Students Solved Real-Life Challenges on Design Thinking Course – Winning Team’s Solution Addressed Drug Waste in Hospitals


A project funded by the Nordplus programme, Design thinking in health technology education – Design Future Health – GREAT received continuation to the course held online last spring as the week-long intensive course GREAT Design Thinking was finished successfully. To finish off the week, the students had the opportunity to present their own, design-thinking based solutions to real-life challenges.

The GREAT Design Thinking intensive course was participated by 16 students, teachers, and mentors from the University of Turku and other universities of the GREAT collaboration network: Åbo Akademi University, University of Oslo, University of South-Eastern Norway, and University of Tartu.

The students were doctoral and master’s degree students, and they were divided into multidisciplinary groups with the participants representing the majors of e.g. nursing science, medicine, biomedicine, pharmacy, information science, health technology, and economics.

The groups received real-life challenges collected from health care services and over the intensive course, solved them following the Design Thinking process. The premise of Design Thinking is to examine different types of phenomena in new, creative ways. A symposium was organised in the Medisiina building on Friday, 14 January 2022 for the groups to present their work and solutions.

In the symposium, the keynote speech was given by Senior Research Fellow Pekka Stenholm, and the panellists invited to the event to evaluate the groups and select the winner included Eeva Rainio (GREAT network, University of Turku), Riitta Danielson-Ojala (Turku University Hospital), Thomas Lemström (SPARK Finland), and Hanna Halme (Science Park Turku).

Winning Team Gave a Praised Presentation on a Drug Distribution Solution

In the symposium, three groups presented their work and solutions to the challenges of nurses’ heavy workload, expiration dates of medicine, and patient feedback.

The winning team consisted of Knut Kolstadbråten, Maria Potenza, Reetta Mustonen, Mohammed Sunoqrot, and Alberto Hernandez. Their challenge involved a hospital with the problem of expensive medicine accumulating to the wards and not getting used before their expiration dates.

The winning team presented a drug distribution solution called Medsafe, which solved the given challenge in an innovative manner, utilising and combining existing technology and creating a new drug distribution solution within the hospital.

The chair of the panel Eeva Rainio announced the winning team describing how the teams had done excellent work, particularly when taking into consideration how little time they had to work on their ideas.

– However, the winning team stood out with its presentation which was so professional that it could have been presented to the board of the hospital. The group clearly presented the strengths of the new drug distribution solution and had also considered the cost effects from acquiring it, said Rainio.

The week ended in a celebration among the participants of the course in an excited atmosphere. The organisers of the course Anni Pakarinen, Eriikka Siirala, and Annika Nordberg from the Department of Nursing Science collected feedback from the students, and this spring’s new course on design thinking for the patient’s best (Design-ajattelua potilaan parhaaksi – D.pop!) is looked forward to with enthusiasm.

Voittajaryhmään kuuluivat Knut Kolstadbråten (vas.), Maria Potenza, Reetta Mustonen, Alberto Hernandez sekä Mohammed Sunoqrot,The winning team (from left to right) consisted of Knut Kolstadbråten, Maria Potenza, Reetta Mustonen, Alberto Hernandez, and Mohammed Sunoqrot.

Created 25.01.2022 | Updated 25.01.2022