tackle complex challenges—we can understand the human experience and solve some of healthcare’s foremost challenges today.

“Healthcare and Design are two fields that impact our lives in very human ways. Whether it's birth, death, illness or wellness, or environments, tools, artifacts, or services—these things come into contact with each other and have the potential to really improve and enhance our lives when brought together in the same practice,” says Professor Beirne.


Continuing & Professional Education at The New School wants to shed light on this rapidly growing field and highlight how design thinking can be used to innovate and better shape our healthcare experiences—something we are exposed to every time we step into a doctor’s office.

Taught by Professor Beirne, Design Thinking For Human Centered Healthcare introduces students to the unique design opportunities in healthcare and the methods used for applying design thinking to these challenges. Offered completely online, with produced coursework and live interactions, students will learn to identify opportunities to shape—or reshape—the experience of healthcare to create impact in their chosen context, understand the human experience of care, translate observations into design opportunities, and develop strategies and tools to facilitate empathy building to create the future of human-centered healthcare.

Want to explore this field deeper? You can take Design Thinking For Human Centered Healthcare as an individual course or as a part of our Human-Centered Healthcare (Online) Certificate.

Written by Leora Zauderer.

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