MSUToday
Published: Sept. 30, 2016

MSU School of Packaging to host Healthcare Packaging Immersion Event

When Michigan State University Professor Laura Bix thinks about a disease outbreak, she thinks about minimizing mistakes, what a hazmat suit feels like, and how a healthcare professional might administer medication and medical devices in such a suit.

That’s what she and a team of MSU professionals will bring to the fourth Healthcare Packaging Immersion Event. The event is a joint venture between MSU’s state-of-the-art Healthcare Simulation Facility, the Learning and Assessment Center and the School of Packaging. Geared to health care and packaging professionals. The event is slated for Oct. 12-13 on MSU’s campus.

“The overarching theme is that context dramatically impacts your ability to interact with package designs,” Bix said. “In thick hazmat gloves, in a suit that is very hot with a fogged mask, breathing through a respirator that harkens thoughts of hyperventilation, your ability to identify, open and administer products needed for care is significantly diminished.”

This year’s event will feature simulations and immersion experiences that involve the audience in the following ways:

  • One involving an infectious disease outbreak on campus, where it is likely that people from the audience become unwitting participants after becoming infected during the course of the conference day.
  • A second where all participants will be perceptually and physically challenged in an attempt to garner insights into the difficulties faced by frail and aging people and the added burden that poorly designed health care packaging can make.

The immersion event strives to have these active learning, or immersive, experiences to provide powerful lessons for the students in attendance and those imbedded within the industry, Bix said. “Our goal, through this event, is to generate a dialog that creates questions and ideas that motivates people to catalyze changes that improve health. We want to make a difference.”

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