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I attended a briefing by the DesignSingapore Council’s International Advisory Panel on Friday that discussed making healthcare an economic driver of this city-state in the future. Now think about this. As the politics of the US continues to grind on around providing all Americans with the basics of health care, the government of Singapore has put together a panel of some of the world’s top designers to reshape it’s already terrific medical system so that it attracts people from all over the world to its facilities—and makes high value medicine a 21st century industry.
The International Advisory Panel consists of Chris Bangle, former Chief of Design for BMW and now head of Chris Bangle Associates; Richard Seymour and Dick Powell co-founders of Semourpowell, the renown British design and innovation consultancy; Steve Hayden, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy New York and Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; Toyo Ito, founder of Toyo Ito & Ass. architects; and many other smart folks.
The IAP said that Singapore’s medical system had a great foundation of combining both Western medicine with Eastern traditional practices. It called the remix “harmonic.”
And the panel suggested taking the next step beyond implementing efficient process planning and providing excellent facilities to innovate better experiences for patients and doctors and nurses in the practice of medicine. Better experiences lead to better health outcomes, better efficiences and lower costs.
This is similar to the work being done at the Mayo Clinic, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, Kaiser Permanente and other medical centers in the US. But not in Washington at the national policy-making level, as it is in Singapore. Singapore is a generation ahead of the US in the development of a modern health care system. It has the plumbing down—process and facilities— and is now working on the next level of value—human experience, wellness and economic growth. And it is turning to the world’s top design thinkers to help guide it. Who is determining the shape of the American health care system today? Insurance companies and their lobbyists?
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