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Health Care Design Conference - 2013 Boston


About Me

Cassie creates interface and design strategies for health technology, focusing on chronic conditions in mHealth. Her work includes bant, a diabetes app for teens, <30 Days, a daily challenge app for heart and stroke health, and breathe, an asthma management tool. She helped coordinate Hacking Health in Toronto, a hackathon that brought 200 designers, developers and clinicians together for a weekend. She champions the case for good design within healthcare organizations in the community and on her blog, Designing Healthcare.

Q&A with Cassie

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

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  • Q1: What is your burning mission in health?

    To get smart people in healthcare to take creative risks, and to get smart people in creative roles to work in healthcare. Designers spend too much time on inconsequential problems like banner ads when their skills can literally save lives. Clinicians are too tied to bad ways of doing things. We need to overcome barriers on both sides for designers and healthcare practitioners to work together effectively.

  • Q3: Why it inspires you?

    Two spaces after a period is one of those things many designers resolve with “Find and replace” instead of taking time to educate the perpetrators. I love this article because it reminds me that design is not an art created by a lone genius, it is an established craft and community of craftspeople. Designers are gatekeepers and have to protect their discipline, but we are also teammates and colleagues. Although snarky, the article reminds me that design snaffoos happen for a reason (sometimes a long, historical reason), and instead of being the kind of designers that work in isolation we can choose to build our skills and craft by teaching others and letting them in on the “magic”. Teaching is, afterall, the best way to learn.

  • Q4: What is your patient story?

    My father passed away last July from end stage liver disease. What I think really killed him though was the lack of mental healthcare throughout his life and lack of access to specialized care where he lived (in rural Texas). Before he died he had a serious surgery and my brother and I flew out to see him. I wrote about that visit and trying to navigate a complex system to be a health advocate for a loved one. It is experiences like this that reinforce my pledge to always try and talk about the hard stuff, especially if it will make a difference in somebody’s life.

  • Q5: Why HxD?

    I was shocked when I first heard that this type of conference actually existed – I thought there weren’t many of us heathcare-designer-nerds out there! It feels awesome to be a part of a community where designers want to make a difference and healthcare folks respect what we do.

  • Q6: Why come to your session?

    • You are a healthcare professional that wants to work with designers but doesn’t know how
    • You are a designer that wants to work in healthcare but doesn’t know how
    • You are a designer already working in healthcare and you want ways to be more effective
    • You want to create better work, better products and a better culture for your team

Cassie at the Conference

CONFERENCE | Monday, March 25

The Embedded Designer: How to Make Designers an Integral Part of Your Team

Currently, very little in healthcare is deliberately designed. The bar for design standards is low compared to other industries, and this is because we have not yet made the space for design experts in healthcare. We need people who understand clinical practice and patient needs as well as those can design for the human experience and create an engaging end product. But how do the two professional worlds of designers and clinical experts mesh? Where do we begin to work together? This session will outline how to lay down the infrastructure for designer and clinician collaboration by sharing case studies, challenges, opportunities, and tips and tricks, particularly from the lens of the largest human factors design team in the world devoted to health.

"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