• Transform magazine
  • December 14, 2019


Design-led medical clinic changes diagnostic approach


In 1847, the American Medical Association was founded to regulate medical care and medical education. That helped New York’s Mount Sinai hospitals establish a standard for excellence throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and on through the new millennium. Now, Mount Sinai is looking to the future.

The Mount Sinai Institute for Next Generation Healthcare has launched a new hybrid medical clinic/research lab to create a new kind of approach to healthcare uniting architecture, digital design, technology and medicine. Lab100, the result of this strategy, relies on intelligent design to do its job, but also to communicate its purpose.

Mount Sinai turned to New York-based design studio Cactus to create data analysis and diagnostic software to both help practitioners examine patients and to help present the results in an easy-to-understand way. Lab100 required a strategic approach to design that could integrate the patient experience with the practitioner’s capabilities in order to best make use of this new model clinic.

Noah Waxman, Cactus’ co-founder, says, “Lab100 provides a glimpse into a future where AI and machine learning will work hand-in-hand with doctors and healthcare professionals to drive medical progress. Patients at Lab100 will experience a more dynamic and more personal experience than the opaque, rushed, and jargon-led doctor’s visits that are currently the norm.”


The clinic also had to be able to adapt to new innovations and technologies available for medical use. Cactus says, “From here the brief was clear: Make it medically precise and effective. Make it eye-opening and educational. Make it fun.”

Cactus storyboarded the patient journey in the first instance, then built the lab around that experience. It ensured the architectural design was also considered when developing the lab. Finally, Cactus created two apps for use by doctors and patients that would present the medical findings in clear, understandable and visually interesting ways. The design ethos was led by three principles: precision, lightness and ease.

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