Highlighting the Lab.our Ward Innovation Project

The innovation project seeks to improve the birth experience in low-resource settings.
March 29, 2017

The Lab.our Ward Innovation Project brings together expertise from the fields of product, service and architectural design, in collaboration with maternal and newborn health experts, to improve the birth experience in low-resource settings. Through innovations and tools applied to new and existing health facilities, the Lab.our Ward project aims to improve quality of care from the perspectives of both women and care providers. Ultimately, the Lab.our Ward innovation project seeks to have a positive impact on health outcomes for mothers and newborns worldwide.

The M4ID lead project has been developed through a collaborative process, bringing together partners at global and national levels. By employing a human centred design approach, the project has rethought the birth experience through service, product and space innovations tailored for maternity wards in resource constrained settings.

In doing so, the Lab.our Ward has focused on the woman’s journey of care and has sought to improve health outcomes by practical application of and alignment to WHO’s Quality of Care framework. The design proposals and concepts, presented in summarised form here, are thus rooted in clinical evidence, combined with user insights gathered through field research in India, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.

The Lab.our Ward model, which continues to be built on, presents solutions aligned to the Arrival, Admission, Labour, Delivery and Postpartum stages in the care journey. Service design outcomes include a set of recommendations and tools to improve provider-patient communication, understanding of the delivery process, as well as safety. Product and architecture concepts are focused on supporting the provision of women-centred quality of care, improving comfort, cleanliness, privacy and sustainability with solutions fitting for their context. The innovations and tools can be applied to both new and existing health facilities.

By focusing on a woman’s holistic experience of childbirth, supporting facilities to find solutions most fitting for their needs and by forging collaborative partnerships, we seek to make a safe and dignified childbirth experience a reality for all.

M4ID is supporting facilities in applying the innovations in their context and will continue to build partnerships to support implementation of the designs and the approach across continents.