Tmi spy health autumn 2013


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A trends presentation on customer experience in healthcare. For more information contact

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Tmi spy health autumn 2013

  1. 1. Autumn 2013
  2. 2. We are passionate about customer experiences – designing them, embedding them but often, just looking out for them. After all – one of our values is relentless curiosity. We are always on the look out for great experiences for all sorts of customers – be they passengers, shoppers or even patients. For this autumn edition 2013 of TMI-Spy Health we are introducing 10 key trends that caught our eye. They come from Europe, the US and Asia. We hope they will provide you with some good food for thought. If you would like to know more or would like us to come and present these in person, do drop us a note or give us a call and we would be delighted to chat. Introduction All around the world, healthcare is experiencing more change right now than it has ever known. Whilst researching this paper, 5 ‘C’ words keep cropping up in this context. ‘Crowdsourcing’ – never more has the wisdom of crowds been sought – whether amongst experts or more recently, involving patients. The role of ‘Community’ is also significantly on the increase – whether community as we have known traditionally – or broader, virtual communities. ‘Choice’ and ‘Control’ are for many healthcare organisations core drivers for change – patients are demanding both and are increasingly able to vote with their feet. This is all very well and good but the final ‘C’ is the one that is dominating many top-team conversations in the industry – how to take ‘Cost’ out whilst enhancing the patient experience. We hope that the ideas coming through over the next pages may provide some pointers. 1. Collective Wisdom Co-production or co-creation is becoming increasingly integrated into healthcare. On many levels it makes sense. Traditional systems of healthcare are creaking under increased demand, capacity needs to come from somewhere else. More innovative solutions need to be sought and often these solutions are enhanced by involving those who are not the provider of the service. It also helps leaders tune into their users more – in real time – and critically it helps to build a sense of community and shared responsibility. Co-production sessions are cropping up in surgeries and hospitals – with clinicians, administrators, patients, users, volunteers etc. The following examples take the idea of collective wisdom just that one step further – from conversations with people in a room to a much broader network with virtually infinite possibilities.
  3. 3. This new photo-sharing app for healthcare professionals enables them to post images to the medical community, comment and share diagnosis. Healthcare professionals can add arrows, comments and tags to their pictures, and receive feedback from others in their field in real time. To protect the patient’s privacy the app features automatic face blocking, and the ability to remove identifying patient details with the swipe of a finger. US-based CrowdMed platform (currently in beta) aims to facilitate the diagnosis of rare disease conditions via the collective knowledge of their users. Anyone can anonymously submit a case – listing symptoms, family and medical history – and other users collaborate to provide a diagnosis. An algorithm aggregates the answers and CrowdMed then suggests a possible diagnosis based on the information. Individuals submitting the correct diagnosis earn points, ranking them on a virtual leader board and giving them the chance to win cash prizes. Users are required to pay an introductory fee of US$199. CrowdMed calls their community “Medical Detectives” and they can include medical students, retired physicians, nurses, physician assistants, scientists etc. Of course CrowdMed offers no reassurance that the diagnosis to a specific case is correct and stresses that these solutions must be used as a discussion point with a patient’s own physician not as a treatment in isolation of a doctor. CrowdMed’s founders are targeting patients with complicated symptoms and conditions because they believe these patients often see many doctors who work in silos with potentially entrenched communications barriers. The medical community itself is understandably divided on this – concerned that it leads to rampant misdiagnoses and potentially false hopes. Supporters claim that complex problems need ‘more heads’. It is too early to tell.
  4. 4. Of course, new technology provides even more crowdsourcing opportunities. One of the most talked-about so far is Google Glass. So far just in prototype stage – most famously perhaps with Dr. Rafael Grossman (see left) who live- streamed his endoscopic insertion of a feeding tube into a patient. Grossman's trial run demonstrated the potential for physicians to view and possibly even consult on surgical operations conducted in other geographical regions. Possibly the most intriguing health-care opportunities lie in how Google Glass could connect with other technology. An obvious possibility is IBM's Watson. New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center plans to use Watson as something of a physician's assistant. The goal is for Watson's natural language processing, hypothesis generation and evaluation, and evidence-based learning capabilities to help doctors diagnose and treat patients. Connecting Watson to Google Glass could be a winning combination. There are astonishingly over 10,000 fitness and healthcare apps available today on ITunes. Whilst this can be very empowering for individuals, it could leave the most vulnerable out in the cold. Most importantly, these are not currently subjected to any regulatory controls. Security issues are clearly also a concern. And doctors report on the growing influence of ‘Cyberchondria’ which perversely has increased rather than decreased the number of visits to doctors. 2. D-I-Y Health
  5. 5. Launched in the Netherlands, Earlydoc is an online app enabling individuals to check symptoms and work out if they need to see a doctor or not. By entering details of their symptoms, users can view simple information on whether these are serious or not, and whether they need to see a doctor immediately. The site also generates a list of other symptoms to look out for, and tips on what to do to get better. All of Earlydoc’s information is checked by doctors, and the service is free to use. It is currently in beta phase and not based on a real-time system. The answers are based on a combination of medical data sources such as medical guidelines, medical databases and input from medical professionals. Based on all that information an algorithm is created that determines which questions one needs to answer, what your answers mean and what results you get. And the whole system and algorithms are then double-checked by doctors to make sure that everything is correct before they are being used by the public. In the future, you should be able to link with your doctor through this app, or send your doctor your initial diagnoses which he can then pick up or schedule an appointment. On a similar vein, Medivizor is a search tool that helps patients find medical information that is personalised to them. Users of the tool first sign up and enter details about themselves and their condition. The service then delivers relevant news and updates that may help them learn more about their condition and what it means for them. It is not meant to cut out professional opinion, but rather aims to empower patients to do their own research which they can then share with their doctors.
  6. 6. Currently still a prototype, Scanadu Scout is a palm-sized device that is packed with sensors to help individuals keep track of their own health and detect health conditions early. Users can get detailed information about their heart beat and ECG, core body temperature, blood oxygen and blood pressure, breathing and emotional state by placing the Scanadu Scout to their forehead for ten seconds. Results are then instantly delivered via Bluetooth to their smartphones. (And for those Trekkies out there, yes – it was inspired by the ‘tricorder’ on Star Trek!) A new app called uChek is making it possible for anyone to check their urine for signs of 25 different diseases. Created by Mumbai- based Biosense, the app aims to replace the large and expensive machines that are currently used to scan urine samples. The app comes bundled with chemical strips that change colour when dipped into a urine sample. After a picture of the strip is taken with a smartphone, the app quickly analyses the results based on the colour of the strip, producing accurate and easy-to-understand results. There are also a multitude of devices for coronary heart conditions – one of the biggest killers in the UK and US. These include Telemedicine’s Smartheart which is a lightweight personal electrocardiogram (or ECG) that allows you to monitor your heart in real-time. The accompanying free app, which is available on smartphones connects to the ECG wirelessly. The app will display your results and give you the opportunity to email them directly to your physician. For those who find themselves in harrowing circumstances, the app will immediately identify an irregular or abnormal heart condition and send an alert to the user.
  7. 7. IneedMD’s EKG glove is known as The Physician's Hand® and can quickly identify a cardiac event, expedite transfer to a medical facility, and avert unscheduled and unnecessary ER visits. And technology isn’t just helping with diagnosis but with treatment as well. MedSnap ID aims to help patients accurately identify pills to ensure they take the right ones. Users first place the medication they want to identify onto a precision imaging surface that comes with a subscription to the MedSnap ID service. Multiple types of pills can be placed on the surface before the user takes a photograph with their smartphone. The app instantly recognizes the pills by matching them with images in its database, bringing up data such as name, use, dosage recommendations and other important information. Patients with multiple prescriptions can ensure they know which pill they’re meant to be taking, and doctors can use it to quickly identify unlabelled pills in their inventory. The app has also been designed to work without an internet connection, making it useful for health professionals operating in remote areas or in the field.
  8. 8. Providing real time accessibility to services for enhanced choice and access is something that we consumers are used to now – particularly with so-called aggregator sites that provide information regarding financial services options, or sites that enable you to reserve a table in some of the world’s leading restaurants. So it is no surprise that these services are starting to enter into the world of healthcare. 3. Choice and Access Sometimes just trying to know who to go to is a maze. The BetterDoctor platform in the US offers simple to use web and mobile apps that let you find the right doctor in minutes. You can select what kind of doctor you are looking for, pick your insurance plan and see a list of verified “Better Doctors” near you. One of the most high-profile apps to date is ZocDoc. Although it was developed 6 years ago, ZocDoc has just become the first healthcare app to make it into the top 100 apps. ZocDoc is a US web-based service to help consumers find and schedule doctors’ appointments online – in real time.
  9. 9. In India, the healthcare platform matches those in need of surgery with customised care packages based on their medical records. The platform is aimed at those who have been advised to undergo medical procedures by their doctors or GPs, but want to ensure they get the cheapest deal or the best surgeons. Medeel first invites patients to detail their treatment needs and upload their medical records using its secure submission process. Medeel then shares this information with local hospitals that offer the required surgery. After around two or three days, customers receive customised healthcare plans from those hospitals, enabling them to choose the one which is the most suitable and offers the best care for their situation. Having more choice means that doctors are now having to consider new ways of access. Technology such as Skype is leading to changes in the doctor and patient interchange. Whilst teleconferencing itself has been around for decades, the accessibility of Skype means that this is a viable alternative for psychiatry and psychology. Fans claim it is allowing patients who previously would not have had access to a range of talented mental health professionals to choose from a large pool of them and say that Skype creates more competition because distance is no longer a blocker. They also say that when people speak to one another on Skype, they tend not to look away. This apparently can create a surprisingly intense connection while addressing emotionally-charged topics. And Skype can be available during the exact times when a person is suffering anxiety or feeling most depressed or struggling with an emotional issue or experiencing a moment of epiphany. If the doctor is available, then the session can begin – in seconds. Some argue just the opposite saying that Skype creates more barriers and relies too much on what you can see on the screen rather than the bigger picture. Most psychologists caution against using this for anyone with severe mental illness. Interestingly several studies have concluded that patient satisfaction with face-to-face interaction and online therapy (often preceded by in-person contact) was statistically similar. It appears though that satisfaction with online therapy is enhanced if it is preceded with face to face contact and is used for on-going treatment.
  10. 10. Quite rightly, more and more healthcare providers from the full spectrum of health are looking for ways to make often times intimidating and potentially frightening situations for young children as calm, soothing and even playful as possible. These ideas range from the sublimely simple to the divinely delightful. 4. Looking After Little Ones A dentist in Indonesia – Dhanni Gustiana – hopes to make those dreaded trips to the dentist slightly more bearable by modifying a conventional dentist’s drill to play music via an MP3 player instead of the dreaded buzzing sound usually associated with a dentist’s surgery. To encourage the child to open their mouth wide open, the sound becomes amplified, the wider the child opens its mouth. The musical drill has proved popular with younger patients, who can even request their own music to make their day at the dentist a bit more pleasant.
  11. 11. One of our favourite spots are the ‘super hero’ window cleaners at children’s hospitals. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, some window cleaners have dressed up as superheroes to surprise and cheer up young patients whilst doing the window cleaning. Small input, big impact. And staying with the superhero theme, in Brazil, a partnership between Warner Bros, ad agency JWT and A. C. Camargo Cancer Center has resulted in the rebranding of cancer treatments and hospital wards to make them more inspiring and child-friendly. Covers for intravenous bags carrying chemotherapy drugs were designed to resemble the costumes worn by super heroes and are referred to as superhero superformula. Part of the children’s ward was also revamped to look like the Hall of Justice and a comic book series was developed to let kids read about their favourite superheroes as they go through their treatment and recovery. The Alberta Children’s Hospital in Canada has introduced MEDi, a robot that distracts kids from uncomfortable medical examinations and procedures, and even aids their recovery. The robot is a humanoid that interacts with children in a variety of ways, designed to take their mind off painful flu shots or check ups. The robot greets children, asks them for a high five, asks them questions about their favourite movies and games and plays music they request. It also gets them engaged in a simple activity such as arranging toys on a table in front of them.
  12. 12. During tests carried out at the hospital by researchers at the University of Calgary, which included a group of children aged four to nine who had previously reacted badly to needles, MEDi asked them to clear some dust from a toy duck on the table by blowing on it. The kids were distracted by the activity, and the gesture is known to relax muscles, making injections less painful. The upshot was that those children reacted less violently to the procedure, experienced less pain and even recovered more quickly. At the same time, parents also felt more relaxed. Great Ormond Street Children Hospital in London recently commissioned an installation called the ‘Lullaby Factory’. The project was put forward following a multi-phased redevelopment of Great Ormond Street Hospital which resulted in several large windows directly facing a nearby pipe work-ridden brickwork facade. Rather than attempting to hide this pipe work or tidy it up somehow, Studio Weave instead made a feature of it, incorporating various fixtures and fittings from the aging building in order to create a compelling vision of a Lullaby Factory. The ‘factory’ produces gentle lullabies which can be accessed either through special “listening pipes” or by tuning into an internal radio station.
  13. 13. Staying along similar lines to the previous trend is the use of gamification – often but not exclusively aimed at the younger audience. Gamification techniques have shown huge success in motivating patients, making the condition or the treatment more engaging and if possible also a little more fun whilst at the same time creating detailed logs of their daily statistics in order to provide a better view of what’s going on over time and track improvements. Scotland’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children has developed a ‘Hospital Passport’ to make young patients feel more at ease and involved in the care they receive. Rather than being transferred to different parts of the hospital without an explanation, the gamified approach encourages children to get their passport stamped and collect stickers when moving around the building, or ‘travelling’ to a different department. By filling up the passport the kids are getting closer to completing their treatment. Parents are given a separate Hospital Passport Coping Kit, which includes information on how they can help to discuss with their children the reasons they’re having the treatment, further reducing any anxiety and it also acts as an aid for adults to keep track of their child’s hospital history. It also provides for the staff by giving them hints and tips in how to support the children. A win win win for all parties involved. 5. Play Healthy, Stay Healthy
  14. 14. The app mySugr is a charming diabetes manager in the form of a mobile game to make the handling of the condition easier. Each user gets a virtual monster that represents their diabetes and each time the patient enters data – whether it’s blood glucose numbers, time of injection, the meals they have eaten or activities they’ve done – the monster reacts positively or negatively based on their on-going performance and helps you stay motivated. You win points for every entry made which help tame your diabetes monster. Challenges are available to help you set and attain personal goals. The app has a similar purpose to a diabetes logbook. By keeping the monster happy, users increase the amount of data they have on their condition and can use the app to create detailed graphs, educating them about how their body behaves in certain situations. MIRA Rehab (Medical Interactive Rehabilitation Assistant) gaming software aims to make physical therapy fun and convenient for patients by gamifying home-exercises which patients are required to do as part of their treatment plan. These are medically validated, customizable to fit patient needs and cover a large area of pathologies. In order to record the patient's movements, the games make use of Microsoft Kinect, an external camera allowing accurate tracking of the patient's body.
  15. 15. The results are then converted into statistics to allow the physiotherapist to monitor the patient’s progress. The patient can use MIRA at hospital under supervision, and then continue treatment at home with prescribed exercises. MIRA can also be used during diagnosis, when the physio can create personal profiles – which can be filtered by name or relevant fields. Furthermore, the physiotherapist can create a schedule with video- game exercises. Each game from the schedule has settings which can be set according to the patient's abilities. Waiting time is clearly a huge patient frustration. There are many plans in place to improve this across a range of touchpoints. As a rule, research shows that after 5 minutes, a customer’s perceived wait time is 2x the actual wait time. On top of that is the realisation that patients do not all experience time in the same way – one person’s 10 minutes feels like another person’s half hour; occupied time always goes faster than unoccupied time. So trends in these areas are about cutting out some of the processes at time-consuming touchpoints to make things go quickly as well as to change the perception of time. 6. Stop the Wait The Radio Fast Radiology System is an ingenious technological solution that has the potential to significantly cut waiting times in ER. Designer Francois Rybarczyk has calculated that patients wait the longest between their initial examination and their diagnostic imaging. This gap could be reduced to five minutes with the assistance of this handheld x-ray machine. The mobile medical unit consists of the display screen tablet and a cord-connected cassette. Easily accessed injuries can be scanned between the two components to produce an instant image at one's seat. Once the scan is taken the system can then be set into a docking station that can print a copy of the screening and top up the device's charge for immediate diagnosis.
  16. 16. Another portable handheld device, ELSA (Enabling Language Service Anywhere) connects users with live interpreters who are highly skilled linguists, many of whom have specialized training, who can quickly translate, as well as record, 180 different languages and dialects into English. The device uses existing wireless networks to connect users with translators instantly. The immediacy in communication is a key benefit particularly in situations involving emergency responders where time is often a crucial factor. Traditionally these departments have relied on bilingual personnel or other translation services, neither of which are always immediately accessible.
  17. 17. Healthcare practices can download PatientReach onto an iPad, transforming it into an automated system for gathering patient information. The iPads are distributed to incoming patients, who then begin a simplified check-in process. PatientReach boosts practice efficiency by allowing the patient to update insurance information, read and sign legal forms, submit patient reviews and much more right from the doctor’s waiting room. The digital intake provides legible documentation, ensuring accuracy and data validity. The paperless PatientReach method eliminates the need for printing, scanning and shredding documents previously distributed on a clipboard. PatientReach also lets patients sign up for the online patient portal, where they can pay bills, schedule appointments, send or receive secure messages, and change their correspondence preferences at any time. Additionally, patients can select from a customized group of healthcare articles that are then emailed to the patient to read at their convenience. The articles engage patients with point-of-care education and encourage them to take a more active role in their healthcare. Virtual Triage Kiosks in hospitals help patients admit themselves into hospital and improve the relationship between patients and doctors by optimising the hospital consultation access. The ‘Smart Consulting Service’ invented by Arthur Kenzo replaces the need for high numbers of triage nurses or staff. This machine takes care of administration and, to an extent, diagnoses. A patient can approach the cutting-edge clinical stand, scan their health card, place their hands down on the sensored surface and be guided through the process of admission. A series of questions can be answered easily by the Smart Consulting Service user through an intuitive touchscreen interface. Most communication is carried out by the video image of a medical professional. The sophisticated machine can assess your vital signs and symptoms on its own as well and deliver all of your information to the doctor who will see you.
  18. 18. Patients at the upcoming Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital can look forward to a hassle-free experience with the new One Queue, One Bill system. The new specialist outpatient experience will see an integrated system for better coordination of appointments as well as through a new role called the Patient Service Coordinator (PSC). A visit to the hospital which involves multi-disciplines or varied tests will be streamlined on the same day, if possible. This will help to cut down travel time and money. Sometimes having health issues can be a lonely existence. Here are some rather wonderful examples of how different groups of people are being connected together. 7. Connecting People The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has introduced a new project called BabyTime, which connects mothers with babies in intensive care and enables them to check on them and interact with them. It is an iPad-based program whereby a device is immediately delivered to moms whose newborn has been admitted to intensive care. An iPad is set up next to the baby and parents can see their child and interact with doctors present, asking questions and getting updates. The initiative could help reduce the stress and fear felt by both parents and babies when they’re separated at birth, providing a more comfortable environment for new mothers.
  19. 19. French start-up Hôpital Affinité is a lovely new concept connecting patients with long hospital stays with fellow patients that share similar interests and improving their stay when they are feeling lonely. The company offers a platform that enables patients to fill out their interests, alongside their time of stay. The service then offers recommendations of current patients who enjoy the same things. Users can chat over the system – on their laptop or smartphone – before viewing a map of the building to find out where their friend’s bed is. Since patients often rely on visits from relatives and friends for company, Hôpital Affinité aims to make patient stays more enjoyable by connecting them with like-minded guests. At the same time, hospitals can also communicate important announcements to their patients through the service.
  20. 20. Sometimes patients don't necessarily need to see their doctor or therapist but do need that on-going support and connection– a bit of encouragement to ensure they maintain momentum with their treatment. That's the idea put forth by a US start-up that calls itself DropKicker. It offers a cloud-based text-messaging service that encourages physical therapy patients to keep up their therapist-prescribed exercises. Physical therapists can use the service to send pre-written reminders and encouragement to their patients about doing their home exercises, then keep a log of how regularly the patient is completing his or her exercises. Patients will also have the option to recruit a team -- friends and family members, for example -- who can be included in the messages as a form of positive peer pressure to encourage progress. For now, DropKicker remains in testing mode but the company plan to make its product available to physical therapists in the US later this year. To improve empathetic care, some medical schools are offering buddy programmes that link medical students with Alzheimer's patients, and results show it is benefiting the students just as much as the patients. Northwestern University Alzheimer's Disease Center developed its Buddy Program more than a decade ago to empower Alzheimer's patients. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple recently said that “I think the wrist is interesting”. Whilst industry observers said this was a subtle dig at his competition over at Google Glass – there is no question that whether it is the wrist, the eyes or indeed the whole body – the implications of wearable technology over the next few years is huge. 8. Wearable Technology
  21. 21. OMsignal is a company that has created a shirt that continuously tracks your biometrics to keep track of wearers’ mental and physical wellbeing. Sensors are embedded in the fabric and can monitor your heart rate, breathing, physical activity and emotional state. The linked OMsignal app can then display your data in real- time on your mobile phone which can also be shared socially. OMsignal hopes that, with further development, the shirt will help users track a wide range of metrics, from eating habits to the health of babies in pregnant women. New York start-up, Pixie Scientific has developed clever wearable technology: a nappy that can detect possible urinary tract infections, kidney dysfunction, type 1 diabetes and dehydration and transmit the information to a smartphone. The smart nappy has a small patch on the front, containing chemical agents that have different reactions depending on which proteins are present in the child’s urine. If the levels are abnormal, the colour on the patches will change. At the end of each use, one simply needs to take a picture of the QR code-like patch with a smartphone. The accompanying app then analyses the patches, provides a result and can send those directly to a doctor. A range of research has documented the importance of the environment on a patient’s and staff member’s well-being. Hospitals, surgeries and other environments have started to really up their game in this area. Some – such as San Francisco General – have even created positions such as Director of First Impressions to focus solely on this area. 9. A Healthy Environment
  22. 22. US ambulance service Life EMS are working together with interior design firm SKP Design and ambulance manufacturer American Emergency Vehicles, of Jefferson, N.C., to develop a next-generation ambulance concept that will improve the patients' experience. The ambulance is designed to be more patient-friendly and comfortable for passengers with an interior that has soft lighting, uses colours inspired by nature (blue, burgundy and lavender) and artwork to help create a more relaxing atmosphere during a usually stressful situation. Studies show that art, particularly that depicting nature, has a positive influence on patient outcomes. It gives them something to focus on to help them relax. Furthermore the design elements of the new concept include surfaces with rounded and padded corners, forward-facing seats for medical personnel (instead of sideways), a five-point restraining system (instead of three) and equipment placed within an arm’s reach amongst other things. An NHS sexual health clinic in London has taken the interior design concept with a good sense of humour. Entire ceilings are covered in artwork taking sexual puns and imagery as their theme and designed to be viewed from the examination couch. The waiting room has two suspended mobiles comprised of forms resembling (ahem) sexual organs which gently rotate(!). The entrance is open, welcoming and informal featuring a communal table where visitors can read the papers and drink complementary coffee. All has been designed to help break down taboos around the nature of the clinic and put users at ease.
  23. 23. In order to manage little patients’ fear whilst on their way to the operating theatre, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London has installed an LED-illuminated wall to soothe and engage kids. LED panels are embedded in the fifty metre long corridor wall at various heights. The wall comes to life when sensors in the ceiling detect movement below, causing them to engage and interact playfully with patients. A whole digital forest comes to life with interactive animated light patterns revealing a whole range of animals such as birds, frogs, bears, deer, horses etc. Another good example is the Birmingham Young Persons Unit which has been designed in a modern and colourful way and resembles a boutique hotel rather than a teenage cancer patients ward.
  24. 24. Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has taken art and health very seriously. For example, in a hallway on the outskirts of the children’s hospital at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, there’s a series of black-and-white photographs of cats and dogs hanging in a row. When children arrive for a several-night stay, they can choose a favourite one, and a staff member will print a copy of that image to hang in their room, where it remains as a “pet” throughout the rest of their stay. The Clinic’s art programme now comprises more than 4,500 pieces of art on display across all of the outpatient facilities and hospitals that are part of the Clinic’s system, some of them commissioned for specific sites. Every waiting room and exam room has some kind of poster or painting. Patients and visitors can also take an audio-guided walking tour through the hospital’s art collection. It’s designed to be a way to encourage patients to get out of their rooms, and for families to avoid sitting in waiting rooms for hours upon hours. Dementia is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. These ideas really do exemplify how a little bit of thought and a lot of heart goes a long way in making a tangible difference to the care some of our more vulnerable members of society receive. 10. Forget Me Not
  25. 25. Ipswich Hospital in the UK has put a lot of effort into some very simple things that have had a huge impact. The Trust added to its already existing visual alerts system through the updating of the forget-me-not symbol and the introduction of the blue wristband. The forget-me-not is now used above the bed and on the Patient Status at a Glance boards. The wristbands are particularly useful if a patient goes to another department whilst they are in, for example, x-ray. As the patient keeps the wristband they can facilitate early identification if they return to the hospital, for example, through the emergency department. The Trust also worked to create an exemplar dementia friendly ward environment using art, colour and lighting, designed in partnership with staff, patients, carers and local Alzheimer’s Society representatives. Some enhancements include giving the bays an individual makeover using colours chosen for their relationship to flowers from a Suffolk country garden. Each bay has been named after a particular flower and has an accompanying picture for enhanced patient recognition. So we have Poppy and Bluebell bays alongside Snowdrop and Daffodil. Lines from Poppy and Daffodil bays lead the way to and from their respective toilets - ensuring patients find their way around more easily and can maintain independence. Each bay has also been provided with drop-down desk space for the writing up of notes - enabling nursing staff and allied health professionals to interact with patients as they complete the necessary paperwork rather than having to cluster around the station. Pictograms ensure the toilets and bathrooms are clear for all to understand. Memory suitcases have also been developed in partnership with museums containing items that remind patients of good memories. The suitcase contains playing cards, old household items, photographs of the town and the area, picture books, etc. JWT Singapore teamed up with global fragrance company Givaudan to create 'Smell a Memory,’ kits that are designed to bring out emotional memories in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients through different scents. Each Smell a Memory kit is personalised for individual patients based on their age, ethnicity, family history, and personal stories. Givaudan worked closely with rehabilitation experts and therapists to customize unique scents such as ‘Mom’s Cooking,’ ’Freshly Cut Grass,’ ‘Prayer,’ and ‘School Days.’ The scent kits are meant to evoke memories in patients and help families engage their loved ones who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  26. 26. There are guide dogs, sniffer dogs, even search and rescue dogs but let us now introduce you to ‘dementia dogs’. A pilot scheme in Scotland has given dogs special training to assist dementia patients. One of these first dogs in the UK is golden Labrador Kaspa and his skills include fetching medicines when a reminder alarm goes off, waking up his owners at the right time and carrying items between them. As well as helping out around the house with his practical training, the dog helps to relieve a great deal of stress and encourages its owners to get out and about more. Carers find they spend less time giving reassurance to their partner because the dog provides a ”calming“ effect. If you’ve enjoyed reading this trends sheet and would like to receive future editions please drop Anne-Cecile our Customer Experience Curator an email: or give her a call on (+44) 7740771901. We also curate trends sheets in the following categories: Retail, Airports, Airlines, Trains and Hotels & Leisure. If you would like to find out more about any of these industries, just let us know and we’ll make sure we keep you up to date.