Attending this year’s Healthcare Design Conference + Expo in New Orleans was an illuminating experience immersed in the forefront of healthcare innovation. The event served as a pivotal hub for industry professionals, where the latest advancements, technological breakthroughs, and human-centric designs in healthcare were on display. Engaging with experts and exploring the unveiling of trends in healthcare design offered invaluable insights into the future landscape of healthcare environments. After spending time walking the floor, here are the top 10 products that blew me away.
Steelcase x Logitech’s Project Ghost completely changes the video chat experience which would be instrumental in improving telehealth. It’s rooted in current tech, yet by beaming onto glass and utilizing lighting, the person on screen appears life-like and to-scale. Most importantly, you’re able to make eye contact. After experiencing the most up-to-date prototype for myself at HCD (which is a fully enclosed and private freestanding pod), I can confidently say it was the most human, natural, and realistic remote interaction I’ve had to date. This would be huge in creating a more empathetic and personal telehealth experience, especially when discussing sensitive or difficult information.
Falkbuilt’s new proprietary finish, DuraFalk, is the latest game-changer from Digital Component Construction; using an energy-efficient process in a fraction of the space normally associated with high-velocity finishing systems. As a hermetically sealed, durable, toxin-free finish, DuraFalk provides the perfect solution, especially for healthcare spaces. The spaces accomplished with Falkbuilt and DuraFalk at HCD were a showstopper with beautiful finishes and residential-styled healthcare environments.
Rochester integrates form and function in a timeless seating series that includes a lounge chair, settee, sofa, and elegant sleeper sofa. Optional solid surface arm top caps, subtly integrated clean-out space, and field-replaceable upholstery allow Rochester to gracefully exist in healing environments for multiple life cycles. I especially love the unique upholstery options that Plural is known for!
Kolo Pod is designed to offer a quiet space within environments for focused work, one-on-one meetings, and gatherings up to eight people. What’s so incredible about this line is that it offers one of the first ADA-compliant office phone booths – the seats and the table begin folded up to allow room for a wheelchair and the door is motion-activated and closes on its own. This was an obvious pick because it makes privacy accessible to all.
Integrating the functional benefits of a work chair with the warm comfort of a lounge pouf, Plot Twist surprises with an attached, height-adjustable writing surface. The orbiting work surface free-lifts without paddles or levers, delivering a smooth, stable and predictable glide to any desired height. A flush-set button lowers the surface. I was especially enthralled with the pouf with a backrest and attached height-adjustable tablet. This would be the perfect versatile seating option for a clinician in a patient or exam room.
Chrys is a great health dining and lounge option for behavioral health environments. Designed to meet the stringent demands of healthcare spaces, Chrys offers a unique fusion of comfort, durability, and safety. With a soothing color palette and soft, organic lines, Chrys not only ensures superior comfort but also promotes an atmosphere of serenity. Prioritizing safety and security, Chrys features a tamper-resistant design and additional weighting to deter misuse.
Zola is a great solution for high-use public seating in caregiving environments. Its modularity means it can be reconfigured easily and can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. I loved the Zola ottoman with a low back displayed at HCD, particularly for its weight and its active seating experience, which makes it a great behavioral health seating option.
Tyba is a fully upholstered, soft-formed, armless lounge solution that has a companion ottoman. Available with three base options (standard, weighted plinth, or non-weighted plinth), Tyba is generously scaled and perfect for creating relaxed lounging configurations for wellness spaces. I love this piece because it brings warmth and softness to behavioral health spaces that are necessary for healing.
The Soul Sofa is a clean sleeper sofa option with integrated power, but the showstopper is the Soul Mate, a multi-purpose convertible cube designed to be used as an ottoman, nightstand, or chair. When not in use, up to three Soul Mates can be stowed neatly under the sofa. I especially love this piece because it's so user- friendly with only a one-stop lift motion required with a self-lock to convert to a chair.
Designed in collaboration with patients and healthcare professionals, Willow sets a new benchmark for healthcare seating. The chair’s welcoming form and thoughtful detailing make it ideal for waiting and patient spaces. I love this chair because it’s a comfortable sit for longer wait times and there’s a lot of opportunity for color play with the color options available.