I was recently unfortunate enough to be briefly in hospital. There is a lot of stuff wrong in hospitals, even if we overlook the central fact that there are many too few doctors -a situation engineered purely to maintain their fee rate.
One particularly lamentable aspect is the lack of patient privacy. I found myself unavoidably party to conversations, behind flimsy fabric screens, that should really have stayed private between doctors and their patients.
Today’s invention is a double hood device, one end of which is worn by a doctor; the other by his/her patient. This could be made in the form of eg two polystyrene hemispheres joined by a semi-cylindrical tunnel. Medics would have to ask patients if they wanted to talk privately and if so, both would place a hemispherical helmet on their heads and talk quietly via the tunnel.
In this way, their discussion would remain confidential -both could sit without discomfort and without increased risk of cross infection.
Several such devices could be cheaply made available in every ward, perhaps designed to nest compactly together. If made in soundproof fabric, they could be designed to unfold in an origami-esque way.