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This year’s World Usability Day (WUD), a global series of events organised by the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), will take place on 8 November forthcoming.

The WUD was founded to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.

A wide range of events, exhibits, forums and conferences, taking place in cities all over the world, will raise awareness and debate on this year’s theme of healthcare, a topic which is gathering a lot of attention in national and international policy discussions.

The Italian World Usability Day, which will take place at the Environment Park in Turin, is set up as an interactive forum where well-known experts propose innovative human-centred design solutions to (re-)conceive products, services and processes within the broader field of healthcare.

The Italian WUD has the double aim of showing the potential for innovation when strategies are based on usability and human-centred design (in this case patients and their friends and family, medical staff, institutional staff); and demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach through the presentation of tangible results.

The Turin event will also feature a presentation and discussion of the results of the work done by the Turin-based ASSET Association, an informal but high-level think tank on the Hospital of the Future.

Over the last year ASSET organised a series of benchmark meetings that brought together over 100 experts, both from the world of healthcare and beyond, to help define an innovative model of how a future hospital ought to be structured. The result of these meetings is a rich synthesis document that defines best practices and benchmarks for the Hospital of the Future.

Thanks to the ASSET involvement, the day will be structured as a series of debates on five macro themes: technology, governance, management, communication and environment.

Each thematic session will be introduced by a discussant who will present the results achieved by the ASSET foundation in that particular thematic area, after which a group of national and international experts will provide their own take on the topic, including possible alternative proposals.

This format — presentation of results, critical analysis, redefinition of the proposal — allows for a further refinement of the ASSET guidelines, and will help shape a more operational guidance document, to be called the “Decalogue of the Hospital of the Future”.

Finally, the Italian World Usability Day also provides an excellent opportunity for institutional partners, the business world and private citizens to reflect on how to apply user-centred theories and methodologies within the healthcare system and to be informed on the latest approaches.

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UPA (Usability Professionals’ Association) is an association of usability specialists, people from all aspects of human-centred design, and the broad family of disciplines that create the user experience in promoting the design and development of usable products. The association’s objectives are to provide an international network through which usability professionals can share information about the techniques and methodologies in the profession; create an inclusive community for those interested in usability; change new product development processes to include a concern for the people who use them; and increase the body of knowledge about usability and user-centred design through professional education, meetings and conventions and other professional interchange.

ASSET (the Association for the Development of Excellence in Healthcare in Turin) was founded in Turin with the goal of conceiving and implementing innovative solutions to overcome the inefficiencies that currently characterise the local healthcare services. The activities of the association are taking place with support of CirPark (Clinical Industrial Research Park) and the Department of Research and Innovation Policies of the Regional Government of Piedmont.