MakeHealth Lab

MakeHealth - collective design and production of open and personalised healthcare solutions.

MakeHealth brings together those in need of healthcare solutions with designers, makers, and professionals in healthcare. We include these healthcare professionals, informal caregivers and people in need of care solutions throughout the design process. Designers provide access to their knowledge and skills during the design stage, while makers help to realise open-source solutions. Together, these experts go through the design and production process to produce personalised healthcare tools, solutions, aids or adjustments in care services that actually meet the needs of the intended recipients. This way, MakeHealth helps people work together to improve the care and quality of life of users.

MakeHealth focusses on three kinds of work: 

  • MakeHealth Prototyping
  • MakeHealth Academy 
  • MakeHealth Station 

MakeHealth Prototyping

A workshop series for designing and producing new, open healthcare applications.

From digital time-keepers to assist those with brain injuries in executing their daily routines, to preventative systems for detecting bodily inflammation, to caps for keeping the smells of stoma bags at bay, MakeHealth Prototyping encompasses a wide range of healthcare solutions.

Informal caregivers, people with a healthcare challenge, and healthcare professionals work together with designers and makers on a specific, care-related question. This question could be, for example, about improving an existing tool or about developing a solution not yet available in the healthcare sector. MakeHealth teams then work to realise their prototypes and products using digital manufacturing tools like 3D printers and laser cutters.

During MakeHealth meetings, participants work through the entire process: from the initial challenge to the design to the final realisation. These meetings could take place at a manufacturing location or a location near your neighbourhood. MakeHealth supports the open online publication of the solutions you might develop along with any accompanying drawings, instructions, or software. Through open publication, you could inspire others to get started on their own solutions or to adapt your work to suit their own needs.

MakeHealth Academy

Training courses for healthcare professionals of the future.

MakeHealth Academy runs training courses for professionals and students in the healthcare sector. During these courses they learn—based on their own medical knowledge and expertise—to reflect on current practices and methods in the healthcare system. Through practical, multidisciplinary assignments, participants discover the possibilities of designing changes and developing potential solutions based on their daily practice.

Coming together to design and produce personalised care solutions requires both asking critical questions and an open mindset. In addition to expertise in the healthcare field, future healthcare professionals must also learn to collaborate with designers and makers. Such cross-disciplinary collaboration is crucial (both now and in the coming years) to develop innovative solutions for everyday challenges in healthcare. With MakeHealth Academy, healthcare professionals can learn how the design and production processes work, how medical knowledge could be embedded in design practice, and where challenges might lie in their own practice.

The MakeHealth Academy training courses vary in size. MakeHealth Academy courses can be taught as in-house training or as a module in education. During the courses, healthcare professionals develop the mindset of embedding their medical expertise in the process of designing and implementing healthcare solutions, a mindset that is crucial for an inclusive and reciprocal healthcare system.

MakeHealth Station

An open location for designing and producing care solutions in your neighbourhood, that brings people together, builds communities and increases the overall self-reliance of citizens.

MakeHealth Station is a physical place. It is both an open space where healthcare professionals can introduce challenges they face in their daily practice, and a place where people can start working on their care needs themselves. Here, designers and makers can use their expertise to design and produce solutions to healthcare challenges in tandem.

Improving the quality of care or making life a bit more pleasant begins with the idea that a solution is possible. Healthcare professionals often know where the challenge lies, but need a bit of inspiration and accessible context to develop the solution. Many people in need of a healthcare solution do not have the option to take control of the situation themselves, and informal caregivers also often lack support in realising their own solutions. To achieve innovative and applicable end results, collaboration is crucial. Not only does this mean cooperation between healthcare professionals and those in need of a healthcare solution, but also cooperation with designers, makers, and healthcare professionals from other institutions.

MakeHealth Station acts as the central hub that both inspires and challenges people to improve healthcare today. It is an accessible place with all necessary tools, where designing together and sharing knowledge is natural. Here, people can come to make a positive contribution to the healthcare system instead of just passively receiving care. In the future, a network of MakeHealth Stations will link people together to create innovations in healthcare.


Do you want to know more about the possibilities at MakeHealth in your organization? Or do you have other questions? 

Contact Paulien Melis of Sanne Muiser.

The MakeHealth Lab is made possible by a subsidy from the Creative Industries Fund NL.