2013 in Review: Steelcase Health Tradeshows

John Quincy Adams, in his inaugural address March 4th, 1825, said: “From the experience of the past we derive instructive lessons for the future.”

With that lesson in mind from the United States’ sixth president, we took a long look back at the year it has been in 2013, on the blog and elsewhere, with the hope that the lessons we learned throughout the year are not forgotten and instead ensconced even more firmly in our memories.

We delved back into Steelcase Health’s various tradeshows and conferences first – here are the highlights of what we learned:


At TEDMED this past April, we set up in the Hive and based our presence there around the Smartphone Physical. The forward-thinking, non-traditional format of our exam room vignette was a big hit:  “It was interesting to see how the furniture interacted with the patient-clinician relationship as we cycled station to station through the physical,” said Debra Levin, CEO of the Center for Health Design. “With the amount of data generated with the technology at our fingertips these days, it’s more difficult for the doctor or nurse to maintain the necessary personal contact. With the Empath recliner and the screens provided by Regard, however, it was easy to keep eye contact and maximize the potential of the physical and the technology.”

TEDMED was also the first conference where we hosted the team from The Smartphone Physical. Their innovative use of technology to transform a common physical into something much more interactive inspired us, and cooperated tremendously with the exam room we had envisioned: “My team was really impressed with the overall space that Steelcase Health set up, and specifically the equipment. Since we are all medical students or professionals we are used to dealing with exam room beds, chairs, and desks that are hard to operate and interfere with the clinician-patient interaction. Empath was really easy to adjust, allowing us to go easily from a seated position to a slightly reclined position,” said Shiv Gaglani, of Medgadget and The Smartphone Physical. “The Pocket enabled us to mount our iPads and conveniently enter data throughout the Smartphone Physical experience. It also helped that it was mobile and vertically adjustable – given the large demand for Smartphone Physicals, we were able to set up mobile screening stations outside of the exam room. Finally, Regard as a whole took into account the 21st century patient. It ranged from the comfortable seating to the multiple outlets and work stations that enable patients to stay connected and engaged rather than uncomfortably isolated while waiting to see their clinician.”


We hosted The Smartphone Physical team again at NeoCon, a tradeshow that is much more about contract furniture than it is about the potential applications of healthcare environments, but again, the SPP was a monster hit! Using something as simple and common as a physical proved to be very illustrative of the potential of the use of technology in healthcare, and also how the use of the proper furniture and set up of your healthcare environment can have a big impact on the experience of the patient and effectiveness of the examination.

Mike Hoaglin, of The Smartphone Physical team, said, “Healthcare encounters are undeniably ruled by transition. Whether it’s going from waiting room to exam room, or clinic to hospital, every movement counts and is an opportunity to enhance the patience experience. The doctor-patient interaction has traditionally been somewhat limited by cold, awkward space, but now new connected technologies can make the space more of a tool to better connect with a patient. The exam room of the future as envisioned by Steelcase Health is a clear leader in this area where the form and function of their products set the foundation for an optimal doctor-patient interaction. Their products go beyond empathy and dignity and emphasize the partnership and engagement themes in wellness: interactions are kept at eye level and actual patient data are integrated into the space such that a personalized feel is maintained even between visits.”

To add to our fun at NeoCon, Regard won the Gold Award!

Mayo Transform

Our next major conference was in September at the Mayo Clinic for their annual Transform Symposium. Conferences like Transform are interesting and inspirational; yet the real value of the conference is the opportunity to disseminate the information learned into smaller platforms, one on one conversations, and new and future relationships.

Whether it was what was happening up on stage (where there were some terrific presentations), the stellar moderation work done by John Hockenberry, or the interactions in ‘The Forum’, where people could offer their own sticky-note comments on a series of healthcare provocations, the entirety of the experience was fascinating and inspiring, and we are looking forward to the 2014 version.

Healthcare Design

HCD was not too long ago; maybe you remember our December 3rd post on our 5 takeaways from Healthcare Design. Of those, which touched on the excellent keynote speeches and the overall feeling that we are entering a transformative period in the world of healthcare design, perhaps the most exciting was the emphasis placed on evidence-based design. We’ve been harping on EbD for years, and to see it start to get more publicity is a great thing. When the improvements achieved from a focus on EbD include enhanced patient safety, fewer environmental stressors such as noise that negatively affect outcomes, and reduced stress for patients and staff alike, it makes it seem like a no-brainer, right?

Here’s to an even better 2014!

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