So why does the OR or the medical device field in general need art? Worrell’s founder Bob Worrell lists 2 companies: Apple and Google.
“Wouldn’t think of them as being in the healthcare business, but they are moving into that very significantly,” Worrell said during a recent webinar with MDO. “It’s important, I think, for design to be involved in the healthcare industry, because as this industry grows, it will be crowded. There will be competition. There’s a real need for innovative solutions and points of differentiation, and I think that’s what we designers bring to this program.”
For much of his more than 40 years in healthcare, Worrell answered to engineers. Much of the time, engineers created a device and then asked designers such as Worrell to do a “skin job,” shape the box – basically make it look pretty. Only in recent years have designers been able to bring their “lateral thinking” to bear earlier in the medical device development process, working as partners with engineers.
“We’re generating sketches, we’re generating models, we’re evaluating work flows. It’s really, ‘What part of this product interacts with a human at some point?’ Those are all of the things that we will touch,” said Nicole Parks, industrial design manager at Worrell.