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Health Care Design Conference - 2013 Boston


About Me

Katie McCurdy is a User Experience Designer & Researcher who uses design, empathy, and love to empower patients and improve healthcare. She is also a patient with 20 years’ experience with the autoimmune disease Myasthenia Gravis. Her goal is to help people live healthier and happier lives, and she’s especially interested in using data visualization to help simplify the complex and promote behavior change. She recently visualized her medical history to better communicate her health story to a new doctor, and she hopes to eventually help other patients do the same. She holds a Masters of Science in Information with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan School of Information. She now lives, skis and hikes in Burlington, VT.

Q&A with Katie

HxD asked speakers to tell us what inspires and drives them in healthcare and design. Check out our Q&A with Katie McCurdy!

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  • Q1: What is your burning mission in health?

    My goal is to help empower patients to take control of their health. When patients own and actively manage their health information, this benefits the patient (who has a feeling of control), the doctor (who is better informed), and the insurance company (who pays for fewer duplicate and unnecessary procedures). I've seen this play out repeatedly in my own health story. If we can give patients the tools and access they need to manage their healthcare, and if those tools are easy and enjoyable to use, I think we'll see a revolution of cost-efficiency, time-efficiency, and information connectedness in healthcare.

  • Q3: Why it inspires you?

    This talk challenges the status quo around medical data, especially lab results. Goetz shows how using information design and data visualization can transform these outdated, physician-facing paper documents into aesthetically-pleasing, data-rich tools that help foster physician-patient communication and help patients make sense of this complex (and often incomprehensible) information.

  • Q4: What is your patient story?

    I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Myasthenia Gravis when I was 13, and I've taken an number of medications since that time to help manage my symptoms. Over time, those treatments have caused problems of their own, and I've developed another autoimmune disease; as my symptoms and doctor visits have increased in complexity, I've had to come up with new ways of tracking and communicating my health information. Last year I created an infographic of my health history, which I have since used to communicate my health story to each new doctor that I see. Both doctors and patients have given me positive feedback on this idea, and my goal now is to help other patients use visualization to better understand and communicate about their health stories. My story and mission are best summarized here:

  • Q5: Why HxD?

    Healthcare tools and applications are exploding right now; but the most successful products will be those that are designed with a focus on providing an excellent experience. HxD brings together a community of people at that 'sweet spot' - the intersection of healthcare and experience design - who are poised to make the biggest difference in healthcare.

  • Q6: Why come to your session?

    We have a lot to learn from patient innovators. By studying the problems they're solving for themselves, we can create new tools and services that truly meet an existing need - and are therefore more likely to succeed.

Katie at the Conference

CONFERENCE | Monday, March 25

Opening Address

Meet these bold patients who are creatively using the tools at their disposal to take control of their healthcare. This panel brings together patients who have 'hacked' their own healthcare to improve communication, connect the dots between their providers, and generally create a more satisfying patient experience. These problem-solving trailblazers give us a glimpse into a future of highly informed, connected and empowered patients - so we'd be smart to listen to them now.

"Last year's HxD conference was so amazingly inspiring, and has definitely caused me to strive harder and become more passionate about improving our healthcare system." - 2012 HxD Attendee

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Watch the 2012 HXD Conference Recap