“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

The ultimate need for “less is more” – Birth

The Business of Being Born
Last night I went to a Tribeca Film Festival premiere of “The Business of Birth” and it truly brought to clear light the theory of “less is more” and the how sometimes the best we can do with technology and design is to stay the hell out of the way!

Being a father having gone through my side of the home birth experience, this movie obviously resonated with me a lot. But I also think it brought home very well that there is A problem within maternal medicine in this nation and maybe it doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to remove the role of Medicine and birth and after birth care in this country, but when we compare ourselves to countries where midwifery and even home birth is considered normal compared to the US where it is under 1% and juxtapose that to our staggering rates of maternal and infant mortality how can we not take notice.

Let’s put aside all the feel good stuff and commercial aspects that both sides of the home birth vs. medical practice sides represent. The reality is that intervention, legal defensive, doctor ran birth is not actually succeeding. Yes, things go awry and when they do doctors are the greatest people in the world for dealing with problems, but their attitude of not being able to sit on the sidelines and allow experts in birth (not in surgery) to do their jobs is so troubling. More women would choose hospital based midwife supervised births if the medical industry did not get in their way.

Let’s just go back to the Hippocratic oath of do no harm.

Now, back to the “less is more”:
Fetal monitoring
Medical beds

Each one of these “technological” advances can be directly correlated to problems that occur during birth. There are times where each is necessary, so the product design and creation itself is not at issue here, but their use and application.

All this brings to mind that we as product and system designers need to take more of a role of HOW people use our solutions.

If you can see this film while it is at the TFF, I suggest you try to go. I think its playing a few more times. This movie is for issues around Birth what “Bowling for Columbine” was for guns. Yes, it was that good.

Be Sociable, Share!


The archives run deep. Feel free to search older content using topic keywords.