Back to all press releases

October 18, 2017

Premiering at the World Design Event: The Embassy of Health


Premiering at the first World Design Event from 21 through 29 October 2017, during the Dutch Design Week, the Innovation Powerhouse (Eindhoven, Netherlands) will be open for the public for the first time, and transformed into the Embassy of Health. Here, next to the new studio of design agency VanBerlo, design for future healthcare will be on display at the exhibition ‘Chronic Health - Designing a Healthy Future’ and in a cutting-edge programme with (inter)national speakers, workshops and meetings.

The Embassy of Health unites the interests of design and healthcare, and will be covering different areas; from 'open' design to 'closed' innovation, Do It Yourself to Do It Together care applications, and specialist medical technology to creative prototypes.

Exhibition Chronic Health - Designing a Healthy Future

“Health is high on everyone's wish list. Thanks to technological developments, people can be more in charge of managing their own illness and health. But not with technology alone. The Embassy of Health shows what can be expected when design and health come together. Will people live according to the so-called Blue Zones lessons, and strive to become one hundred years old or more? Is it possible to overcome fear of treatments through Virtual Reality technology?", according to Sabine Wildevuur from Waag Society's Creative Care Lab.

Included in the exhibition are, amongst others, Outrospectre (Frank Kolkman), LifeSaver (VanBerlo), High Risk Pregnancy Toolkit (Philips), IV-Walk (Alissa Raas), DYI toolkit for Dementia (Waag Society) and Doll Houses (Peter Masselink). The exhibition is curated by Waag Society.

VanBerlo projects in the spotlight

“The aging population, accompanied by longer life expectancy and an increasing number of people living with chronic conditions, puts an increasing burden on healthcare services," explains Thomas Paulen, CEO of VanBerlo. “Together with the increase in healthcare expenditure, there is a need for new models of treatment. Technology forms an enabler for innovative solutions within the healthcare sector. However, technology tends to complicate treatment. That calls for new ways to self-manage chronic illness and empower patients through design. At VanBerlo we believe that our holistic approach and user centered design can create the difference to develop effective solutions that truly add value."

LifeSaver is a new concept that focuses on smart and intuitive CPR guidance; the perfect example of (user) empowerment through design. The LifeSaver project will not be the only VanBerlo undertaking on display during WDE. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the Novo Reflex concept and a Design Thinking in Healthcare project. Novo Reflex supports type 1 diabetes patients in the self-management and care of their chronic illness. And new healthcare perspectives are being broached by applying Design Thinking to care issues.

Philips High Risk Pregnancy Toolkit

Philips is a health technology company focused on improving people's lives through meaningful innovation across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention to diagnosis, treatment and home care. The High Risk Pregnancy Toolkit is the result of a joint effort among the Philips Foundation, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Philips Design. The toolkit aims to support early detection of high-risk pregnancies in fragile communities and to encourage referral to health facilities.

“The health technology landscape is fundamentally changing. Increasing demand on healthcare systems and a change in mind-set where people are focused more on their own health are driving new ways of thinking about healthcare delivery", says Paul Gardien, head of Philips Design Innovation & Consulting. “At Philips, we look beyond technology to the experiences of consumers, patients, providers and caregivers. This approach will enable us to reach our goal of improving the lives of 3 billion people each year by 2025."

U CREATE Centre of Expertise presents 7 Future Health Design Talents

In the Chronic Health exhibition 7 Future Health Design Talents are presented by U CREATE Centre of Expertise. Their designs show future health developed from the perspective of the end-user. Designers create products and services with and for end-users every day. By using design methods to engage people in the development of their future health products, users are being put more and more in the driver's seat.

Among the empowering products for a healthy, balanced, happy and dignified future – on display at the exhibition - are ADS Mirror by Gerjanne van Gink (HKU), Numinous by Stefanie Bonte (HKU), Hugsy by Sylvie Claes (Design Academy). Chocobombes by Naomie Jansen (Dsign Academy), Apart from the Norm by Cox Janssens (Design Academy), Movemat & Steps by Jan van der Zijden and Xander van den Arend (University of Applied Sciences Utrecht) and IV-Walk by Alissa Rees (Design Academy).

Making births safer in Máxima Medical Center

Perinatal care is key in Máxima Medical Center (MMC) Veldhoven. To improve birth outcome, MMC cooperates with different partners in the development of novel technologies at its Health Innovation Campus. Amongst others with Medsim in childbirth simulation to train medical staff and Nemo Healthcare to improve fetal monitoring during pregnancy and labor, with the aim to make births safer for mother and child. During the exhibition you can meet Victoria, the world's most lifelike childbirth simulator with accurate anatomical proportions. She demonstrates how we improve labor and delivery in a safe environment.

Behind the World Design Event

Eindhoven is the home of Dutch Design Week (DDW), northern Europe's leading design event, which attracted 295,000 visitors in 2016. DDW occupies a unique position internationally. It deals more specifically with what the future might bring than what the present holds, yet DDW also looks to the future and the ways in which designers are studying and shaping that future.

With this first World Design Event (WDE), a new step is taken in the internationalisation of the platform. The Netherlands does not operate in isolation from the world, and the issues faced by society are similar everywhere. There are plenty of reasons to work together, share expertise and learn from other like-minded creative thinkers and doers from other parts of the world. WDE invites designers worldwide to come and shape the future together. The question is not only what kind of future is wanted and how to design it, but also how to get there. The future begins in today's world.

Full programme Embassy of Health

All partners in the Embassy of Health are involved in the organisation of a varied programme of lectures, meetings and exhibition. An overview can be found at:

Partners Embassy of Health: VanBerlo, Waag Society, Philips, Máxima Medisch Centrum, U Create


About VanBerlo

Design agency VanBerlo is the creative and strategic partner to international players and ambitious start-ups; from successful brands to organisations that want to create the difference on a smaller scale. For more information go to

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips' health technology portfolio generated 2016 sales of EUR 17.4 billion and employs approximately 71,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

About Waag Society

Waag Society—institute for art, science and technology—is a pioneer in the field of digital media. Over the past 25 years, the foundation has developed into an institution of international stature, a platform for artistic research and experimentation, and has become both a catalyst for events and a breeding ground for cultural and social innovation. The Creative Care Lab develops technology for innovation in healthcare. Read more:

About U CREATE, Centre of Expertise Future Health Design

U CREATE Centre of Expertise Future Health Design connects the offer of knowledge and methods from the Creative Industry to the demand for change and renewal in health and wellbeing. Through innovation acceleration, knowledge development and talent promotion, we support health- and creative professionals to work on new or renewed health products, services and experiences. Always developed from the perspective of the end-user: patient, client, civilian, person. We connect on a regional level through the Utrecht Health Hub City Deal and on a national level in collaboration with the Top Sectors Creative Industry (CI) and Life Sciences and Health (LSH). On an international level we work on the export value of applied creativity by the name Dutch Health Design. For more information about U CREATE, visit

About Máxima Medical Center

Máxima Medical Center (MMC) is the largest health care provider in south-eastern Brabant, a southern region of the Netherlands. Here the facility serves the local and international community from a two-campus facility. The MMC's Woman Mother Child Center is unique within Europe, offering a holistic approach to integrated family centred care. MMC works with Eindhoven University in the development of medical technology, and collaborates with universities in Maastricht and Nijmegen in their training of specialists. MMC is a member of the Association of Collaborative Top Clinical Training Hospitals (STZ). More information:

Like to learn more about this press release?

Get in touch with Marlon

+31 (0) 40 29 29 090