The 2015 Innovation By Design Awards Winners: Health

The healthcare playing field just got smarter, courtesy of these innovations ranging from trauma-care facility design to clever gadgets.

The 2015 Innovation By Design Awards Winners: Health

Healthcare was once ruled by doctors and an opaque subject for patients. Now, information is making the industry more transparent for everyone involved. The innovations lauded below arm people with more intel about and technology for the body and aspire to create better health and wellness en masse. A hearty thanks to judges Tama Duffy Day, health and wellness director at Gensler; Paul Litchfield, VP of advanced concepts at Reebok; and Leslie Saxon, Founder and executive director of the University of Southern California Center for Body Computing for their input. Finally, a sincere thank you to everyone who entered and supported Fast Company‘s commitment to elevating the design profession.


If you’re looking for more inspiring work, don’t forget to check out the finalists in our other categories: Winners, 3D-Printing, City Solutions, Data Viz, Experience, Experimental, Fashion, Graphic Design, Health, Mobile Apps, Product Design, Smart Home, Social Good, Students, Web Design.


The Drinkable Book

Creators: Agency: Matt Eastwood, Menno Kluin, Andrew McKechnie, Juan Carlos Pagan, Sam Shepherd, Frank Cartagena, Brian Gartside, Aaron Stephenson, Kyle McMorrow, Nina Horowitz, Ralph Navarro, Ed Zazzera, Dr. Theresa Dankovich
Firm: DDB New York

A staggering 3.4 million people die every year from water-related diseases and nearly all of them happen in developing nations. To combat the problem DDB New York and WATERisLIFE created the Drinkable Book, a beautifully bound tome whose tear-out pages purify water. The pages are coated with silver nanoparticles that, when used to filter water, can trap a reported 99.99 percent of the bacteria found in cholera, E. coli, and typhoid. One book can provide up to four years of clean drinking water for a single person.



Cedars Sinai, OR 360

Creators: Cedars Sinai, Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, U.S. Military
Firm: Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign
Client: Cedars Sinai

In a trauma center, every second counts especially during the critical first hour after a patient is admitted. The OR 360 simulation center at Cedars Sinai focuses on this time period and centers around and endlessly reconfigurable set of situations to help doctors and nurses prepare for—and improve—trauma care delivery. The key features include movable walls and equipment; color coded trauma bays to help staff locate supplies; whiteboards in trauma bays that display key patient information; and an iPhone application that puts diagnostic data at the fingertips of medical teams.

Cur Pain Relief

Creators: Kevin McCullough, Shaun Rahimi
Firm: Cur


Chronic pain keeps over 1.5 billion people around the world from living their lives to the fullest and affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. This wearable tracks muscle and nerve responses in the body and delivers clinical therapy through gel packs and low-voltage electrical currents that relieve pain immediately.

Embrace Watch

Creators: Matteo Lai, Dr. Rosalind Picard, Simone Tognetti, Pearl Studios
Firm: Empatica, Pearl Studios

Embrace is the first smartwatch and medical-quality wearable that detects epileptic seizures and measures the the onset of convulsive seizures. The minimalist design also alerts caregivers when their loved ones are at risk. Considering that in the United States, 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime, this device has the opportunity to remove stigma from a life-threatening condition for millions of people.



Creators: Yves Béhar, Evan Sornstein, Brandon Heiman, Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Matt Malone, Vedrana Novosel, Graham Humphreys
Firm: fuseproject
Client: Fluidigm

DNA analysis has become a valuable tool for a number of disciplines, but the user experience for the process hasn’t been improved upon much. Designed by fuseproject, Juno is a machine that processes small amounts of DNA samples easily so lab technicians can focus on analyzing data instead of navigating equipment. Samples for Juno take just 15 minutes to prep and the machine produces data in less than three hours.

kGoal Smart Kegel Exerciser

Creators: Liz Miracle, Grace Lee, Kay Christensen, Jonathan Thomas, Brian Krieger
Firm: Minna Life


kGoal is a Kegel exercise device and app that offers feedback and goal-setting to motivate users to exercise their pelvic floor muscles. The device is inserted into the vagina and measures the strength and duration of muscle contractions and also indicates whether the exercises are performed correctly. Thanks to its flexible form, it adjusts to fit users’ bodies.

Tru Tag

Creators: Hank C. K. Wuh, Kent Mansfield, Peter M. O. Wong
Firm: Tru Tag

TruTag microtags are edible, invisible barcodes developed to help combat the billion-dollar counterfeit drug trade. TruTagoutfit individual pills with descriptions of ingredients, distribution and delivery. In a world where counterfeit drugs are a growing, global problem, costing not just money but human lives, TruTag presents a timely solution to a crucial issue.


About the author

Diana Budds is a New York–based writer covering design and the built environment.


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