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Service Design (MA)

Daniela Amorim Reis

Technology is increasingly at the heart of healthcare and its future. Data is opening up new opportunities for improved care through life-changing science, monitoring devices, better diagnostics, and optimised clinical pathways.

These developments create new challenges for medical professionals. In addition to the essential knowledge and experience of medical practice, new skills are required to understand, analyse, interpret, and utilise data sets and respond critically and creatively.

In our research into current medical training, it is clear that formal training is not keeping up with rapidly changing technological advancements, leaving young professionals lacking in these essential skills. In addition, developing greater multi-disciplinary collaboration across medical teams will support the use of data and improve effectiveness.

So, how might we provide every qualified medical professional with the critical, technical, creative and human-centred skills to understand and work with data as part of their future practice?

I have always been curious — maybe too much. Service Design gives me a framework to apply my curiosity to understand users, systems, and processes in order to create and deliver the right solutions to the right problems.

I'm originally from Campo Grande, Brazil; London is the sixth city that I have lived in, and she has previously called Chicago (US), San Francisco (US), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Leysin (Switzerland) home.

Before transitioning into service design, I have worked in UI/UX, Graphic Design, and Security. I hold a BFA in Visual Communication Design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently I work as a Design Researcher at Studio intO

In my free time I enjoy cooking and organizing events geared towards the design community.

I am always happy to collaborate, so feel free to reach out!

Every person involved in delivering care has an important role to play, a specific area of expertise, and their collective skills are the secret sauce for innovating in care. Still, and especially when working with technology, professionals are siloed and not on the same page when collaborating due to a lack of a common language. 

We should not expect all physicians to become data scientists, the same way you shouldn’t expect your goalie to be a great striker. However, you should expect them to excel at their position while still understanding how to work together with other players towards your goal.

To have bright players working together in a brilliant team, you need an effective training programme that leverages their strengths and prepares them for the uncertain realities of the playing field. With that in mind, we created Datagym. Healthcare is a sport, and Datagym is the coach. 

Datagym has five stages:

Conditioning: Ensures a common baseline of technical knowledge through an online foundations course and a data skills self-assessment to match multidisciplinary teams together according to their complementary skills.

Warm-ups: Teaches learners how to identify opportunities and problem areas from within their own context through a design thinking process, guaranteeing a holistic understanding of people, systems, and processes.

Drills: Equips students to generate and communicate solutions through ideating and low-fi prototyping and identify the most feasible solutions to develop.

Strengthening: Encourages students to bring projects as close to reality as possible through iterating via an agile development framework.

Cool Down: Participants document and share their learnings while building on the knowledge of others through presentations, case study writing, or even publishing code on GitHub

Online Foundations — The online platform teaches learners about basic theoretical concepts around data and digital tranformation
Design as a common language — Datagym learners are taken through a design thinking process to ensure a common understanding of the issue at hand

Being on the same page is crucial for working across disciplines and a critical issue in digital healthcare. We have observed that frequently clinicians and technologists have different words for the same thing. For example, collaboration means working with people for clinicians, while for developers, it means publishing code on GitHub.

We teach our learners the terminology, basic theory and use cases for current technologies and their limitations through our online foundational courses, but that is only one part of the equation.

Design Thinking completes the puzzle. Through workshops and sprints, we ensure all learners have a shared understanding of the right problem to solve while taking into account all the people and moving parts that might be involved in the process

We believe learning is done best by getting your hands dirty. Many of the advancements we see are only reproducible in research labs. Still, the reality of digital transformation is one of complex systems with multiple moving parts.

When pushing for innovation or improvement, professionals need to equip themselves with a growth mindset; to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and stay calm in the face of uncertainty.

Datagym students develop their ideas further into MVPs through an agile framework with the support of their peers and a mentor, all whilst being in a safe space to fail and experiment.

Students learn to think in an iterative mindset of continuous improvement and the value of sharing unfinished ideas and failures with their peers through weekly stand-ups and occasional show-and-tells.

Besides, you cannot understand collaboration by reading a book, but you can practice it by doing.

Stakeholder Benefits

We aim to provide Datagym as a B2B service for large hospitals, clinics and trusts to train staff while working on issues their institutions face.

Not only would these organizations benefit from capacity building, home-grown solutions to local problems and better collaborations, but they also prove themselves to be the ideal point of intervention. Their staff already have the many permissions necessary for handling health data, an in-depth understanding of the challenges of their practice. They are also under pressure to upskill but may not have the time to take a post-graduate course.

Healthcare is a challenging field to innovate in. For the programme to launch, it needs to be associated with a large institution, ideally a teaching hospital or university, or it will be bound to fail.

If you are interested in helping us bring Datagym to reality, please feel free to contact us or book a Calendly appointment!