Closing the gap between the rich and the poor and strategies to increase access to health technologies and innovations

Poor person sitting next to fire
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I had the opportunity to beta test Microsoft’s newest technology, , at their NYC headquarters. HoloLens is a holographic computer built into a headset that allows you to see, hear, and interact with holograms within an environment. This innovative technology has impressive potential in the health IT sector, allowing developers to design life-saving diagnostics and devices in virtual reality.

But, there’s a catch. Each HoloLens costs a staggering . I wondered who could access it and who couldn’t. Like many digital…


Empathy is a journey, not a destination.

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When I was in high school, I moved around a lot to pursue educational opportunities not provided in my home country. My constant in those years was playing ice hockey.

Looking back at those years, hockey challenged me and subsequently taught me how to respond and manage multiple team dynamics for one end goal. It was also my first taste in design thinking.

Fast forward to today, as a project manager I’ve led and managed projects from a large merger and acquisition to a nationwide launch of vein management clinics.

Like hockey, design…


Empathy reshapes our focus of failed experimentation on the process and constructive learning over the outcomes.

A homeless man holding a sign titled “Seeking human kindness”
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Like you, I was once a patient. Unbeknownst to nurses on my floor, they used a human-centered approach to innovate solutions that led to extraordinary results during my stay. I call this empathy.

Empathy liberates. It brings presence and awareness to the human experience, one-on-one interaction, and the experience of people interacting with products, processes and procedures, all within the context of their environment. Empathy is indispensable to improving the human experience of health. Healthcare is a user-centric industry that requires thinking…


Un-belonging taught me to have the courage to be seen.

I believe in the power of storytelling and narrative humility as vehicles to drive connection and bridge differences to resolve global problems. During my post-grad at Columbia, I shared my story of as an underdog David among the Goliaths in spaces of un-belonging in technology and higher education.

My story was part of an event that was sponsored by the Office of University Life at . It is an initiative that provides an intimate space similar to public radio/WNYC’s The Moth, where Columbia students tell a…

Elham Ali, MPH, PMP

Owner & Creative Director @ElhamAliConsultancy. Public health professional. Design Strategist. Impacting public health outcomes through evidence-based design.

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