Design Fiction Series - Clearview and the Emergency Department waiting room
What will the Emergency Department (ED) of the future look like in 2030? 2050? 2100?
How will we experience ‘urgent healthcare’? How will it be delivered, and how might we access it? What are the dilemmas, challenges and opportunities that are afforded by the future? The challenges of the 21st century that are facing the ED today are significant, and should not be underestimated. New and careful thinking will be required to ensure that these challenges are adequately addressed.
This comic-style publication presents part of a practice-led PhD research project which aims to explore the ED waiting room of the future and its role in the ‘front of house’ operations. The stories contained here-in give form to a speculative future, and ask us to probe the possibilities, uncertainties and challenges of the future in the context of the ED. Through this publication, we ask you – dear reader – to reflect upon your relationship with the future of the ED. How much do you care about the machines that care?
This publication contains a series of five design fictions that provide context of this new technological world. The design fictions enable us to explore some of the real-world richness of an ED experience, and interrogate the moments of arrival to the ED, registration into the hospital system, triage and the overall waiting room experience. These stories illuminate the touchpoints within the speculative service that make real different aspects of possible ED futures.
Across the five editions of the design fiction series, we will meet the artificial intelligence (AI) construct Asklepios - a digital assistant and companion to ED users - staff, carers and patients alike. Named after the greek god of medicine, Asclepius, we will see how this AI system might impact care and caregiving, and how overall experiences might be shaped by the adoption of new technologies.
While the physical reality of this publication and stories may give the impression that the future is already fixed, ‘new’ things contain unpredictable potential, unanticipated consequences and implications. This publication acts as a starting point, and through these stories we might explore the scale of the technological impact on the future ED. But, what we will get is up to us - the technologies we choose to adopt, and those we do not. The future ED reality is not yet set - the future for the ED starts here.