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Illustrations created by g.note

The idea of finding or being happy during a pandemic seems completely incongruous. Yet some form of happiness is required to get through these challenging times. We’ve had months of working diligently to promote individual and global safety, health and wellness within our respective communities, and doing our part in society to benefit our fellow neighbor.

The impact on our individual psyche and on the global psyche is not to be underestimated At the same time, each person and their families and friends have their own unique circumstances that get them up in the morning and enable them to cope…


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Art by Jon Pannier jonpannierart.com

Ideas: Hierarchy of needs

I’ve been thinking a lot about needs lately, particularly as they pertain to creating ideas for health. And how in 1943, Abraham Maslow was on to something huge with his theory on the psychology of human motivation and the “hierarchy of needs.” And what piqued my curiosity was how people have different motivations at each stage of need, particularly when it comes to their health. His theory defined human behavior in need states with the terms “physiological”, “safety”, “belonging and love”, “social needs” or “esteem”, and “self-actualization” to help describe the pattern through which human motivations…


Every day I wake up and think, “What can I do to help make people’s lives better?” I’ve found that this is an essential part of my daily routine. Starting each day thinking about and contemplating people’s unmet health needs triggers my imagination, and I become impassioned about creating real-world solutions. Then it becomes my life mission, to fulfill on this. It’s what inspires me and keeps me thinking forward.

Feeling creative
As we think about the creative mind’s daily existence, we have to fuel our imagination, and in today’s world, create ideas that actually touch people in authentic ways — ideas that activate a change in behavior and hopefully create a larger conversation. If you think about how to “activate change” and try to define it, isn’t our goal to have our desired audience feel something strongly enough to take an action because of these feelings?

Feeling by design As I wrote in my article “Empathy by Design,” I encourage every creative to walk in the shoes and…


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The world of healthcare has changed profoundly. With technology and media companies disrupting every stage of the patient’s health journey, the paradigm of care has finally shifted.

So, what does this mean for the healthcare community? For starters, it means that once patients and physicians get to the treatment part of the journey, they will have access to more technology solutions and resources than ever before. This will not only make the experience with health more efficient, it will provide a new level of treatment beyond surgery and pill.

Making the treatment journey more intuitive

New technologies have the power…


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Historically, diagnosing a disease was a human’s job — the physician’s. Today, it’s become a hybrid of man plus machine. And while it sounds rather cold and lacking empathy, one has to argue that where the world of diagnosis is going, it’s a matter of necessity. With more and more rare diseases and rare forms of cancer emerging, the journey to diagnosis is never smooth.

Imagine a world where disease diagnosis is made by a machine with the physician signing off on it. That might just be disruption at its finest (although my father who was a pathologist might disagree)…


Times they are a-changing in healthcare. The system is incented to help prevent illness and maintain health for economic reasons, yet hospitals and pharma don’t make money on prevention. This necessitates a paradigm shift. Enter consumer technology giants who have infrastructures to build on, with the potential to fill many unmet needs in the health landscape. There’s endless potential to change the broken healthcare system before there’s even a diagnosis, by driving healthier behaviors with prevention.

Making prevention intuitive New technologies have the power to serve up engaging consumer-friendly experiences, which will help promote health in the most general sense…


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Illustration by: Colin Forsyth

Not all devices are created equal. But the devices that stand out are the ones that not only solve a real customer challenge like compliance, but also are customer-centric. They feel the plight of their consumer and create an experience that makes the customer feel understood and heard. When designed well with humanization in mind, health tech and devices have the power to meaningfully change and upend behavior because they get how to motivate their end user. And that’s because the devices were created with empathy.

Counterintuitive: Technology and empathy As we contemplate empathy and its relationship to technology, we…


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Illustration by: Colin Forsyth

You know the saying, “Control the things that you can control….” Well, we live in a time where we can truly control what, where, and how we communicate, and even more importantly, as it pertains to your health.

In 2018, this way of communicating will be taken to the next level, with contextual content being increasingly served up at point of need. Customers have needs, and brands need to find ways to fulfill them. The idea of contextualizing content is a way to meld ideas and channels when the customer needs information most. …


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Illustration by: Colin Forsyth

If you want to really understand someone’s health circumstance, walk in their shoes through a virtual experience where you can simulate an environment of illness to feel their pain. Virtual reality (VR) continues to advance with the ability to create truly immersive virtual environments (IVE) that can document any kind of situation. VR has been termed “the empathy machine.” So, with that, let’s assume that VR can help you feel what another is feeling, and let’s consider that in the context of health. If we ponder VR’s application in healthcare, the applications are vast. …


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illustration by Colin Forsyth

Data is more than just numbers. Data gives us insight into our customers’ minds and their everyday behavior. In healthcare, data is being used to predict and prevent, cure disease, and improve patient quality of life. The more we use data to learn about and understand our customers, the more we can design meaningful customer experiences that drive engagement. Often the data that can seem overwhelming and about numbers can uncover a human truth or a unique insight that was missed because everyday understanding might only touch one part of a health situation. …

Elizabeth Elfenbein

Elizabeth is a creative innovator and leader with a relentless focus on what’s next in health.

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