Case Studies

Hack The Hospital - Designing The Room Of The Future For Paediatric Patients


“Hack the Hospital is back with a simple goal: improve paediatric patient’s life. This time we are taking one step further and we aim to design the room of the future so as to ensure they have the most comfortable, safe and efficient experience at the hospital.”

Through a weekend ‘hackathon’ our young engineers worked remotely, at the London Design Museum, and in the Innovation Centre for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Senior Mechanical Systems Engineer; Lewis Lindop and Product Design Engineers; Gregory McMillan & Robin Pickering, generated and prototyped different ideas to fulfill the brief created by the 5G Transatlantic Lab.

The main aim of this activity was to fail fast and communicate well in the restricted time given – as ‘hackathons’ use short timeframes to focus a collaborative effort into finding the best possible pitch, as quickly as possible.

The teamwork oriented mindset of this task led to our engineers learning from mentors and patients through workshops and interviews that they conducted.

By the end of the weekend, they pitched their idea to a panel of international expert judges to see if they could make it to the final – potentially having their idea taken on by one of the sponsoring hospitals in Barcelona, London and Toronto.


This event was a fun challenge, but it aimed to tackle a serious issue. Therefore, alongside enjoying the development process, concepts had to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Gives value to patients and their families
  • Is feasible to implement into the hospital environment
  • Can be considered innovative or novel
  • Is easy to use

Our Process

Stage One: Getting Involved

ITL (a G&H Company) encourages and supports their engineers to take on external opportunities, allowing them to continue to learn outside of the office. This helps R&D to get more involved with the industry beyond project work and it helps to further individuals’ interests and skills!

“We took it upon ourselves to enter into a ‘hackathon’ event, after finding out about this opportunity from attending the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering – 2022 Symposium. This led to us connecting with the WEISS institute, who posted about this on their LinkedIn!

It was then just a matter of asking others to give it a go…After all, I’ve always thought it’s great to be on the look out for these sort of events, to broaden perspective, skillsets and networks.”

~ Robin Pickering | Product Design Engineer

Stage 2: Setting Up & Workshopping

In a world learning to work remotely, online whiteboarding platforms have become the natural evolution of the drawing board. Which is why Miro was the primary tool chosen by the team to organise and to ideate.

“It was great for us to be able to work asynchronously, so setting up a live digital whiteboard was incredibly valuable. It also really helped to kickstart early mind-mapping activities in person! As even in a coffee shop we could get our laptops out and document our thoughts.”

~ Lewis Lindop | Mechanical Systems Engineer

Stage 3: Ideation

The condensed approach to concept development required alignment with ‘start-up’ style working methods. This was further promoted through online workshops and activity sessions hosted by IDEO U.

There were so many ideas that we held early on; from nature inspired projection mapping entertainment systems, to staff and patient AI-assisted dashboards.

By the end of the first brainstorm sessions there was at least 8 strong concepts that were ran through a series of voting and ranking activities until just 3 remained.

Stage 4: Expert Feedback & Development

One of the main advantages of participating in this event came from the collaborative focus and access to mentors and people with lived experience, as they helped to inform the team on which was the best concept to develop.

  • Robin took the reigns for gathering insight to inform concept development and mapping.
  • Greg did some fantastic work to rapidly visualize the physical side of the product system.
  • Lewis made excellent use of his UX credentials to research and generate an interactive app prototype.
  • Maya really brought the character behind ‘Burrow’ to life with some great graphic design concepting.

Stage 5: Creating A Pitch

Learning how to showcase the concept, whilst still developing it was an interesting challenge in itself!

The pitch deck was also made in Miro, to ensure we could draw assets from all our hard work.

Additionally, Business Canvas Models were created, KPI’s identified and product roll out plans were made, to add feasibility to the prototype visuals that were generated throughout the weekend.

Stage 6: Presenting Our Concept

The semi-finals took place on Sunday 19th February, with the finals to take place just two days later.

During the event, each team was allotted with 5 minutes to pitch their ideas and showcase their video, with additional time provided for questions. With a strict 5-minute limit for the presentation, Greg and Robin worked together to present the pitch on behalf of the whole team. Meanwhile, Lewis and Maya helped to answer questions related to the concept when the juries popped up.

The teams hard work and dedication ensured that they advanced to the finals where they delivered a pitch they they were truly proud of.



A great experience was had by all! The team found success through the high quality contented they generated and they learnt a lot over a short period of time, including:

  • How to work in a condensed ‘design start-up style’ environment.
  • How to connect with healthcare professionals, such as the amazing team at Great Ormand Street Hospital’s Innovation Centre.
  • The importance of patient-centric design for inclusion, to ensure they considered all age groups and users with a variety of mobility and capacity needs.
  • The logistical and economic issues that hospitals face.
  • How sustainable design can be considered from the get go when designing a new system (to benefit not only the target market but also the environment).
  • How to make use of experience to participate in even more similar competitive events in future!