Institute of Design Center for Collaborative Healthcare Design Named on NIH Grant for Improving Sickle Cell Care


The Center for Collaborative Healthcare Design (CfCHD) at Institute of Design in collaboration with UI HealthSinai Urban Health Institute, and the University of South Carolina have been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to design, implement and test new tools and clinical supports to help sickle cell patients manager their long-term and acute care. The six-year study named ISAAC (Improving Sickle cell care in Adolescents and Adults in Chicago) will have CfCHD’s Director Kim Erwin and Assistant Director Sarah Norell bringing design methods to the investigation of patient and clinical staff experience, and leading a team of graduate students in the planning and prototyping new tools and support solutions.

Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic blood disorder in the United States and affects over 90,000 people, the majority of whom are African American. SCD patients suffer from a range of complications, including severe pain episodes and acute chest syndrome. Each year, SCD patients have over 190,000 emergency department visits and 110,000 hospital admissions. Through its work on ISAAC over the next six years, the CfCHD seeks to bring design to bear on improving the quality of patients’ lives. Erwin stated, “We are delighted to collaborate with institutions already doing important work in this area. Their interest in adding design methods to their research processes makes this a powerful collaboration.”