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Innovative healthcare products to improve patient experience

A few years ago, I wrote a post about 10 innovative healthcare design ideas that have helped improve the patient experience.

It's one of my most-read posts.

Last week I wrote about tunable lighting systems, which have the potential to improve circadian wellness for patients and staff in healthcare settings.

Then I got to thinking. What other innovative product ideas have there been that contribute to a more comfortable, safe, and supportive patient experience?

A Little Help From My Friends

To help come up with my top 10, I reached out to interior designers Tama Duffy Day at Gensler, Barbara Huelat at Healing Design, and Jocelyn Stroupe at CannonDesign. I also asked Eileen McMorrow of The McMorrow Reports, who has coordinated the Nightingale product design awards and Best of Neocon product design awards for a bunch of years.

And since I don't remember who came up with all of these innovative ideas first, I decided not to name specific companies, but instead focus on the idea and why it is significant.

Here's my top 10 innovative product ideas, in no particular order:

  1. Patient chairs with dynamic motion that encourage mobility, helping patients to heal
  2. Patient room sofas/chairs that turn into sleepers so family members can stay overnight with their loved ones, reducing patient stress
  3. Height-adjustable, multi-position recliners that allow closer interaction at the bedside between the caretaker/visitor and the patient in the bed, enhancing communication and reducing patient stress
  4. Bariatric furniture (chairs, tables, beds) that support obese patients and promote patient safety
  5. Anti-microbial treatment for carpet and fabrics to help prevent infections and increase patient safety
  6. Solid surface material for sinks, countertops, or furniture that is seamless and easily cleanable to help prevent infections and increase patient safety
  7. Adjustable view windows that allow for privacy in patient rooms as well as clinical observation from the corridor to improve patient safety
  8. Headwalls that conceal gases and medical equipment for patient rooms to make it feel less institutional and ease patient stress
  9. Nature and music programming for patient television that provides positive distraction and masks unwanted noise to reduce patient stress
  10. Virtual skylights and windows for treatment rooms that provide positive distraction to relieve patient stress

There are so many more innovative product ideas that are probably worthy of this list. What are some of your all-time favorites?

Photo: Cape Cod Hospital, courtesy of KI.

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Sandy Sober, FASID

5 years ago

Although I am retired now, this topic always catches my attention. To your list, I would add:
1. Widow treatments wide enough to not block ANY natural light or view.
2. Patient positioned in a way that they have the option on the best view outside. In new construction, encourage the arch to not have the window and head wall on perpendicular BUT opposite ends of the room.
3. Hallways (where patients will be transported on their backs, looking straight up) should have ONLY indirect lighting - so they don’t have lights shining directly in their eyes AND a view of dirt and dead bugs in the light fixtures.
4. Better job of concealing TV mounts and wiring. Maybe position TV’s over the doorways into the rooms?
5. Best practices for concealing ALL cords & tubing and surplus med supplies.

Sara Marberry

5 years ago

Thanks, Sandy. These aren't all product ideas, but they are good design suggestions!

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What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

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