The rendering shows a proposed design of the American Medical Association’s Interaction Studio in Chicago.

Design firm HDR has partnered with the American Medical Association (AMA), Chicago, and MATTER, a community of health care technology entrepreneurs, to develop a multipurpose space where physicians and startup firms can explore possible health care innovations.

The AMA Interaction Studio, a 425-sq.-ft. space in MATTER’s offices in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, is scheduled to open this summer. It will:

• Enable health care entrepreneurs to experience a prototypical clinical setting up close, to work with physicians on technology that can help them do their jobs and, ultimately, to improve patient and professional satisfaction.

• Give designers an opportunity to improve the health care experience between physicians and patients by developing innovative solutions that foster the best care.

“Our goal is to help entrepreneurs identify and understand key challenges in patient care and foster the seeds of innovation that will deliver meaningful solutions for physicians and patients,” says James L. Madara, M.D., CEO and executive vice president, AMA.

Exploring ways to streamline the electronic health record system is one example of what tech entrepreneurs could develop and discuss with physicians, says Meg Barron, product development director, portfolio management, AMA.

Abbie Clary, AIA, central region health care director for HDR and project principal, says the studio concept began as a space where designers would create a better exam room for physicians and patients, but quickly evolved beyond that.

“The studio will serve as a prototype that will enable physicians and entrepreneurs to work on developing new technologies, services and products,” Clary says. “It’s like a learning lab.”

Tentative plans call for audiovisual equipment to demonstrate potential scenarios involving patients and others so that physicians can test software potentially developed by MATTER companies, she says. MATTER comprises about 75 firms at various stages of startup.

Michael Tutty, AMA’s group vice president of professional satisfaction and practice sustainability, calls the partnership with MATTER a “two-way street” that will benefit both organizations."