Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘medical’

Come Hear my Thoughts on the Present and Future of “Sensor Driven Healthcare”

Posted by Plish on October 2, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be giving a talk at the Midwest Sensors Conference on Tuesday.  My topic:

2:45pm-3:15pm | Sensor-Driven Healthcare: Innovative Applications Today & Tomorrow

Michael Plishka, President, ZenStorming LLC

The world of medical sensors seems to be transforming the world of medical products on what seems to be a daily basis. Michael Plishka of ZenStorming, will share some of the sensor technologies that he believes are making waves in healthcare. He will also discuss and extend the definition of what ‘sensor technologies’ are and where to find them, opening the door to new business opportunities for medical products and services. Here’s to creative solutions and a better world!

Even if you can’t make it for my talk, the conference runs through Wednesday.


Would love to see you there!!




Posted in Design, Healthcare, innovation, Medical Devices | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Healthcare Providers Can Learn From This Taco Bell

Posted by Plish on May 17, 2014

The Best Taco Bell For Medical Procedures


There’s a Taco Bell that I’ve been stopping by for a quick taco or two.  I would stop there to get medical tests if I could.

??? What???

You see, every time I’ve visited and someone at the register needed to go and help on the food assembly line, that person has done something amazing.

Well, at least it’s (unfortunately) amazing by healthcare standards.

The person washes her hands.

I’m not talking the typical ‘bathroom’ wash that you see most people do.  You’ve seen it, it goes like this:

  1. Turn on the water
  2. Use a little soap if around
  3. Wash for about 5 seconds, maybe 10
  4. Shut the water off (if it’s not automatic)
  5. Shake the hands and grab a paper towel to dry(maybe)
  6. Leave

In fact, researchers have found that only about 5 percent of people wash their hands properly.

But, these folks at this Taco Bell are amazing.  They wash the way hands are supposed to be washed, which I must say, I usually don’t see consistently happening in healthcare facilities. (I’ve even seen healthcare workers skip the easier anti-microbial hand sanitizer squirt!)

The Taco Bell folks do the following:

I actually counted to see how long these people wash and rinse and they’re following best practices.    It also doesn’t matter if they’re busy or slow.  I’ve seen workers take the time to wash (and follow with an antimicrobial squirt) no matter how crazy the atmosphere or how long the lines.

This is a TACO BELL people!

Customers are there for their food and they want it quick.   Employees could easily pull a line that’s often heard in healthcare hand-washing studies: “I don’t have time to wash.” But, these conscientious workers have made it a part of their culture to make sure they wash their hands.

What’s even more important is that if employees are taking the time to wash, they certainly are doing other things right as well.

Congrats Taco Bell on Grand!  Keep up the good work!

For all the healthcare facilities out there, it might be worth doing some self-examination and asking, “Why can Taco Bell do it and we can’t?”

If you can’t find the answer, pay Taco Bell a visit and watch.





Posted in Case Studies, Customer Focus, Design, Health Concerns, Healthcare, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Improving the Patient X-Ray Experience

Posted by Plish on February 2, 2011

I had a different post planned for this week, but on Friday, in a freak accident, I snapped my kneecap and went on a whirlwind, 48 hour tour of the emergency and surgical facilities at a local hospital.  Because of  the nature of my injuries, I was required to get x-rays of my knee – a lot of x-rays.  I lost count.  There were at least 10, 14 maybe.  It actually seemed like more!

The X-ray process is very regimented. You get in, you get positioned, you have to hold the position (sometimes also holding your breath), the x-ray gets taken and then you relax until you get repositioned for the next one, and so on…

There are indicators outside the entry doors for those in the hallways to tell them when the x-ray is in use, but nothing in the room for the patient.  When I asked the tech about it he said, “There’s a little beep.  When you hear it, that’s when the x-ray is happening – only during that time.”  He took the next x-ray and I heard a faint beep in the control room.

 “Hear it?”

“Yup,” I said.  But, quite frankly it was next to impossible to hear.  The reason why it’s so important to hear is that, as  a patient, I was lying there with my leg bent in an awkward, and painful position.  I only wanted to hold it for as long as needed.  I needed to know when the x-ray was complete so I could relax.  Now, I know that many techs will actually announce, “You can relax now,” and that’s good.  But what about before the xray?  The patient is patiently holding and is never quite sure when the x-ray is going to come.  All of a sudden it happens and they say, “Relax.”

There needs to be a better way.

So, I started thinking  how other participatory processes are guided.  Drag racing, traffic lights, car washes, dancing games.  They use lights, words, and sounds to  inform people about what’s coming up next. No surprises and everything flows – it becomes a dance of sorts.

Guided by those thoughts, here is a proposed way of improving the x-ray experience for patients.  It’s a way of making the x-ray process participatory.  Using a handheld, wireless remote, the tech initiates an x-ray sequence using colored lights, vocal commands, music and sounds to help the patient better understand where she is in the process and thus give her better feelings of control,  making the  experience more positively perceived. 

Would love to hear your thoughts! (Oh, if you don’t like the choice of colors or music, blame it on the painkillers 😉 )

Posted in Case Studies, Conveying Information, Customer Focus, Design, design thinking, Emotions, Health Concerns, Healthcare, innovation, problem solving, The Senses | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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