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The Co­Design Health Group

The Co­Design Health Group aims to consolidate a platform for developing academic and research projects in collaboration with healthcare organizations

In June 2015 the Co­Design Health Group and the Design Research Institute conducted a series of workshops, meetings and events with industry partners from the healthcare sector interested in introducing co­design into their organisations. The outcome of this work was a report on proposed action in the Co­design space. Titled What You Said the report proposed a 4 part structure for action in Co­Design in Health Care settings: Embedded Research (locating PhDs), UG Studios, In­House Design Studio and a dissemination program. As part of the activities conducted by this Group, RMIT academics have collaborated with clinical and administrative staff from several Australian hospitals in order to explore and envision future co­design ventures in the context of healthcare.

Some initiatives developed by the Group are:
The Co­Design Toolbox:In 2015 the Co­Design Health Group published a toolkit of co­design methods for practicing co­design in healthcare organizations. In this project, Associate Professor Soumitri Varadarajan established an agreement with Hillary Boyd to publish an edition of the Health Service Co­Design Guide and Toolkit in Australia. Copies of this publication have been distributed to hospitals participating in the Co­Design Health Group, and are currently used as guide for developing co­design projects in these organizations.
Healthcare Co­Design Studios :In 2016 RMIT and Austin Health will be conducting a series of Working Integrated Learning (WIL) Co­Design Studios in the Industrial Design and Interior Design Programs (School of Architecture and Design). These WIL Co­Design Studios are part the embedding program that aims to create placements for design students in healthcare organization.
There are three WIL Co­Design Studios:
Industrial Design Honours Projects: Five students are conducting one year long projects in partnership with the Patient Experience Centre and Olivia Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre.
Industrial Design Industry Studio: 18 students are developing design propositions to improve the clinical and non­clinic services delivered by three areas of Austin Health: Specialist Clinics, Emergency Department; and Olivia Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre.
Interior Design Studio: 10 students are developing design projects to improve the spatial experience of cancer patients being treated at Olivia Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre.

Research Team
Soumitri Varadarajan and Juan Sanin
Research Collaborators
Leah Heiss
Industry Partners
Julie Cairns, Olivia Newton­John;
Angela Mellerick, Olivia Newton­John;Polly Dufton, Olivia Newton­John;Penelope Sanders, Olivia Newton­John;
James Kirsner, Austin Health;Shelley Rushton, Cancer Institute;Thanos Lygdas, Cancer Institute;Jan Rice, Eastern Health
Jo Gatehouse, Eastern Health;Sharon Donovan, Epworth Health Care;Matiu Bush, Peter MacCallum;Mei Krishnasamy, Peter MacCallum;Kate Vella, The Alfred Hospital
Date: 2015
Status: Current