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Better care


"Who needs a cart for something you can hold in your hand?"

We had seen this pattern before. Compact ultrasound was billed as a mobile technology that could be used as a clipboard. When the technology launched, the first thing nurses asked for was a place to put it. Technology is more than a thing. It is a way of doing things. We knew doctors and nurses would need a mobile platform to support their workflow, not their iPads.

“Pocket changes care into collaboration by connecting doctors and patients in a new way.”

We pitched a loose concept to Steelcase- a valued partner. We had a proven workflow model to work from and we needed Steelcase to agree a market need would evolve. We shared our data and we talked about the importance of intuition. Steelcase moved from idea to project approval in 48 hours- not bad for a $2 billion company.

We had a few questions to answer. Where does an iPad belong when a whole clinic shares it? If a doctor and a patient want to review images together, who holds the iPad? How do you prevent iPads from walking out the door? We started with conversations, brainstorming sessions and concept explorations. We searched for metaphors and looked at everything from kiosks and lecterns to microphone stands. We needed something iPad-like: simple, affordable and easy to understand.

You can think of Pocket as a music stand on wheels. It holds your iPad so you can do something else. Now, a doctor has her hands free for a reassuring touch. Pocket gives doctors, nurses and patients a place to display images and share navigation tasks. Pocket changes care into collaboration by connecting doctors and patients in a new way.

We added a lockable frame to make the iPad secure in a crowded emergency room. When Pocket arrives, you open the box, five parts go together with one tool in fewer than seven minutes and you are ready to roll. We knew different people would use Pocket in different ways so we made the bin at the rear of the work surface large enough to hold a power brick, bar code scanner or patient file.

We co-developed a new caster for Steelcase to reduce cost and noise and we repurposed the upright from another product to save energy and material. Once the design was complete, we started over again and changed every part to reduce material and energy content. The designers at Steelcase borrowed a phrase from Google to describe the result: "Simple to use and easy to love."

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