October 2008

(Please feel free to email us if you’d like to receive a copy of the final report for this project.)

This project was an exploration of the ways in which health records are kept, how storage modality affects patient care, and how these, in turn, impact the patient experience. Health executives walked in the shoes of patients in real-world contexts and locations. Inspired by and designed from in-context interviews, participants assumed the roles of patients in two treatment paths: Maria, a woman diagnosed with breast cancer, and Lydia, a child diagnosed with asthma. The goal was to identify potential projects for partnerships and to examine the possible contributions of each to improve record-keeping.

**Immersive experiences are a form of experiential learning inspired by participatory design, street theater, and empathic research. They consist of a hosted series of events during which participants (e.g., decision-makers, healthcare professionals, project managers, and potential business partners) are ushered through a scripted set of real-life places as they take on the role of a character built from ethnographic field observations of a specific target population. The goal is for participants to immerse themselves deeply in the broader context of actual lived lives and to respond to key choice points as their assumed characters, taking into consideration their cultural, social, economic, and emotional motivations/constraints. By integrating ethnographic insights into participants’ thinking in this way, immersive experiences inspire new design strategies for healthcare based on actual life events and the cultural contexts in which people approach health and wellness.