Human-Centered Design

Participatory, Patient-Centered Design for Engaged and Experiential Learning

Human-centered design (HCD) thinking is a process which emphasizes two things: (1) “solving the right problem, and (2) “doing so in a way that meets human needs and capabilities”. HCD puts the end-user at the center of the design process, and the end-user in healthcare is the patient or caregiver. Despite this, patients and caregivers are often the neglected or forgotten user during the creation of tools, technologies, and systems for healthcare.

Dr. Joyce Lee, and Professors Nancy Benovich Gilby and Matthew Kenyon co-lead the activities of HealthDesignBy.Us, an initiative to encourage patient-centered design in health. Their work includes the integration of patient/caregiver experts with interdisciplinary groups of students, faculty and staff at the University of Michigan in multiple venues to spearhead the integration patient-centered design in healthcare. This project will extend this work to provide transformative opportunities for students to create and scale engaged action-based learning experiences in the curriculum.

We will provide transformational educational experiences that will take students out of the closed classroom environment and into the lived experience of patients and caregivers who live with health conditions. Rather than completing coursework built around imaginary scenarios, they will directly partner with patients/caregivers from the University of Michigan Health System to ideate and co-design new tools and technologies to create meaningful and useful innovations in health. The outcomes of the project are threefold

  • To provide students with real-world experiences designing in the arena of health technology
  • To provide students with the opportunity to learn in greater depth the design thinking process by directly working with real-world patient and caregiver consumers
  • To integrate and formalize the methods of patient-centered participatory design into the curriculum of technology-based classes at the University of Michigan

Project Team

Joyce Lee, Medical School

Nancy Benovich Gilby, School of Information

Matthew Kenyon, Stamps School of Art and Design