LIFT leveraged human-centered insights from patients and healthcare providers to form a brand that is forever changing the standard of inpatient hospital care and delivery. 

It’s safe to say that you or someone you know has had a negative blood draw experience. According to the American Hospital Association, there are 5,627 hospitals in the United States—all of which draw blood from the majority of patients who walk through their doors. 

The routine blood draw is one of the most common invasive procedures conducted in hospitals today (roughly 750 blood draws are completed in the U.S. every minute), yet innovations in blood collection technology have been scarce. From a provider standpoint, accidental needle sticks cost hospitals upward of $50 million each year—making it all the more puzzling why blood collection technology has been relatively devoid of innovation. 

While their applications may vary, most of these procedures will share a common byproduct—unnecessary stress for both the patient and the provider. Discomfort, anxiety, pain—these feelings stick with us as patients and providers alike. Over time, we can forge negative associations and aversions to this routine procedure that can last a lifetime. 

Velano and a New Standard of Care

In healthcare, great design begins and ends with great patient experiences and is characterized by both empathy for and understanding of the patient. With patient experience top of mind, Velano Vascular, Inc. and its founders Eric Stone and Dr. Pitou Devgon set out in 2012 to change the standard of inpatient care while simultaneously creating a safer environment for providers and practitioners. 

Born out of an idea to leverage existing peripheral IVs to draw blood, Dr. Pitou Devgon created a revolutionary device, called PIVO™, to refine technology that should have been addressed years ago. PIVO eliminates the need for multiple needle sticks during a hospital stay—an untapped opportunity Velano recognized for patient-focused innovation. 

THE PIVO™ DEVICE ATTACHES TO A PERIPHERAL IV CATHETER AND DRAWS BLOOD—ELIMINATING THE NEED FOR MULTIPLE NEEDLE STICKS OVER THE COURSE OF A HOSPITAL STAY.

When Velano Vascular approached LIFT in 2015, they knew they had desirable technology for patients and caregivers, parents and children, and elderly patients—the patients who endure multiple blood draws in a day. They understood the importance of the human story in bringing this brand to life, not just in terms of their commercial brand strategy but also in terms of how it would move a group of hospital executives to change an entire standard of care. 

As Velano’s lead design agency, LIFT assisted in gathering patient stories, interviewing healthcare providers and executives, phlebotomists, parents and caregivers, hospital innovation teams, and building case studies—innumerable hours in the hospital and clinical environment—all to gain further understanding of the patient experience from the perspectives of all stakeholders involved.

A major challenge in changing a standard of care is that it requires buy-in on many levels. An opportunity arose with healthcare administration changes, allowing Velano to leverage this patient and practitioner experience for impact at ground level. The research paid dividends, not just in terms of the brand’s success, but also in terms of shaping how hospitals view innovation and tools like ethnography and design thinking to impact positive change for the patient, hospital staff, and the entire health system.

Velano took a foundational approach rooted in human insights and design thinking, and upon receiving FDA clearance, implemented the use of PIVO™ in seven US states (Connecticut, Utah, Ohio, and California, Colorado, Washington, and Florida) . Most recently, in June 2021, Velano Vascular, Inc. was acquired by Becton Dickinson, one of the largest medical device companies in the world—further paving the way for a new standard of hospital care and patient experience.

A Patient Approach Transforms Communities and Hospitals

“Velano Vascular is a prime example of how ethnography and design thinking protocols can champion a brand and move the needle when it comes to adopting new healthcare practices. In gaining understanding of patient experience, they can positively touch the lives of all stakeholders involved in the healthcare transaction.”

David McDonald, CEO, LIFT

Hospitals today are faced with many challenges. Value-based care models, community outreach, and community education can be hard to pull off and difficult to afford. While PIVO exists as a tangible product, Velano’s true product is the enhanced experience it creates—raising the standard of care through championing the patient-provider relationship. And there is substantial benefit economically in the long-term when considering their ability to positively affect the experiences of nurses, phlebotomists, patients, and caregivers while introducing to healthcare an entirely new standard of care.

Velano Vascular, Inc. is a prime example of how economic value is derived from initiatives that take the time to listen to and understand the needs and motivations of the stakeholders involved in healthcare transactions. Healthcare challenges require a unique approach—one that is connected to the patient voice and grounded in understanding using the tools of ethnography and design thinking. It champions the brand, moves the needle, and transforms entire hospital systems.

LIFT leverages the voices of stakeholders to create stories that resonate with hospitals on a human level—and is proud to have functioned as Velano Vascular’s lead design agency since 2015 through the company’s acquisition by Becton Dickinson in 2021.

Related Articles