Why is it that some of life's biggest "no-brainers" are often not obvious to the people they effect most? In this case I'm thinking of professionals in the healthcare industry, who talk about "patients" with a strange kind of distance, as if they themselves didn't have health issues and need to see doctors sometimes — as if we folks with chronic illness were fundamentally of one single, stubborn mind. We're just people like you, for goodness' sake!
Please take a read of my latest Straight Up column over at dLife, called "Patients = People," and let me know if you agree.
On a related note, during a little chat over lunch at the recent Project HealthDesign conference, a certain healthcare professional was explaining to me: "We were trying to organize this conference where we'd educate the medical engineers about getting together with effected patients to discuss their design ideas, and the engineers said, 'Why would we want to do that?'"
My mouth (full of salad) just dropped open, is all. Because it appears to me that soliciting feedback on medical devices from the actual people who will buy and use them is so vital — and such a basic business requirement — that I had been just about to ask her, "Why do you even need a special conference on THAT?"
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