Natalie Doud

3 Steps of the Design Process at #TXFM

Natalie Doud


Guest Post written by Transform attendee, Natalie Doud.


Between skyrocketing costs and a depressing lack of outcomes, many look at the state of healthcare in America with a sense of defeat. Transform attendees see hope. This is where the minds that will solve our healthcare crisis converge.

That there are too many problems for one solution only means that we all are needed, and everyone can play a role. Designers, health professionals and entrepreneurs come together for three days and discuss the topics that many fear to breach. John Hockenberry, of WNYC, hosts the event and tactfully, if not sometimes uncomfortably, asks the hard questions. Speakers share personal insights, business endeavors, clinical stories, inspirational ideas and challenging conversations. There is a sense of shared purpose.

Beyond the talks and presentations, Transform hosts interactive sessions for attendees to share ideas and explore possibilities. More than an exercise in imagination, these discussions have the potential to spark real change because of the positions and backgrounds of those involved. Healthcare reform is America’s next innovation frontier and Transform is a stage for the process to play out.

The first step of any design process is to define the problem, and in 2012 that is exactly what Transform speakers and attendees were doing. We heard from researchers and policymakers who helped to define the problem and there were early discussions of ideas for moving forward.

The second step in the design process is to prototype and iterate. In 2013, the conversations began to focus on ideas that were actually being attempted and implemented. We heard from entrepreneurs and business owners who were trying new things. Many were in early stages, a few were a bit further along, each were tackling the problem from a different angle.

The next step is to evaluate the prototypes, and I predict that this year we will see the results of many of the ideas that people have been trying. Conversations will converge upon what is working, what isn’t, and how we can expand and spread the most successful ideas. This year, we will see the conversations growing and maturing. I predict that the problems will feel a little less daunting and the solutions a little more tangible.

Ideas are spreading and with production help from MPR, this little convention will become a national conversation. We’re getting all hands on deck and we are starting to tackle the behemoth that is healthcare reform. Each of us has something to contribute and its going to take all kinds.


This is how change happens. I hope to see you there.


Natalie Doud is the Chief Creative Officer of Synaptic Design, a Minneapolis Design and Engineering startup focused on medical education and technology.




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