Technological advances have revolutionized the way we approach care for a host of conditions. What if innovation could also revolutionize perhaps the most essential element of health care delivery: the sterile environment? 

That's the aim of a new initiative spearheaded by the Partners Connected Health Innovation User-Centered Design team, working with the Wilmington-based global lighting technology company Osram. Through four months of interviews and collaborative design-thinking workshops, the Partners Connected Health team helped inform approximately 50 ideas narrowed down to four prototype concepts—all using light to streamline sterility management.   

"Maintaining a sterile environment in the hospital is of the utmost importance to our patients, but is a complex process for our hospital staff."

Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, Senior Director, Partners Connected Health Innovation

Though critical to good outcomes, maintaining a sterile environment challenges hospital physicians, nurses, and cleaning staff to keep pace within the busy environments of intensive care units, inpatient immunocompromised units, surgical suites, and outpatient clinics. The Partners Connected Health project team highlighted these challenges—including in-unit foot traffic, crowded settings and the invisible nature of infection control—for the Osram team. The insights will influence Osram's future prototype development, helping to inform innovations in light-based infection—with the goal of enhancing patient safety and clinical outcomes. 

Read more about Partners' collaboration with Osram in here.