Seeing things differently: Volvo Lifepaint

We often look for ways to see problems differently. For example, arriving at the hospital may be more about reducing fear than improving way finding. Or, we might ask, is rather than improving a process, can we envision a future which doesn't need that process at all? 

This week, Volvo —yep, the car company —released a new product. It doesn't have four wheels. In fact, it's designed for people on two wheels. And it comes in a spray can. 

Volvo's Lifepaint is a clear spray which cannot be seen by the naked eye. But, when car lights shine on anything sprayed with Lifepaint, it lights up like a super bright reflective surface. Lifepaint is designed for cyclists, particularly those who commute by bike at night or the early morning....like on the way too and from work. 

So why would a car manufacturer create a reflective spray for cyclists? 

Volvo prides itself on making some of the safest cars on the market. They were one of the first to pioneer heads up displays to detect animals or people on a dark road. Some of their cars will stop themselves automatically to avoid a low-speed collision. Volvo was one of the first manufacturers to adopt seat belts as standard equipment. In short, they take safety very seriously. 

One way to ask the question might be: How can change our cars to reduce collisions with cyclists? In this case, Volvo reframed the question and asked: How can we help cyclists be seen, even at night? In other words, by focusing on the cyclists not the cars, they were still able to live up to their promise of being all about safety. 

It makes us wonder? What things related to patient safety might we flip? How could we illuminate  things which propose a risk to patients, rather than trying to change patient or provider behavior? 

Check out the video of Lifepaint below.