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Creative Problem Solving: Design Thinking in Health and Social Care

Learn how design thinking can be applied in health and social care settings to drive innovation and approach challenges.

4,104 enrolled on this course

Creative Problem Solving: Design Thinking in Health and Social Care
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours

Explore how design thinking can be applied in health and social care

Healthcare systems face many issues: increasing demand, limited budgets, and major health challenges like ageing populations. New approaches are needed to ensure healthcare systems are working as well as they can.

Design thinking is an innovative approach that offers valuable strategies for creating ‘user-centred care’. On this course you will learn the core principles of design thinking including visualisation, iteration, and collaboration. You will explore how it can be applied to the healthcare sector, analysing recent case studies across a range of health and social care settings.

What topics will you cover?

  • Core principles of design thinking (user-centred design, visualisation, iteration and collaboration)
  • The design process, from understanding and reframing a problem, through testing and rapid prototyping, to launching a minimum viable product/service and continuous optimisation
  • Introduction to key design methods and how to apply them
  • Learning and discussion about design thinking as a highly relevant tool for problem solving in healthcare
  • Analysis of recent case studies in a range of health and social care settings
  • Regular opportunities for discussion of how design methods could be applied in learners’ working environments

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate methods by which complex problems can be reframed as opportunities
  • Apply design thinking as a creative force to drive and foster innovation and change
  • Interpret systemic, intractable challenges through the eyes of users (people, patients, staff)
  • Explore the use of prototypes to test solutions with minimum cost and risk
  • Identify opportunities for using design methods within your own health or social care environment
  • Reflect on insights from successful design-led innovation projects in a range of health settings

Who is the course for?

This course is for healthcare and social care professionals, who are interested in making positive change.

The course is ideal for both clinical and non-clinical staff and features methods and tools that can be applied by managers, consultants, nurses, allied health professionals, and community care staff.

Who will you learn with?

I am a designer with a passion for products and services that make a difference to people’s lives. Specialising in healthcare I spend most of my time working with frontline staff in the NHS.

I'm a Consultant and Reader in Clinical Genetics. In addition to my clinical role, I am engaged in genomic research and am committed to improving medical education.

I've spent years working with social businesses to find new approaches in the face of increasing demand and limited budgets. I now spend my time designing health-related, user-led content.

Who developed the course?

St George's, University of London

St George’s is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical and health sciences education, training and research.


Howdu is an independent design consultancy working in the public, private and voluntary sectors to design better business models, products and systems.

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