As anyone who has ever spent time on a physician's examination table knows, there's something slightly dehumanizing about a hospital gown. Often made with flimsy material that hangs off the body and designed to easily admit probing hands, it can make patients feel vulnerable.

In a New York Times article, reporter Valeriya Safronova writes that help may be on the way. Students at the Parsons School of Design in New York are teaming with medical wearables retailer Care+Wear to offer the Patient Gown, a more comfortable, conservative, and appealing alternative to the standard-issue medical shroud.

Care+Wear

The students solicited feedback from medical professionals as well as patients enduring longer hospital stays to discover what design elements were necessary. They settled on a kimono-inspired cut that combines five different types of gowns and includes access for bariatric, IV, maternity, and other special-needs admissions. Using a combination of plastic snaps, ties, and a wrap fit, patients can keep relatively bundled up while doctors go about their business. There’s even a pocket to secure cell phones or other personal items that would normally be left on a table.

Currently, Care+Wear is helping to conduct a trial rollout of the gown at Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Maryland. If successful, it could expand regionally, and ultimately to other medical facilities around the country.

[h/t The New York Times]