The Seasons of Diabetes

Kathryn Bernish-Fisher (who should really be our Chief Empathy Officer) pointed us to this spot-on and incredibly self-aware post from a young woman named Lizmari – AKA, The Angry Type 2 Diabetic. In the post she talks about the weight of the routine of self care surrounding chronic disease. All the things you have to do and can’t do and need to track. She cycles in and out of strong resolve and complete exhaustion with the entire process. Yeah, we get that.

“And it’s much the same with diabetes, and our ‘seasons’ of self care, isn’t it? We make up our minds to begin caring for ourselves, anew, and start out with the joyful promise of good things to come… and then we get sick of it. We seem to perpetually live in one season, and one season only — often with little flexibility with our routines; we impose the new ‘season’ on ourselves –with strong militance — and then we burn out. Then after a little while, we start yet another season, but with the mindset of ‘rectifying the previous bad behaviors’.” Full article.

Mayo Device Helps Monitor Heart Patients From Afar

Dawn Marinacci sent us this peel-and-stick innovation in remote monitoring. The BodyGuard Remote Monitoring System uses a patch to track heart rhythms, respiration and activity. It transmits information to a phone that comes along with the kit. They’re hoping to create a suite of tracking tools that doctors will write just like a traditional Rx.

“’This is the first device of what will be a family of devices that will line up according to what a doctor wants to order monitored,’ says Emerson. ‘Whatever ailment you might have, we will have something that will keep track of it and hopefully keep you safer, healthier and more comfortable’.” Full article.

This Is Water

Molly Klinger was one of the first to spot The Glossary‘s remake of David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement address. The moving address talks about the only control we really have in life: how we perceive the actions and circumstances of the people around us. Unfortunately, the trust that represents DFW’s estate has called an intellectual property foul; so there are only a few bootlegged captures of it still online. We hope you get a chance to see this one before it disappears. If not, listen to the full speech without the powerful movie overlay.

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”

Doctor-Designed App Shows Clinical Results

At Digestive Disease Week, the team from Arizona Digestive Health in Phoenix shared clinical results of a colonoscopy prep app designed by one of the physicians in the practice: 84% of individuals who used the app received a good score on the nine-point Boston Bowel Preparation Scale. By contrast, only 56% of those who didn’t use the app received a good score. That’s one procedure most of us would want to get right the first time!

“Patients enter the date and time of the procedure and the bowel preparation medication chosen by their physician. Timed alerts then appear on the phone to remind the individual of the next step in bowel preparation. In addition to the alerts, the app offers information explaining the procedure, tips and pictures of preparation quality. It is available for free download.”

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

You’ve heard of the Dove sketches project, but have you actually seen it? If you haven’t, it’s worth three minutes to see what these women saw:

“Women are their own worst beauty critics. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. At Dove, we are committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. So, we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.” See the full experience.

12 Ways to Improve the Healthcare User Experience

George Van Antwerp found this summary of the 12 strategies participants learned at the recent Healthcare Experience Design conference for improving the healthcare user experience. Amen to #1, 4 and 7

“With 80 percent of healthcare costs related to patient lifestyle choices, it can be argued that we’re not doing a very good job. As Cueva puts it, the pendulum needs to swing from treating sickness to ensuring health, to helping patients ‘proactively manag’ sleep, stress, diet and mental health in order to foment behavior change.” Full article

Posted by: Leigh Householder

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.