Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Program in Public Health

Design as a Tool for Public Health Innovation

by Amy Schwartz, PhD

Public Health challenges require systemic solutions that drive change at the individual, community, and societal levels.  Design Thinking is a problem-solving approach that can help create innovative solutions by inspiring new ways of framing problems and expanding the public health armamentarium with new tools and methods. This approach leads to human-centered solutions by direct engagement with end users throughout the process, blending research, design, and prototyping in iterative cycles. Design Thinking has been applied to a wide range of complex problems and helps multidisciplinary teams balance technology, desirability, and feasibility to achieve integrated and effective systemic solutions. It is a critical component of effective public health interventions, as Schwartz shows here.

Read the full article here.

Art by Molly Huttner, UIC BVIS.

Read the next article: Design and Health in Historical Perspective

Return to the Summer 2016 Issue

Amy Schwartz, PhD

Amy Schwartz’s current focus is to bring human centered design thinking to health and wellness problems today. Amy holds a PhD in cognitive psychology from Yale University.