Health Design 2017 brought together healthcare, design, and technology professionals


Design expertise to help in commercialising health technology.

The Health Design 2017 event was organized on Aalto University’s campus in Otaniemi late November. The event focused on the design of health services, health technology, and hospital architecture. It brought together healthcare, design, and technology professionals, as well as healthcare companies and research organizations. Aalto University was a partner in this event, organized by Northbay, Healthtech Finland, and HUS. 

Discussed were questions such as: How does one commercialize health technology through application of design expertise? How to develop healthcare services via deploying a virtual hospital? Which design principles have been important in the New Children's Hospital in Helsinki?

The day included a number of short presentations. Otto Olavinen, Creative Director at Northbay, opened the event by welcoming the audience to a day of diverse viewpoints into health and design. Aalto University Professor Risto Ilmoniemi then elaborated on these viewpoints, emphasising design for user experience, the joy of creating, the value of simplicity, and that great design is a piece of art. He also gave examples of beauty in science and engineering, based on his experience in physics and medical technology.

Saara Hassinen, Managing Director at Healthtech Finland, a federation of the industry’s companies, summarized the economic significance of the medtech industry in Finland and the promise of design in supporting its growth, and welcomed the audience on behalf of Healthtech Finland. 

Aalto Professor Turkka Keinonen brought forth intercultural aspects of industrial design, emphasizing the role of creative insight and user engagement. Professor Anne Pitkäranta, HUS’ research director, discussed design in the context of modern, functional, and aesthetic hospital clothing. Jari Renko, CTO of Apotti, talked about the challenge of designing an information system that integrates health and social care as well as primary and specialized healthcare across a province-wide clientele. 


Zeynep Falay von Flittner, Hellon, addressed the question of how can service design improve customer experience in healthcare.


Dr. Pekka Lahdenne, HUS, spoke about user-centric design of the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki.


Of the event’s international speakers, Dr. Prashant Jha from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, presented frugal innovations from the International Biodesign Program, illustrating how the diversity of the Indian society can enable better results from innovating. 

Interviewed on video by Trish Hansen, Dr. Jane Andrew, Marco Biccanti, and Professor Ian Gwilt outlined how companies, hospitals, research organizations, and public administrations in Australia and Finland can collaborate in a mutually beneficial fashion and support the achievement of their respective goals. A significant ecosystem in the Southern Hemisphere is emerging in their location in Adelaide, South Australia. 

Several companies presented their business and discussed health design in its context: Hellon, Kaiku Health, Merivaara, SARC Architects, and Nordkapp regarding Beddit.

GlucoModicum won the product concept pitching competition

An important culmination of the day was the final stage of the associated product concept pitching competition, whose prizes were funded by the Instrumentarium Science Foundation. The aim of the competition was to advance research-based health innovations. The prizes were won by these teams:

1.   GlucoModicum, 30 000 euros for further development of needle-free and painless glucose monitoring
2.   Afecta, 15 000 euros for further development of data-driven metabolic profiling
3.   Thermolazer, 5 000 euros for further development of heating therapy for age-related macular degeneration



Celebrating with the Health Design competition winners: GlucoModicum, Afekta and Thermolazer.  

The final stage was also reached by Cognituner, Identa, and Say It Again Kid. All teams received feedback for developing their concept further from an expert jury.

The organizers’ goal is to further develop and expand the event for the future. The next Health Design eventis being planned for November 2018. ​

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Instrumentarium Science Foundation