When you picture a medical device, you probably imagine surgical machinery (an artificial heart or knee or hip) — or maybe you picture crutches, or an insulin monitor, or a wheelchair…efficient, utilitarian design, but hardly cool, and definitely not something akin to an iPhone or Spencer Nuzzi skateboard: beautifully designed and a joy to use.
What if non-surgical medical devices were not only safe and effective, but spoke to our artistic sensibility, to our thirst for personal expression, to our need for lightheartedness in the face of our disorders, diseases and disabilities? When we broke our arm as a kid and got a cast, we had our friends sign it. We drew pictures and slapped stickers on it. We humanized it.
Medical devices are profoundly personal — yet they are almost always impersonal in their industrial and software design. They typically reflect the healthcare system from which they are born — monolithic, institutional, coldly functional, impersonal, inhuman.
There are medical devices perfectly suited for transformation into highly personal consumer electronics.