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Healthcare User Experience Lab partners with St. Michael's Hospital

Creative research space will work with leading Toronto hospital to redesign post-op bras for Breast Cancer Awareness month
By: Tania Ulrich
October 19, 2021

The Healthcare User Experience (HUE) Lab, opens in new window in partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital, external link, opens in new window, a leading teaching and research hospital in downtown Toronto, launches an initiative to reimagine and redesign the surgical bra as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

The HUE Lab will work with Dr. Jory Simpson, staff surgeon specializing in breast cancer at St. Michael's as part of the lab’s new initiative, ‘Creativity and Critical Care’. The research and development series pairs students and researchers from The Creative School, opens in new window with physicians and medical practitioners to address pressing issues in critical health care. 

Dr. Jory Simpson, staff surgeon at St. Michael's Hospital

Professor Jessica Mudry

Dr. Jessica Mudry, Director of the HUE Lab

“Often healthcare solutions are not technical, or medical - creative professionals can introduce new perspectives around healthcare technologies and practices,” says Dr. Jessica Mudry, Director of the HUE Lab and Associate Chair of Professional Communication at The Creative School. “The HUE Lab's ‘Creativity and Critical Care’ research series partners design, arts and humanities scholars with medical professionals to improve patient outcomes, improve medical design, and make the experience of medicine better for patients and practitioners.”

As a surgical oncologist and the pioneer of the Patient as Teacher program for medical residents. Dr. Simpson is excited to work with design experts at The Creative School to improve the quality, comfort, and look of the post-surgical bra. The creative design process will include consultation with doctors and patients, and will address important issues related to post-operative rehabilitation and patient comfort. 

“This amazing collaboration will combine clinical and creative expertise to improve patient care,” says Dr. Jory Simpson, Division Head of General Surgery at the large tertiary care urban care centre in downtown Toronto. 

HUE Lab logo

graphic design image of blue bra with pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon above

Graphic design for Breast Cancer Awareness initiative 

Creative problem-solving in critical healthcare

The HUE Lab is a creative research space that applies design thinking and the medical humanities to improve the healthcare experience for both patients and practitioners. 

“After battling cancer, and undergoing surgery, the least we can do for a cancer patient is make their post-op clothing comfortable,” asserts Dr. Mudry.

“The Creative’s School’s partnership with a leading hospital on critical care initiatives will support healthcare practitioners and patients with a focus on improving the critical care experience,” says Dean of The Creative School Charles Falzon. “We are proud to be working in collaboration with St. Mike’s hospital to apply creative thinking and ingenuity to Canada’s health care sector. The Creative School stands by its commitment to apply creativity and design thinking not only within the professional creative industries, in which we are recognized as leaders, but as collaborators in other disciplines and fields.”

Applying design thinking and centering user-experience in healthcare 

The HUE Lab uses human-centred communication strategies, interdisciplinary teamwork and knowledge mobilization strategies to address healthcare challenges with a focus on bettering healthcare users’ experience. The post-op support/compression surgical bra which is specially designed for use after breast surgery and throughout recovery to improve blood flow and facilitate the healing process, will take on a redesign with this unique approach in mind. Students from The Creative School will be selected in November as part of a student-led design team to reimagine the critical care undergarment with a focus on healing, comfort and compassion. 

The Creative School at Ryerson University

The Creative School is a dynamic faculty that is making a difference in new, unexplored ways. Made up of Canada’s top professional schools and transdisciplinary hubs in media, communication, design and cultural industries, The Creative School offers students an unparalleled global experience in the heart of downtown Toronto.