Using Design Thinking to address challenges with organ transplantation in the UAE
As part of the course “Innovation and Technologies for Health Sciences”, first year medical students have started this week to learn how to identify needs and pain points, define a specific problem, find ideas, materialized them and eventually test them. This so-called “Human-Centered Design (HCD)” approach has become very popular to address ill-defined problems in healthcare. Very often implemented by means of a Design Thinking process, HCD puts the end-user at the center of the innovation process to ensure that the solution that is designed meets the needs and expectations.
In order to apply the concept of HCD and Design Thinking, students work in teams of six on a specific health challenge. This year, the grand challenge is organ transplantation, which has received the support of an expert in this field: Professor Waldo Concepcion, Director of Transplantation Services at Al Jalila and Professor Adjunct at MBRU. Professor Waldo helped us define the challenge that was then divided into six sub-challenges:
1) How to explain the role of transplantation in medicine?
2) How to educate primary/secondary students on the concept of organ transplant?
3) How to encourage people to donate organs?
4) How to efficiently transport organs across the UAE?
5) How to encourage a better lifestyle to decrease risk of organ failure?
6) What will the journey of organ transplantation look like in the future?
Not only have the teams the chance to interact with Professor Waldo, but also with renown experts in the field of transplantation such as Dr. Farhart Janahi, Assistant Professor in surgery and kidney transplant surgeon, Dr. Reem Al-Jayyousi, Associate Professor in Medicine and Nephrologist, and Ms Nujood Al khloofi, Director of Communication and External Relationship as well as Coordinator of Transplantation in the UAE.
The teams started to collect data, while they are expected to present their solutions by the end of November. Stay tuned!
Dr. Thomas Boillat
Assistant Professor ‑ Healthcare Innovation and Technologies
College of Medicine