How might we use design to improve healthcare? – Feb 25, 2014 chat

Joyce Lee Picture

On Tuesday February 25th we are trilled to have Dr. Joyce Lee MD, MPH with us. Joyce is a pediatrician and diabetes specialist, researcher, and design thinker. We’ve been looking forward to her being our guest for Healthcare Leaders. She took the time to really learn more about our community and even was kind enough to take questions this weekend so she could design our blog and and chat this Tuesday.


Blog post by Joyce Lee

This fall, I was invited to give a talk at Cusp 2013 , which is a conference about the design of everything.  I’m a physician, so I was sort of intrigued and perplexed by the invitation.  A doctor, invited to speak at a design conference? It all happened through the serendipity of social media:

“How did you find me”?

“I think someone I follow on Twitter retweeted one of your tweets – add in Google and here we are.”

You gotta love that little blue bird. 🙂

I give a lot of talks as an academic, but it was definitely one of the hardest talks that I have had to prepare for, given the caliber of presenters (hmm famous Lego artist Nathan Sawaya , Cure Violence’s Gary Slutkin , to name a few), and the fact that it was a not a medical conference but a “design” crowd (there would be no tolerance for bulletpoints in 12 pt font displayed on a blue background). Ideas about design and healthcare were percolating in my mind during the year that I was on sabbatical, and it was this golden opportunity to crystallize my thoughts and share our family’s journey of participatory design.

Below are the slides and the video of the talk.

The reception that the talk received from both the live and virtual community went way beyond my expectations, and resonated with a really diverse crowd: my online doctor friends like @SeattleMamaDoc , @DrKimMD , patients and caregivers from the #s4pm community, as well as people in the design and technology communities. (What can I say? B just stole the show!) Based on the reaction, I have a feeling, a little premonition, that patient-centered design in healthcare is the present and future of medicine.

I have been thinking about these questions in my own work. How do we incorporate patient-centered design into our clinical care, research and educational arenas? How do we take this from rhetoric to reality? What systems, ideas can we prototype to create the change that we all dream of?

I wanted to take this opportunity to learn from the #hcldr community. With Lisa’s help, I crowdsourced input from the community. Based on their incredible input, we came up with these questions:

  • T1: How can healthcare design meet people where they are?
  • T2: As healthcare leaders how might we better #design to meet your needs as a patient/caregiver/#HCLDR?
  • T3: How do we make patients and caregivers a critical component of any healthcare system redesign?
  • CT: What’s one thing you’ve learned tonight that you can take to your place of influence to help a patient tomorrow?

Looking forward to Tuesday’s chat and to learning from the group.

Joyce Lee’s Bio

As a pediatrician, diabetes specialist, and researcher, Joyce is passionate about the notion that human centered design and design thinking can transform biomedical research and the delivery of clinical care.

An Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School and Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Joyce attended Brown University for her undergraduate education and the University of Pennsylvania for her medical degree. She completed her internship and residency in General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School and Boston University) and her fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Michigan, and she received her Masters in Public Health from the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Joyce is co-director of the Mott Mobile Technology Program for Enhancing Child Health, which has the ultimate goal of using mobile technology to enhance the health of children with chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes. She loves to play with mobile applications and interactive data visualizations, and is exploring the storytelling capabilities of social media through her role as social media editor for JAMA Pediatrics.


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  1. I really need to talk about design since I’m on the design track for MedX this year and I think I might be expected to have some ideas before I get there. So thanks for the slides and video Joyce.

  2. […] You can also visit Dr. Lee’s blog post on the #HCLDR Blog by clicking here. […]

  3. […] Lee MD, MPH (@joyclee) – How Might We Use Design to Improve Healthcare? – Feb […]

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