Meet Sigrun Vik – Head of Health on a mission to transform health care

Using collaboration, data and tech to put people at the centre

If you’re looking for a people-oriented, empathetic, and ambitious health innovator, Sigrun Vik will not disappoint. With her drive for meaningful change-making and passion for people, she leads our direction in the health sector. We met her for an interview to hear her views on the challenges and possible solutions in the industry.

Sigrun, you are Head of Health in EGGS. Can you tell us a bit more about this role?

“As Head of Health, I have the responsibility to build health competence in EGGS and contribute with my domain expertise in different projects. I also focus on create strategic and long-term partnerships that can drive our work within the health sector forward. I look for interesting and meaningful projects where we, EGGS, can help make a positive impact. In that sense, the more complex a project, the better! The most important and pressing problems to solve are most often the complex ones.“

What is your background? How did you end up where you are now?

"Well, I have a background as an Industrial Designer, with a master's in Industrial Design from AHO. You can say that I've been through a journey. When I began my design education twenty years ago, I went from looking at design from an aesthetic perspective, dreaming about designing beautiful pieces of furniture, to looking at it as a strategic innovation tool that can improve people's lives. I worked with industrial design for several years before I joined EGGS nine years ago and transitioned to service design and the health sector. Today I see myself as a facilitator of design-driven innovation within health care, across design disciplines.

"I feel very much at home in the health domain, and I think it's exciting to work with. It's an industry where there is so much potential to make a difference."
Sigrun Vik, Head of Health, EGGS Design

What was it about the health sector that interested you?

”With the risk of sounding cliché - I’ve always been a very people-oriented person, and I genuinely enjoy working with people. And in the health sector, naturally, there is, or at least should be, a focus on people and helping them. I feel very much at home in the health domain, and I think it's exciting to work with. It's an industry where there is so much potential to make a difference."

Sigrun doing what she loves the most - being out in the field, gathering insights to help solve problems that can improve people's lives.

In EGGS, we work with three main areas related to our purpose, one being the mission to create seamless and inclusive health and welfare. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

”Yes, we have summarised the challenges we believe represent our biggest potential positive impacts within health and welfare into a mission to create inclusive and seamless health and welfare by innovating for quality services during vulnerable life events. We have a growing and ageing population in this part of the world, posing a series of challenges to this sector.

It’s important to remember that for the people using health and welfare services, it is irrelevant who delivers the service or how it came about – they just want it to work. That’s seamless. And it needs to work for everyone to be inclusive. Health services should be for all, independent of people’s background or social situation. Most importantly, they have to cater to those who are in vulnerable moments in their lives; that's when it matters the most.”

"Health services should be for all, independent of people’s background or social situation. Most importantly, they have to cater to those who are in vulnerable moments in their lives; that's when it matters the most.”
Sigrun Vik, Head of Health, EGGS Design

How can design contribute to seamless health and welfare?

“I recently participated in the EHiN conference, and my main takeaway from that is that there is no time to spare to solve the problems within the health sector. We're in a hurry, and I'm convinced that a design-driven approach can contribute to finding these solutions quicker. Or, rather, that it can help us find the right solutions. We can't afford to spend time and resources, as a society, to develop solutions that are only 'almost' the right ones.Using design methodologies – user-centric insight, visualization, testing, validation, and facilitating partnerships and dialogues- we can reduce risks in these projects. Both in terms of economic and financial risk, but also in terms of developing solutions that don't work well for people who should be helped by them.”

What are the main challenges that we as a society are facing within the health sector?

“One important challenge is digitalisation. We need to create a functioning e-health system to optimize our health care and make sure we use all the data's potential. All this is essential if we are to create services that are effective enough to deliver quality services to a growing and ageing population. We need to find ways to remove the increasing pressure on our healthcare system without decreasing the quality of the services.”

What is required to meet and deal with these challenges?

“The most important thing is that we need brave leaders that dare to start complex processes and to open up for collaboration between public and private sectors. That's essential because the problems are complex and require solutions where many parts of society – the public health sector, private health providers, politicians, suppliers, academia, and the population at large, collaborate. There are many silos, both within the public sector and between the public and private sectors, that need to be removed to solve these challenges. As it is now, people and their needs often fall between the chairs when departments don't cross-collaborate. This is something that design can help change. We can design holistic services that focus on people instead of the system.”

"(...) we need brave leaders that dare to start complex processes and to open up for collaboration between public and private sectors."
Sigrun Vik, Head of Health, EGGS Design

Do you have any tips for organizations working with health innovation?

”Yes, first of all, you need to make sure you know what the problem is. One of the most common mistakes in innovation is thinking that you’re solving the right problem, but you’re not because you haven't involved the people you intend to help. That’s a waste of time and resources. When it comes to health care, it's essential to involve patients, their relatives, and health care workers in these processes. We don’t have time to develop the wrong solutions in health care if we are to secure quality services in the future.”

You often talk about something you refer to as holistic service modelling. What is that?

”Health and welfare system, services and solutions are a complex topic. The system is made up of both public and private players, where many things are interdependent. We need to cross-collaborate to find solutions. For me, holistic service modelling is about crafting and modelling the system, its services, and solutions towards the same goal. And, in health care, this goal should be to deliver high-quality, adequate health services to the population. It’s about all the elements that together deliver health and welfare to the user: The user journeys, the work-flow of people working on delivering the services, new procedures, IT structures, information flows, new business models and intensive schemes, relocation of responsibilities, and decisions, and so on. "

Last but not least - what does good design mean to you?

“Good design is when the user doesn't notice it. It's a frictionless enabler that simply makes things work and leave people satisfied."

Sounds interesting?

Sigrun Vik

Let's talk to Head of Health
Sigrun Vik
+47 922 33 887
Email

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