The Biomedical Library hosted the first event of the 2019 Healthcare Design Challenge in the recently reopened Stemmler side of the library. The Health Care Design Challenge is directed each year by the Wharton Innovation and Design Club in conjunction with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). The club assembles a group of graduate students to participate in the challenge from across many different Penn colleges, including Wharton, Engineering, Design, Nursing, and Medicine, and HUP presents a relevant problem for the students to work on. This year, HUP proposed the problem of patients arriving late to appointments to be the focus of the Challenge.
The Biomedical Library provided an ideal space for the event, and was a big part of what made it so successful. The large open space on the Stemmler side of the library had plenty of room for students to break out in groups to draw out their ideas on large canvases that had been posted onto the columns that populate the space. The event itself was guided by consultants from Frog Design, a NY based product design company that has done innovative work for clients such as Sony, Apple, Microsoft, and Disney. These instructors stressed the need for collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking, and taught techniques for creating innovative ideas through kinetic activities that had students interacting and moving throughout the space.
I personally have been working as the 3D printing intern at the Biomedical Library for nearly two years, which has afforded me the chance to work with students, researchers, and faculty all over the University on innovative projects. When it came time to pick a location to host the challenge, the Biomedical Library was the most obvious choice. The interdisciplinary nature of the work I’ve done there and the wide range of people that it serves makes the library a hub for innovation and collaboration, and its direct connection to the Perelman School of Medicine and proximity to HUP made it very convenient for speakers from the hospital to stop by and present to students. In the future, I have no doubt that more student organizations focused on solving healthcare challenges and collaborative innovation will look to the Biomedical Library as a central location for gathering and holding events.