Design Student – National College of Art and Design

Daniel O'Réalta

Daniel O’Réalta is a third-year Interaction Design Student at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD). As a part of his degree, Daniel has been working as an intern with our Innovate Health Team. He says Tallaght University Hospital was recommended to me as their Innovation Department had a very positive reputation.”

The NCAD design student says, “Initially we spent time scoping out different projects I could work on to help patients. Everyone at Innovate Health was enthusiastic about getting me started on assignments that matched my interests and experience, which I really appreciated.”

The Projects

The two main projects that Daniel worked on during his internship were with the Dermatology and Age Related Departments, at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).

In terms of the Dermatology Department the project involved helping medical staff to come up with a new device which could figure out the exact quantities of a special cream to treat a rare skin condition. Getting the dosage correct was critical for patients with this condition, as prescribing too much of this medication could be harmful.

In terms of the Charlie O Toole Age-Related Day Unit at TUH, the assignment was to make sure patients could navigate the unit to very easily find their appointments. Daniel says “To achieve this, I conducted interviews. This enabled me to get a very clear picture of exactly what the issues were in terms of the unit’s signage, layout and check-in facilities.”

Daniel says, “During my time with the Innovate Team, I’ve learned a lot about gathering information which helps designers like me to properly understand the needs, behaviours, and attitudes of users. Collecting this kind of data is vital as it informs the design and development of effective new products and solutions. Many projects fail because funders and designers assume they know better than the users.”

Job satisfaction

Daniel says, “It was very satisfying to be involved in work to help patients and make things better in our healthcare system. Having the opportunity to contribute, even in a small way, to making things easier for everyone involved was very rewarding. Everyone on the Innovate Health Team was very welcoming which made my Internship very enjoyable.”