Concerned with declining job satisfaction among its physician members related to shifting job responsibilities, data overload, and diminishing time spent with patients, the American Medical Association (AMA) set out to design a simulated medical environment where solutions to such issues can be put to the test.

The 420-square-foot space, called the AMA Interaction Studio, will be located within Matter, a new technology incubator for health IT, medical device, diagnostics, and biopharmaceutical companies that’s located inside Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

HDR Inc. (Chicago) is donating its services and working with the AMA and a prospective furniture designer to determine an initial prototype for the care setting.

The goal is to provide a space where physicians and health tech entrepreneurs can come together and discuss technology and how it might be utilized to improve the healthcare experience.

Abigail Clary, the principal-in-charge on the project at HDR, says the team is starting with the exam room because “most conversations happen here.” The project will explore what the exam room of the future should look like, the size of the room, and the technology needed inside.

Joel Worthington, HDR’s strategic innovation designer, says a key focus of the exam room will be testing how electronic medical records (EMRs) are integrated into interactions between clinical staff and patients.

“We also want to enable entrepreneurs to visualize how the EMR is currently integrated into this setting so they can leverage these insights to inform and enhance their products and services,” Worthington says.

Open space outside the simulated exam room can be used by developers to showcase other healthcare technologies and share ideas that they’re working on with physicians.

Clary says the team is currently looking for additional partners in the project; the studio is expected to open by the end of the year.