Daniela Ivanova

Health, Tech & You – A new generation of digital wellbeing experiences

Along side the Design’s of The Year exhibition at the Design Museum in London, a beautifully designed area was specifically dedicated to the emerging industry of healthcare technology. The AXA PPP space showcased winning health technology products and services. In March 2015 AXA PPP announced winners in six categories including Keep Me Healthy, Manage My Condition, Signs and Symptoms, Most Innovative Provider, Best R&D Product and the Special Category of supporting parents through pregnancy, birth and early years childcare.

Health tech is certainly an area with incredibly high potential for improving people’s lives, and this was reflected in the variety of people that the AXA PPP nominees and winners solved problems for. These varied from ‘Living It Up’ 50+ people who co-designed a central informational ‘hub’ for keeping track of their health and engaging in local community activities, to the coaching app Baby Buddy’s first-time parents that go through the anxiety and the myriad dilemmas associated with parenthood.

Products and services in the health and wellbeing space primarily emphasise on preventive ‘self-care’ and AXA PPP winners were no exception. Emerging health tech products track personal health indicators, help in recognising symptoms early on and also aim to help us cultivate a more mindful approach to our everyday lives. Babylon, the winner in the Most Innovative Provider category, was described as the future of healthcare delivery. The integrated solution digitalises multiple touch-points between the patient and the healthcare provider, and it allows patients to have a phone or video consultation with a GP, and to attach photos, videos or sound recordings to be used in diagnosis. It can also alert local pharmacies about patient’s prescriptions.

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The majority of emerging services around healthcare stem from an ethos of empowerment. They are inclusive in essence and are co-designed with the people that use them. Smartphone apps and sensors, add-on products for smartphones, various monitoring devices and wearables all give us greater control over our own health condition and encourage us to act upon it. It seems that we are learning to bridge the gap between physical and digital in more meaningful ways. And the optimum balance between physical and digital interaction that a service needs to facilitate in order to stay relevant to the people, is the next frontier.

The Designs of the Year 2015 and the Health, Tech & You exhibitions celebrate the power, inclusivity and innovative spirit of design. We left the Design Museum overwhelmed by the powerful ideas we saw and brimming with inspiration.

Daniela Ivanova

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