The new HELIX Centre for Design in Healthcare is a collaboration between the Royal College of Art and the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) at Imperial College London. It will be based at London’s St. Mary’s Hospital.
The HELIX centre will focus on ‘frugal innovation or high impact, low-cost design’ through a programme of training, workshops and seminars in innovation and entrepreneurship for healthcare staff.
Working within a clinical environment, the centre will bring together clinicians, academics, technologists and venture capitalist experts, who will work with NHS staff to develop the innovations.
Key focuses of the centre will be enhancing patient care, working to meet the needs of the ageing population, improving clinical outcomes and preventing disease.
HELIX co-director and Rector of the Royal College of Art, Dr Paul Thompson, says, ‘Transforming and improving healthcare will lead to cost-effective delivery of services and will also cement the UK’s reputation as a global research hub for healthcare innovation.
‘At the same time, what we are doing is laying the building blocks to engage a whole new generation of designers and design thinkers to think about healthcare in new and different ways.’
The centre says that it will also work internationally with partners including Stanford University, Singapore University of Technology and Design the IDEO and TATA in India to develop ideas and create commercial opportunities for its designs.
Professor Lord Ara Darzi, co-Director of HELIX and director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, says, ‘Innovation in healthcare can come at a high price.
‘In the developed world it is often characterised by costly and high tech initiatives, where ideas can take a decade to deliver from concept into a clinician¹s hands. HELIX will use design to solve everyday problems in healthcare, focusing on frugal solutions which can be adopted more quickly by health systems.’
The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design was design partner on the recent study into the Pearson Lloyd-led redesign of hospital accident and emergency departments which showed the interventions had cut aggression by 50 per cent.