Design Lab

Inset_Innovation_DesignLab_Design.jpgFor decades, companies, innovators and entrepreneurs have designed technology and tools for providers, patients and hospitals without taking that proverbial mile-long walk in their shoes. However, that method no longer works in the era of the consumer. People are looking for products that address their needs and ultimately solve their real-world problems.

How might we create paths that fit each person’s journey?

Human-centered design starts and ends with people. It’s about building empathy for those an organization serves by getting to know them better. With that in mind, the Design Lab works closely with end-users, including patients, families, clinicians or others to design solutions that are engaging and life-changing.

In collaboration with other labs, the Design Lab will generate ideas, build prototypes, test with end-users and eventually offer solid solutions in health care. With a focus on community health, the Design Lab will gather information on the streets of urban communities and in the fields of rural towns to create technology and tools for vulnerable populations.

Designing the future

  • Heart failure app: Clinicians often find it difficult to help patients manage complex medical conditions such as heart failure as it often includes taking multiple medications, self-care routines and diet and lifestyle changes. As a result, the Design Lab is developing a heart failure app as a resource to help patients manage their condition.
  • Skin lesion app: A recent study shows medical schools don’t commit enough curriculum to dermatology, making it difficult for primary care doctors to diagnose and treat basic skin issues. In response, the Design Lab is developing an app to help identify skin lesions, determine their severity and choose the right treatments. The app is not only for teaching, but for use by primary care doctors who are often the only clinician some patients will see. A less complex version could be scaled for personal use by patients.
  • Mobile devices in shelters program: The homeless are some of the most underserved people in the country when it comes to health care. To make a dent in this problem, the Design Lab is testing the use of placing iPads in shelters for use by residents. The goal is to connect those in need with resources, such as food, transportation or employment. Users can also use the mobile device to connect with faith community nurses who deliver health care to disadvantaged populations where they are.
  • Mobile vaccination program: Vaccinating children in underserved populations remains a high priority for OSF HealthCare. A grant from Illinois Innovation Network will help the Design Lab in partnership with Illinois State University do just that. The funding will be used to develop an artificial intelligence-driven dashboard. Data from the dashboard will direct a mobile vaccination program that provides free recommended children’s vaccinations in underserved areas of central Illinois.

Help us create health care solutions people want!

If you are interested in learning more about the Design Lab, participating in certain aspects of the journey or if you want to invest or partner, contact us today.

Leading the Way


Scott Barrows, Design Lab Lead


Roopa Foulger, Collaborator, Data and Advanced Informatics Lab

Adam Cross, MD

Adam Cross, MD, Clinical Informaticist, Children's Innovation Lab Lead