A Care Model Inspired by the ER


Improve the practice of emergency medicine by keeping patients with non-life-threatening symptoms out of the emergency room.


A reimagined first-aid kit, including a variety of tools for diagnosis and treatment that allows the patient to send and receive crucial health information to a hospital nurse from their home.

Inspiration for some of the best medical technologies has come from observing care administered in the most extreme conditions. In an attempt to gain that inspiration, Worrell researchers and designers visited sites across Europe and North America, interviewing the world’s busiest ER surgeons. Worrell expected to identify new products and workflows for those settings, but instead discovered systems and products already fully capable of rapid, coordinated, protocol-driven care.

As a result, Worrell asked this question: what if the best way to improve the practice of emergency medicine is to keep those who don’t need it away from the emergency room? What if there was a way to receive non-life threatening medical attention in the comfort of your own home?

This question led to an experiment with an alternative care touch point — a 21st-century first aid kit that would allow users to test and send their vital health information to a nurse from their own homes. Worrell put its human factors, design research, industrial design, and user experience teams on the job to produce functional prototypes for preliminary user testing. Thanks to a partnership with the Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota, Worrell refined the initial product specifications with feedback from 30 pediatric asthma patients.

The kit includes instruments and devices such as a camera, thermometer, blood pressure monitor, EKG, and pulse oximetry. On the other end of the device, a nurse is able to view key information related to the patient’s current and historic health data, including medical records, vital signs, GPS location, and clinical decision support protocol systems. Thanks to a simple user interface and clear information hierarchy, the kit allowed these caretakers to quickly assess the most important information. By enabling a seamless interaction between patients, caregivers, and providers, the device demonstrated the potential for a meaningful reduction in emergency care visits.


Featured in Worrell’s “Insights from the ER” video, this first aid kit gained attention from doctors, hospitals and media outlets from around the world, including Fast Company Magazine ““. It also propelled Worrell’s design teams into related health and telemedicine development projects that are either in development or nearing commercialization.