Design and Innovation Research Seminar | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Design and Innovation Research Seminar

First, Do No Harm: Notes from the Field on the Promises and Perils of Medical Device Innovation


Healthcare technology is a $400+ billion industry with several factors, such as an aging population and the increased digitization of healthcare data and processes, boding well for its continued growth. This growth potential, combined with mounting pressure to decrease healthcare costs while simultaneously increasing information transparency and improving patient outcomes have attracted a wide range of newcomers and startups eager to solve “the healthcare problem.” Many of these companies, however, fail to achieve their market projections or to have the anticipated cost and quality impacts due to gross underestimation of the clinical, political, and financial complexity of the U.S. healthcare industry. This presentation focuses specifically on bedside medical devices, blending academic research findings with field observations to outline four design challenges and two business issues confounding the success of medical device innovators as a basis for discussing the implications for innovation theory - and theorizing.


Formerly a Weatherhead Information Systems faculty member, Julie is now the Chief Experience Officer at Third Rock, an Austin-based cyber risk management software start-up where she serves as the “voice of the customer” in new product development and implementation. During her “extended sabbatical” from academia, she conducted usability and product design studies for a diverse portfolio of companies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Target, Verizon, Rackspace, and several FDA-regulated medical device firms. Integrating the insights from these usability studies with her academic and healthcare background, she then served as a consultant, advising both technology firms and their (often naïve) customers on the complexities of new technology integration. She subsequently joined Third Rock after serving three years as their Clinical Advisor. She has maintained peripheral involvement in the academic community through reviewing, guest lecturing, and serving twice as the Practitioner Liaison for the OCIS Division of the Academy of Management. An ethnographer by training, both her academic and industry work have focused on the unintended – and often paradoxical – consequences of new technology adoption stemming from the cognitive, political, and social complexities of work.

Friday, Sep. 28, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to noon
04 Peter B. Lewis Building
11119 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106-7235
United States
Speaker(s): Julie Rennecker, PhD, Chief Experience Officer, Third Rock
Sponsored by: Design and Innovation Department


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