Healthcare is a complex matter. When healthy we seem to feel invulnerable. And only when sick we are confronted with the notion of health. In my personal opinion, new technologies strongly influence our image of healthcare.
The current H1N1-flu for example, encourages a huge faith in a possible vaccine. It is like wanting to have a software-update for your system. And since it is too difficult to engineer this for ourselves, we need superb hackers of the human body to fix our systems. Without them, humanity seems doomed.
In general, no object is life threatening until some crucial variables are in the wrong balance. In any cocktail an element can be present;
- at the wrong place
- at the wrong time
- at the wrong dose
The proper balance between variables appears to be excellent design requirement. Yet, how to control the presence of these variables in daily life? Currently we employ obtrusive medical barriers to cover an H1N1-epidemic: isolation methods, disinfection, facemasks, gloves, etc. Barriers are not very easy to integrate in our daily interactions.
Then again, consider how earlier societies dealt with similar problems. They often didn’t have those superb medical hackers. The Romans had sanitary facilities that not only served to prevent diseases, but also had social meaning. It resides an ambition to design pleasure back into healthcare.
Let’s stop having the idea we have malfunctioning software that should be externally fixed. Let us start by exploring how design can bring a more balanced approach to human healthcare and wellbeing.
In the coming period, Dot Kite | Lab will provide insights on how we can achieve this. We are looking forward to your comments, insights and reflections upon this topic. Keep in touch.