One year after announcing Healthcare Design’s first conceptual design competition, Breaking Through, we now have a winner. A concept created by a team out of HDR’s Australia office took home the $10,000 prize at our recent Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Phoenix this past November.

The journey to that moment started with the introduction of the program at the 2017 HCD Expo, when we asked industry members to produce boundary-breaking designs that answer the challenges they foresee in the future delivery of healthcare. There were no rules—in fact, we told participants to throw the usual design restrictions out the window, including budgets, codes, schedules, and risk.

From there, 43 teams submitted projects, which were assessed by our superstar jury (see below for jury members and details on the judging process). In the end, two concepts, submitted by HDR and AECOM, were chosen as finalists. The teams behind them were invited to present their ideas live on stage in a general session at HCD Expo. Following their presentations, attendees voted for their favorite, and the winner was named right there.

Both groups focused on the challenge of improving access to care and identified different mobile solutions that take services right where patients need it. HDR’s winning concept, called MASH (mobile acute services hospital), provides care via a pod-based system of drones in the context of offering aid during disaster response efforts, eliminating the traditional delays to treatment in crisis events. AECOM’s runner-up Hello Care concept, on the other hand, conceptualizes autonomous vehicles that bring telehealth services directly to where people live and work, offering preventive care, management of chronic conditions, etc.—this one eliminating the traditional brick-and-mortar office visit.

“The two programs went to the extreme end of the challenge—they pushed the boundary of what’s possible,” said juror Jodie Lesh, senior vice president, office of transformation, Kaiser Permanente, who participated in the program on stage with fellow jurors Gary Vance, owner of Vance Consulting, and David Allison, director of the Architecture + Health graduate program at Clemson University.

Congratulations to both teams for this achievement and for inspiring us all with their innovative takes on what it will require to deliver care in the future.

Explore the image gallery in this article for an inside look at the on-stage presentations at HCD Expo. Find more coverage of the program here and in the December issue of Healthcare Design.

The judging process
Presentations from participants were submitted in June. The 43 submissions were divided between two groups of jurors in a blind judging; jurors were not given projects associated with their own organizations. In July, the three projects with the highest scores in each group were then assessed by the entire jury, excepting jurors affiliated with the firms that made it to this round of judging, who were recused from the process. The two finalists selected were notified in July and given four months to develop their concepts further for the live presentation at HCD Expo. A text-based service was used on-site for attendees to select the winner.

2018 Breaking Through jury

  • Hank Adams, global director of healthcare, HDR
  • David Allison, director, Architecture + Health graduate program, Clemson University
  • Sierra Bainbridge, senior director, MASS Design Group
  • Dana Cho, partner, IDEO
  • Jim Crispino, firm-wide director of health & wellness, Gensler
  • Bruce Komiske, vice president, new hospital design and construction, Erlanger Health System
  • Jodie Lesh, senior vice president, office of transformation, Kaiser Permanente
  • Jean Mah, healthcare global practice leader, Perkins+Will
  • Derek Parker, architect
  • Kim Shinn, senior sustainability wizard, TLC Architecture for Engineering
  • Gary Vance, owner, Vance Consulting