Designer Fund And The White House Challenge You To Redesign The Electronic Medical Record

Josh Constine | TechCrunch | November 13, 2012

Hey designers! You could build another app. Or you could save some lives by entering the White House’s Health Design Challenge to give the electronic medical record a much-needed redesign. Right now the thing’s an abomination — all courier font, hard to read. If you can do better, you could win $25K and get your design rolled out to 6 million VA patients and open sourced for all the world’s doctors.

The Health Design Challenge is being presented by Designer Fund, a new community of philanthropic angels and mentors who support and invest in designer-founders. Co-director Ben Blumenfeld, who was a designer at Facebook for five years, considers the contest to be perfectly aligned with Designer Fund’s mission. “There are so many meaningful problems in the world. Healthcare, clean energy, environmental issues, city design. We feel like we’d be able to make a much bigger dent in these problems if designers went at them.”

There’s plenty of design to be done here. Just look at this mess that’s currently used as an electronic medical record. This “Blue Button” design was meant to give veterans access to the text of their records. However, it’s way too hard to quickly read or find the important parts. That means it takes longer for doctors to give care, and they spend more of the time with patients staring at a screen instead of comforting the sick...