Design is Strategy
At this point, the convergence of Design and Strategy is complete. I would go so far as to say that Design is Strategy and vice versa. Every organization that takes strategy seriously has adopted some form of Design Thinking at the core of it's strategic tool kit.
Even the US military has embraced Design Thinking as a core competency. I've personally met with some of the people in charge of creating a "decision advantage" in the defense sector and they are dead serious about the discipline of Design Thinking.
In the healthcare sector, we believe that Design and Design Thinking will continue to move into the center of the strategy realm. This is because Design Thinking forces us to fully consider the problems we are trying to solve before we start throwing money at them. Design Thinking necessitates that we understand the problem from a human-centered perspective, that we fully appreciate their needs, challenges, and environments.
Design Thinking in healthcare forces us to explore and examine the competing needs of the different actors in the very complex system known as healthcare. The list of actors includes (but is not limited to) patients, physicians, specialists, researchers, payers, manufacturers, and more.
Even though the healthcare sector has serious challenges with respect to cost, reimbursement and coordinated care, we believe that Design and Design Thinking disciplines can help cut through the chaos of competing stakeholders with competing objectives. Ultimately, if new innovations can't deliver better health outcomes, they aren't innovations after all.