Prototype The Future

3 Ways to See Prototyping in Health Care Innovation

Prototype The Future


The ways that people interact in health care settings are highly scripted, and the traditions that emerge around these scripts make it hard to fundamentally change the interactions. But by changing just one aspect of the system - through this dynamic prototyping - you can find out what is important to the key players. There are three key ways to see how prototyping can influence changes in health care innovation.


1. Prototyping is a way to learn and communicate.

Making an innovation real for patients, decision makers, and potential adopters to experience is a powerful way to learn about a design and is one way to facilitate adoption. Despite our ability to work with the abstract, human beings evolved in an experiential and sensorial world. We inherently like to work with our senses. To prototype an idea is to understand and communicate that idea experientially. In this way, prototyping becomes the language of design - a key way to learn and communicate.


2. Prototypes function as a way of learning about an innovation.

They can answer questions like: "Can a person really fit in that space?" "What's the first thing someone does when you hand them this object?" "Can they find where we put that control?" These are questions we can answer during prototyping and will help us learn more about our designs and the hypothesis that we formed through design research.


3. Prototyping is an iterative process.

It's never right the first time. You keep tweaking and refining the prototype until you have a finished product or service. You do this all very quickly, and it's really an art.


So, we think of prototyping in two ways. In one sense, it can help you iteratively define and validate an innovation - to test a hypothesis that you form through observing. And it is also a way of doing more research by creating different sets of conditions and putting new innovations into the system to learn more about the system.


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