I recently experienced today’s health care system first-hand from the patient’s perspective. One of the things that struck me was the amount of improvisation that took place in order to devise solutions for which a dedicated product wasn’t available. For example, showering with an IV line in place. In order to keep the IV dry, my nurse took an exam glove and a plastic baggie, covered the site with those and wrapped Coban around to keep them in place. Here is a common situation that begs for a dedicated product solution. In fact, there are products already in the market that do just that. Why wasn’t the hospital using them? Unaware that they existed? Cost-prohibitive to use? Not readily available to the nursing staff? Just easier to use the improvised solution? If it’s the latter, then a product design opportunity exists.

Tethered to monitors and IV drips, it was an ordeal to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. My lines reached only if I moved the monitor arm to its extreme position. It took a while to figure that out. The management of cords, lines and cables is a significant problem everywhere in the hospital. It’s the thing that contributes most to a general feeling of messiness. If solutions could be designed to solve the cable management problem, the patient experience would be improved dramatically.