The primary mission of the Health Innovation Lab is to improve health outcomes and quality of life for various patient populations through design. Our research starts with patients and empathy – we meet with members of the community to design, develop, and test wearables that will enhance patient health and overall wellbeing. Wearables include clothing, wearable technology, protective equipment, and rehabilitative or medical devices. Our goal is to design wearables that address the broad spectrum of patients’ needs and to highlight the importance of patient-centered design in health sciences.


We work with many patient populations, from children with disabilities to patients post-stroke to professional athletes.  In every case, we begin our research studies with trying to understand the needs of the target patient population. We follow the Stanford user-centered design process.  

Establishing empathy is the key – we use qualitative methods to identify needs from the patient’s perspective, then define the design problem based on these results. We validate the problem with a larger sample of patients and related stakeholders (caregivers, health professionals, and industry experts).  We ideate for potential solutions with our interdisciplinary team of researchers from the domains of occupational therapy, medical diagnostics, kinesiology, behavioral health, mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, prosthetics/orthotics design, and fashion. It is through this unique lens and a participatory approach with our patient populations that we innovate, prototype, and test new wearables for health.