Engineering value-effective healthcare solutions: A systems design perspective

DS 87-3 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 3: Product, Services and Systems Design, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Patou, François; Maier, Anja
Series: ICED
Institution: Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 031-040
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


Our modern healthcare systems commonly face an important dilemma. While they depend on innovation to provide continuously greater healthcare value, they also struggle financially with the burden of adopting a continuous flow of new products and services. Although several disruptive healthcare models, i.e. decentralised, personalised, pervasive, connected, and stratified, promise to relieve some of this tension, they do not per se guarantee optimal value generation. We argue that systems thinking and engineering design can remedy this limitation. We support this claim by making the case of Design for Evolvability and by elaborating on two examples: MRI systems and Point-of-Care in-vitro diagnostics solutions. We specifically argue that Design for Evolvability can realign the agendas of various healthcare stakeholders, serving both individual and national interests. We finally acknowledge the limitations of current engineering design practices and call for new theoretical and empirical research initiatives taking a systems perspective on healthcare product and service design.

Keywords: Design for X (DfX), Large-scale engineering systems, Biomedical design, Innovation, Healthcare


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