From graduation project to actual care pathway
Newly graduated Industrial Designer Juanita Bedaux, TUDelft, in collaboration with the Department of Cardiology, has developed a completely new healthcare path for patients undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). With animations, redesigned leaflets and other information resources, she developed a concept that makes patients feel even better informed about the treatment they are about to receive. The concept was so well received that it has actually been incorporated into the care of TAVI patients.
The project stemmed from a problem identified by Prof. Nicolas van Mieghem, interventional cardiologist. He noticed that technological advances were improving the TAVI procedure but that there was still room for improvement in terms of patient experience.
Van Mieghem, Prof. Richard Goossens and Marjo de Ronde (TAVI coordinator Structural Heart) supervised Juanita within Convergence. William Dijkhuizen, OR sector manager, interventional cardiology and clinical perfusion centre, helped facilitate this project and saw the importance of improving the existing TAVI care pathway.
As a non-medical person, I loved working on this project. It is great to see that my advice was immediately put into practice.
Nicolas says: “Juanita has been working with us for the past few months after completing her Industrial Designer training to review and redesign the information sources we used for TAVI patients. Previous research showed that our patients did not always feel adequately informed, were sometimes unsure about the form of treatment and did not know exactly how long they had to wait for hospitalization. They, therefore, became unnecessarily anxious before undergoing the procedure – a new heart valve through the groin.”
During the TAVI procedure, valve prostheses are implanted into the original aortic valve of the patient’s heart by a percutaneous puncture through the femoral artery. It is a minimally invasive procedure under local anaesthesia, which means the patient is awake during the procedure. The average age of patients who qualify for a TAVI is 80.
Juanita: “My research showed that patients were sometimes anxious and uninformed before the procedure. This is problematic because this anxiety affects the interaction between the doctor and the patient, makes information more difficult to process, affects post-surgery recovery and lowers overall patient satisfaction. Therefore, the challenge was: Design a tool to improve the patient experience by reducing the preoperative anxiety of patients undergoing TAVI. And we succeeded!”
You can watch her animation on the right.