Transform: Engaging Health Care Innovation

Health care and innovation seem like a natural fit. In patient care, there have been so many advances and it is challenging to understand them all. At the same time, we look at how health care is delivered and wonder why we haven’t made more advances. It is an interesting dichotomy in health care innovation.

Transform 2013Design thinking is an attractive way to innovate in health care, especially in the delivery of care. The Transform Symposium is an intriguing, valuable arena where people from various disciplines gather to share, inspire, and engage innovative ways to change health care in a positive, human-centered way. It is hosted by the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.

We are fortunate to ask the Transform team several questions about the symposium and their pioneering practices being explored and engaged in these sessions as well as through the Center for Innovation. This year’s Transform Symposium will take place September 8-10th both in Rochester, MN and online.

Q1: Describe design thinking and the potential it has to transform health care. How does design thinking impact health IT or health facilities, too?

Transform Team: Tim Brown, IDEO CEO and one of our Transform Symposium speakers, recently identified design thinking as, ‘a process of integrative thinking.’ Design thinking has the potential to impact healthcare in a profound way, by combining co-creation and using a defined design research methodology that includes research, experimentation, prototyping, validating and implementation. Through this process there is a greater understanding of the true problem and a deep discovery of unmet needs centered around users.

Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation’s (CFI) goal is to improve the experience and delivery of healthcare. CFI uses Design thinking and other human centered design methodologies to create patient-centered solutions. Tools like decision aids are a great example of how information design and delivery can improve clinical decision-making and patient outcomes.

CFI operates under its ‘Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast” mantra and motto, by using design thinking to improve healthcare in innovative ways.

Q2: The Mayo Center for Innovation has been driving ideas and changes for a decade. In looking back, what have been some of the key pivot points in adoption of health care innovation or when you have changed direction to pursue a different innovative approach?

Transform Team: Working at CFI and within collaborative groups, there is always an effort to learn more than you teach and listen more than you speak. A great example of that is the Mayo Clinic Patient App.

The Mayo Clinic Patient App’s goal was to have health information and services more readily available and easily accessible to patients. The idea began as a CoDE internal grant project, providing initial funds to support a better patient wayfinding experience. The app grew into much more and was built within a year and is now helping patients everyday at Mayo Clinic. Patients can view lab results, communicate with providers, view appointments and much more. Patient’s like Stephen Guerra, provided important input and guided its development.

Stephen, a Transform 2013 speaker and Assistive Technology Specialist, pointed out the Mayo Clinic Patient App was not fully accessible to the blind. The Mayo Clinic app team reached out and learned from Stephen, to build in better functionality so it could be fully accessible, for all.  The app was recently recognized as an Edison Award recipient in Healthcare Innovation and has been downloaded +44K times.

Q3: Looking ahead, what change in health care excites you the most? What change do you most want to see happen in the next five years?

Transform Team: CFI has a strong interest in the ‘Patient of the Future’. The patient 5 years ago, today and 5 years differ greatly and have unique needs and expectations.

CFI is ‘inspired by the past and innovating for the future.’ Working to improve the experience and delivery of healthcare for patients now and in the future.

In keeping with current trends and predictions CFI is working to improve the aging and caregiving experience. CFI is looking to accelerate the pace of innovation, in the aging space, especially through technology. The Healthy Aging and Independent Living (HAIL) lab has done exergaming research, to uncover the potential benefits Kinect exercise games hold for individuals as they age.

Q4: As Transform approaches, the conference sessions seemed to be designed around emotions and actions – Inspire, Reframe, Collide, Unraveling, Rebuild…. It is refreshing to see. What is your purpose behind this approach?

Transform Team:  Transform isn’t just a venue to elevate provocative topics in healthcare, but a place to tackle problems in healthcare, in provocative ways.

The main stage sessions are available to all registered in-person and online attendees, and promise to be emotional and action-oriented.

Transform is a healthcare conference that pushes boundaries and pushes people to do something. Inspire, Reframe and Rebuild will do just that.

All session descriptions can be found here, as well as the full lineup of speakers. Still time to register!

Q5: The Mayo Clinic is known for innovation in social media. What role will social media play during and after Transform?

Social media has played an increasingly interesting role in the healthcare information delivery, advocacy and overall awareness.

CFI has used technology and social media to offer Transform to individuals, through interesting online options. CFI has outlines three personas, through which livestream registrants can choose the way in which they want to join in and try them all out. The livestream is an affordable $89, and place registrants at the front row of Transform’s main stage presentations and ‘Digging In’ session.

It will be interesting to see the online and in-person social interactions with the Forum (onsite social hub) and TransForum (the year-round online community). Both spaces will allow Transform attendees to converse in real-time, through social media.

We are looking forward to a great audience and ongoing conversation! Hope you can attend (still time to register)!

Health Care Innovation

There is great work and bright minds being brought together globally to innovate health care around the human experience. We are grateful for getting some time and insights from the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation Transform Symposium planning team. There are many opportunities for us to embrace innovation and, next week, is another one.

We look forward to the continued results from the innovative thinking, human-centered and design thinking approaches, and engaging health care conversations.



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Jon Mertz serves as the editor at and vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Jon is an advocate for strong patient engagement in their health and understands the key roles health literacy, patient data, and healthcare interoperability play in developing a better health care model. Follow Jon on Twitter.

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