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Designing for Dignity in Health Tech

Jen van der Meer (Reason Street)
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Is it enough to design for a great patient experience, improved health outcomes, and overall cost reductions in health care? While incentives may soon change, the idea of data-driven solutions to improve health care is not a new one. Yet why have technological solutions so frequently fail on all three of the triple aims?
We need to be able to ask deeper questions, and experiment with more humanistic approaches.

Looking at specific interaction examples from incumbents and startups in health tech, I will contrast the current approaches for data-driven solution development, and how they fall short at the moment of interaction. Incumbents deploy top down approaches that comply with regulation, and meet the needs of payers and providers, but famously fail to deliver engaging patient and practitioner experiences. New entrants want to disrupt the entire system, but often struggle to understand deep unmet patient needs, and how to demonstrate evidence-based outcomes.

For each solution born onto the health tech scene, can we ask: Are patient’s lives enhanced by the addition of data? Do doctors become more wise? Do nurses feel more empowered? Do spouses know how to effectively intervene? Do adult children of aging parents get more time in their overly stretched days? And do these collective interactions actually result in improved population health?

This talk will outline an approach to design for a higher aim and enhance the lives of everyone who seeks care from the health care system.

Photo of Jen van der Meer

Jen van der Meer

Reason Street

Jen is a strategist and investor whose role is to shape and structure emerging business models for scalability and growth. Jen is an Advisor to Luminary Labs, where she runs several open innovation challenges in health and open data, and she sits on the planning committee for Health Datapalooza IV, the fourth annual national conference born from government efforts to liberate health data. She is an Adjunct Professor at SVA’s Products of Design, and NYU’s ITP School, where she runs the Venture Pitchfest. A former Wall Street Analyst and Economist, Previously Jen has held executive management roles at Organic and Frog Design, and Dachis Group, a social data consulting and software company, which acquired social data + community company Drillteam, where Jen was a partner. At Dachis Group, Jen served as EVP Managing Director, leading client service, strategy consulting, experience design and delivery. Jen has a BA from Trinity College, and an MBA from HEC in France. @jenvandermeer.

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