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Healthcare + Systems + Risk + Design with Rob Lister — DT101 E122

Rob Lister is a designer in healthcare, creating meaningful experiences in many arenas, including medical device design, care delivery, service design, and population health strategy. His experience as a design leader at IDEO and AT&T, and his background as a mechanical engineer, inform a strategic and operationally focused approach to innovation in healthcare. We talk about service design in healthcare and using design thinking to innovate in the healthcare industry.

Portrait of Rob Lister

Listen to Learn About

  • The power of design thinking to rethink and reshape healthcare
  • Designing in complex systems
  • The unique challenges of designing within healthcare systems
  • Future Medical Systems’ work

Our Guest

Rob Lister is a designer in health care, creating meaningful experiences in many arenas, including medical device design, care delivery service design, and population health strategy. His experience as a design leader at IDEO and AT&T — and his background as a mechanical engineer — inform a strategic and operationally-focused approach to innovation in health care. He has collaborated with organizations ranging from pharma/tech giants (Eli Lilly and 3M Health Care), care providers (Stanford Health Care and SCAN Health) to early-stage medtech startups (Tusker Medical and Arrinex).

Show Highlights

[02:17] Rob offers appreciation for the DT 101 podcast.
[02:44] Rob’s design Genesis story.
[03:42] Starting as a mechanical engineer.
[04:08] Getting to work at IDEO.
[04:56] Rob’s passion for the healthcare industry.
[05:32] Leading IDEO’s medical products team.
[06:51] Rob’s brief interlude as the Director of Design at AT&T.
[07:01] Co-founding Future Medical Systems.
[07:44] Using design thinking in the healthcare industry.
[09:04] Working with the nurses on medication safety practices at Lucile Packard Hospitals.
[10:36] Medication injury is a massive, systemic issue in healthcare.
[13:40] The role of communication in systems’ breakdowns.
[17:08] The designer’s blessing.
[18:35] The evolution of service design from product design.
[22:24] Design thinking’s effect on risk mitigation design.
[22:50] The importance of co-designing in service design.
[23:43] Prototyping in real time at the point of care.
[24:03] Rob’s three pillars of design thinking.
[24:56] Future Medical Systems’ “micro pilots.”
[25:53] Finding less risky ways of creating change within a system.
[27:24] Rob talks about one of his healthcare dream projects: what happens after discharge when patients go home?
[31:42] A Miro Moment.
[33:00] Dawan asks Rob to talk about some of his other dream projects.
[33:32] How do we find ways of better involving family members in a patient’s care?
[34:32] Creating better frameworks around patient informed consent.
[34:59] Involving nurses more in decision making.
[36:44] Rob offers gratitude for nurses.
[38:05] Where to learn more about Rob and his work, and advice from Rob for those who might want to get into designing for healthcare.


Rob on LinkedIn
Rob on Medium
Future Medical Systems

Book Recommendation

Discovery Design: Design Thinking for Healthcare Improvement, by Future Medical Systems and The Risk Authority

Design Thinking 101 Episodes You Might Like

Healthcare Innovation + Nursing + Opportunities for Designers — DT101 E109
A Designer’s Journey into Designing for Health and Healthcare with Lorna Ross — DT101 E45
Designing Health Systems + Creating Effective Design Workshops with Sean Molloy — DT101 E44

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