I graduated from the Integrated Product Design master’s with the Medisign specialisation. My graduation assignment was carried out for the Reinier de Graaf Hospital in Delft. During this period I developed a surgical device to provide better accessibility in the hip joint during the procedure of hip arthroscopy. During the master’s programme I followed an internship at MEDD, a design agency that focuses on healthcare. After my graduation, I started working as a user-centred designer at MEDD. By using the user-centred approach I was involved in product development as well as in research projects and process analysis. This job gave me the opportunity to put my knowledge into practice. For a few months now, I have been working at Vilans. Vilans is a centre of expertise for long-term care. As a junior employee, I work in the department of Innovation and Research. In this job my focus is on eHealth projects. I am involved in research into the application of new technologies for longterm care – for example the use of domotics. Having a background in industrial design is a great advantage in this job and gives me the feeling that I really can apply what I learned at TU Delft. Using the Design Thinking approach gives me a head start as a junior employee in this professional environment. My ambition is to combine state-of-the-art technology for human care by using the user-centred design approach. In my first year after graduation, I was able to put into practice what I learned at TU Delft and continue my development in Medisign. A really satisfying experience!
Shortly after having started the Design for Interaction master’s programme, I decided to enrol for Medisign. Ever since high school I have had an interest in medicine and this specialisation turned out to be the perfect opportunity to combine two very different fields of expertise. Little did I know that the vast possibilities of Medisign would radically alter my perspective on my studies and, more importantly, remind me of my responsibility as a designer. During a little over 18 months, I have studied the behaviour of diabetic patients, designed surgical instruments for dissection, interviewed numerous doctors and nurses for a project on patient transportation and studied specific areas of a hospital environment. Opportunities for interesting projects are endless and depend largely on the motivation and persistence of the student. Therefore, Medisign isn’t so much a specialisation as an opportunity for students to go far beyond previous boundaries. Every single course and elective enables the acquisition of skills to incorporate the specific attention of medical design needs. It is equally rewarding to always present your findings alongside other Medisign students, and to broaden your knowledge of other areas of medicine. Now that I am close to the end of my studies I can conclude with my graduation project, which again has the enticing opportunity to enhance interactions and enable a more secure way of patient transportation. Medisign has left me with a real sense of just how broad the medical field can be and at this point I can only imagine the projects I might one day work on. One way or another, I hope to further pursue my interest in medicine and maintain the idea that any medical design should not make a user’s experience different, but rather, better.
Medisign provides a look into all different aspects of designing for healthcare: from designing for better privacy in hospitals to testing prototypes in the operating theater. And from exploring the human anatomy in the dissection room to a study on malaria diagnostics in Nigeria. The specialization gives a nice balance between medical topics, applying design methodology and doing research. By specializing in the field of healthcare, I discovered that this sector is extremely broad: there are a lot of opportunities in this field and I hope to keep on designing for better care in my future career!