About us

hiCOlab's Mission

hiCOlab partners with patients, caregivers, and employees across The University of Vermont Health Network to radically transform healthcare from the inside out.

hiCOlab is a design and innovation lab embedded within a nationally recognized academic medical center. We are passionate about the power of human-centered design to transform the experience of healthcare for all of us. We are fostering a culture of innovation one person and one relationship at a time through radical collaboration with our patients, caregivers, and employees.

With every interaction and engagement in our community, we strive to embody and amplify these core values, which ground our approach to innovation and guide our decisions.

Be people centered.

Make work joyful.

Co-create to collaborate.

Harness the wisdom of diversity.

Be curious and provocative.

Disrupt “business as usual.”

Experiment and take risks.


Our Process


Our approach to transforming healthcare is grounded in human-centered design, a methodology and process that begins and ends with addressing the needs and desires of healthcare’s many actors  — the patients, families, providers, and staff who each play a part in the co-creation of healthcare. Our collaborative, action-oriented, and highly visual process is defined by three iterative and often overlapping phases: Discover, Design, and Deliver.

DISCOVER involves various types of research activities in which we learn from our end users about what their experiences are. We then synthesize the resulting insights into a clear definition of the problem we are trying to solve.

In DESIGN, we create ideas through sketching and other visual media. We design and build prototypes which can be tested with end users, so that we can learn quickly and iterate through a series of possible solutions.

In DELIVER, we transition the solution to the appropriate stakeholders who will manage implementation over the long-term. We also determine the appropriate metrics that will help us measure our impact throughout the project’s life cycle.