Shopify researcher and former CHEO patient: “inject some happiness” into healthcare

Great turnout at the HHOttawa Huddle at Impact Hub Ottawa. Photo credit: Aaron Lynch (Hacking Health Volunteer)

Emma Craig knows what it’s like to get really sick, really quickly. Her childhood was marked by time at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), where treatment of her condition led to a lot of waiting. Waiting for insurance. Waiting for vitals. Waiting for breakfast. Waiting to feel better.

This experience shaped the way Craig thinks about the healthcare system and patient-centred care. She shared her insights with more than 50 people at the latest in a series of events to innovate health, organized by CHEO, Hacking Health Ottawa and Impact HUB Ottawa on July 27.

“As someone who has spent a lot of time in hospitals both in my youth and as an adult, it’s clear that there are enormous blind spots across the healthcare industry,” Craig said. “There’s a temptation to shrug your shoulders at these huge established industries because ‘they are the way they are,’ but healthcare shouldn’t continue to be something patients and their families must cope with when they’re coping with mountains already.”
Emma Craig, UX Researcher at Shopify and former CHEO patient, discusses healthcare with health professionals, developers and policymakers. Photo credit: Aaron Lynch (Hacking Health Volunteer)

Today, Craig is a User Experience Researcher at Shopify, where she spends time thinking about how to make Shopify users happy. She believes more could be done to “hack health” for patient-centred research, design, and care.

Speaking at the Hub in downtown Ottawa, Craig said she considered the Hacking Health initiative an important step to “inject some happiness” into user experiences within healthcare. “Organizations like Hacking Health are making the commitment and the right steps towards innovating healthcare to provide better patient care and experiences. As both a patient and a User Experience Researcher, I’m delighted to be a part of these events.”

Craig was followed by Jarred Szabadi Director of Software at Gymtrack Inc. Szabadi talked about precision user experience for mobile.

Matt Tanner of Iversoft Solutions facilitated an ideation workshop, where participants learned how to better elaborate on problems and propose solutions within confined requirements.

Tanner walked participants through each step.

Attendees were divided into groups to tackle a specific problem statement: As a family doctor, I want to be more accessible to my patients for quick questions without getting overwhelmed/inundated. To help them refine and improve their ideas, Dr. Jordan Littman gave his feedback on each group’s ideas.

Finally, the Hacking Health Ottawa Sparkboard was unveiled. With this online tool now available, anyone can continue ideating between Hacking Health Ottawa events. The Sparkboard will be an important way for teams to collaborate in the leadup to next year’s hackathon.

Event attendees walked away enthusiastic and excited for the upcoming Hacking Health Ottawa events and to continue finding solutions to healthcare problems. The official launch of CHEO’s Innovation Platform in partnership with Hacking Health Ottawa will take place on November 23rd, 2016.

To stay in the loop about these future events, be sure to sign up for our newsletter— and to sign up directly for our next event on Wednesday, November 23rd at 6:00pm— please register here.

Also don’t forget to check out another great recap of the #HHOttawa Huddle by Jennifer June!