As a collective group, patients represent a very unique and diverse user typology with a wide range of variables that must be accounted for in any design response. The Patient Companion (PCU) has the ability to positively impact this large, diverse user group because it creates a new platform for engagement.
The design combines two ubiquitous elements, an overbed table and a touchscreen tablet, to form a single piece of mobile furniture that could be utilized in a wide range of healthcare settings. The crux of the design is a hybrid tabletop surface that provides traditional dining functionality on one side, and is rotated to reveal an integrated tablet on the other. The touchscreen surface empowers patients by providing a platform for access to educational content, connections to the community through social networking and environmental control of systems, such as temperature, audio and lighting.