Gunnar Linder: Designing Solutions that Will Enable Continuous Changes in Usability
Regional Director, WSP in Sweden
What’s the favorite part of your role/working in healthcare?
The challenges; every project is different and challenges us to find optimal solutions to unique and complex designs. For example, at Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital, our teams had to offset the noise and vibrations of helicopters landing on a helipad located above patient rooms.
What do you think about the effect of technology on healthcare?
Technology has become integral to healthcare, from providing patients with more independence and control over their environment to allowing more efficient use of resources and data. It is also changing the way we communicate – patients can now communicate with their doctors from their own homes through their smartphones or iPads. They can post questions, receive medication reminders and follow their treatment plan. This also increases efficiency by reducing the number of unnecessary hospital visits.
What do you think is the next big thing in healthcare and how can engineering help this?
Medical equipment is developing fast and we must ensure we’re a step ahead and hospitals are able to accommodate such technology in years to come. Robustness and flexibility are essential criteria for the hospitals of today. Our teams design solutions that will enable continuous changes in usability. For instance, at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, we provided removable parts in exterior walls to allow new technical equipment into theatres.
The approach to healthcare is also changing with patient’s wellbeing at its heart. Hospitals are increasingly focusing on the patients’ needs for better healing and comfort, such as lighting and ventilation control, and home-like environments. Our logistics teams focus on increasing staff efficiency, freeing more of the staff’s time to spend with patients. This not only improves resource efficiency but also the patient experience.
What have been some of your most memorable projects and why?
Sahlgrenska University’s Imaging & Intervention Center (BOIC) has to be among the most memorable projects. Its unique features and innovations make it a world-class facility for caring for cancer patients. It’s the first time imaging and surgery will be undertaken in the same space, allowing several specialists to focus on the patient’s needs at the same time.
Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital is also a very interesting project that showcases many innovations. Its design provides a home-like environment for patients and their families.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
In my free time, I enjoy cooking and playing golf.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I’d love to time travel! I’d go into the future to find out the challenges we will face and return into the past, and find solutions to avoid them.
What job would you choose to do in a hospital?
I would like to be a medical equipment consultant – I find the technology and breadth of knowledge very interesting.
If you could be a piece of hospital equipment, what would you be?
I would like to be a cartoon plaster to heal children’s wounds.
Gunnar joined WSP in Sweden in 1988 and has specialized in the delivery of healthcare projects for over a decade. An electrical engineer by training, Gunnar has spent most of his career in management roles making the most of his strong leadership skills.
Gunnar thrives on the twists and turns of complex healthcare schemes as they evolve from design concept to a built entity. He takes pride in developing a project team with the optimal balance of skills and experience, and likes to forge close relationships with his clients.
During his time with WSP in Sweden, Gunnar has been instrumental in the delivery of a wide variety of high-performance health buildings. He is especially proud of his team’s involvement with the construction of the Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital, a ‘future-ready’ facility centered on providing a safe and warm environment for children.