Clear communication is critical in every industry, but it is paramount in healthcare. The information being communicated is inherently complex, highly scientific, and often intimidating. How this information is received will determine the health and well-being of all of the individuals being treated, leaving little room for error. While accuracy and expertise on the clinical side are non-negotiable, if it’s clearly presented through an inviting, empowering medium, patients will thrive and clinicians will have far greater impact.
On today’s episode of In Network's Designing for Health podcast feature, Nordic Chief Medical Officer Craig Joseph, MD, and Head of Thought Leadership, Jerome Pagani, PhD, chat with Evan Heigert, creative director at Wolters Kluwer Health. They discuss his work on Emmi, an interactive patient engagement tool, and how it was developed to reach real humans in their actual context. They also discuss the lessons Evan has learned from his experience in journalism and advertising and how he is using them to fill gaps in healthcare using thoughtful, human-centered design.
In Network's Designing for Health is available on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, and Stitcher. Search for 'In Network' and subscribe for updates on future episodes.
[01:11] Evan’s background
[04:21] Wolters Kluwer’s mission and strategy
[09:44] How Emmi reaches patients in their context
[21:47] Team decision making at Emmi
[25:07] Deciding what content to make interactive
[31:08] Keeping data adequate and up to date
[35:26] Creating accessible content and building human connection
[38:20] Things so well designed, they bring Evan joy
Dr. Craig Joseph: Hey, Evan, welcome to the pod. We're happy to have you.
Evan Heigert: Hey, Craig. Hey, Jerome. Very happy to be here as well. Thanks so much for having me this afternoon.
Dr. Craig Joseph: Now, when we did some preparation, it turned out that we found out you were an English major with a print journalism focus. But very quickly, you saw the light, and you pivoted to advertising or, as you called it, storytelling with an agenda. So tell us about that. How did you go from kind of an English major journalism person to advertising?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, you took the words out of my mouth. So I've always been, you know, really fascinated by storytelling in a lot of different formats. So in my early days, you know, I was really excited to kind of pursue a career in print journalism many moons ago when that was a career choice. That led to a lot of possibilities, is spent a really great series of internships and times, really learning that world, but realized that, you know, what really excited me was just the ability to be able to tell a story, to find that hard, to find reasons that people want to engage with those stories that need to behavior change or things that they want to act upon. So I had a really great mentor that said, Hey, you know, you might really enjoy the creative aspects of advertising. So I took that as an opportunity to kind of pursue copywriting and creative writing for a series of advertising agencies and brand-side organizations. So as you said, I really feel as if advertising is storytelling with an agenda. You're trying to find that authentic story that connects with your audience and encourage them to do something, buy something, learn more, connect with your brand in a way. So that was a really exciting place for me to kind of start my career.
Dr. Craig Joseph: And today, you're at Emmi as the creative director for patient engagement. So tell us, how did you go from college to Emmi, and what do you do today?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, absolutely. So along that journey of being in advertising and marketing, I really, I came into organizations that were working in a variety of industries. And the one area that was certainly a bit intimidating to me, but also very exciting and interesting was healthcare. And so I really found joy in working with clients that were, as I saw it, doing well by doing good, being successful in the space, by helping others in the healthcare space. And so, as I thought about what's the next step in my career and how I could pivot my experience and creative storytelling and creative direction into the future, I thought I wanted to seek an organization that was doing exactly that. So I have the great honor of being creative director, overseeing Emmi team that's working on design content experience for enabling patient engagement and patient education as part of Wolters Kluwer Health as our larger organization.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: So the goal at Wolters Kluwer is to deliver the best care everywhere by bringing the patient into the care team. Can you give us some examples of how that works in the sort of practical sense?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, absolutely. So as part of the larger Wolters Kluwer Health organization, Emmi works with our sister company UpToDate who is a leader in clinical decision making and clinical education for care teams around the globe. So where up to date is delivering the best evidence based, most recent information to doctors and care teams? We harmonize with that content. So we're actually at Emmi, our focus is to take that information, take that content that a doctor or a care team or nurses is looking at and think about how we translate that information so that your average patient can engage with it, understand it, comprehend the content and act upon that in a way that patients are actually brought into part of that care team journey. I think that's one piece of the puzzle that sometimes gets overlooked. We're thinking about ways that we're supporting care teams and clinicians and then nurse practitioners and so forth. But really, it's important that the patient feels empowered to ask the right questions, engage in shared decision making, and we feel very passionately that at Emmi, our goal is to kind of bridge that gap between the patient and the care team. And so they're all playing off the same playbook. They're using the same concepts in conversation, even though for a patient we're maybe phrasing or sharing that content in a slightly different format.
Dr. Craig Joseph: Can you give us an example of an Emmi program? I'm like, what is that? What does that mean?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So at Emmi, we actually, Emmi is a suite actually of patient engagement and education tools. So we create a variety of content, different formats. Our vision is to always meet patients where they are in their healthcare journey so that content could come across as primarily text-based leaflets, let’s call it, whether that's digital or print-based. I think a lot of us have experience going to the doctor and leaving the doctor's office and getting a printout of different things. We need to know about our conditions or our health or how to improve our wellness, things like that. So at the base level, we create content like that based on the written word. I would say the next level of engagement is that we translate that content into multimedia programs. So short, short wait to see that video with interactive components built into it. So taking that information, applying a real human voice to explaining that information, applying a very unique design skill set illustrated approach to bringing that content to life, and then delivering that in a variety of formats so patients can engage with their on mobile devices, on their laptop and a bedside environment. So that's what we call our multimedia programs. It's kind of the core of Emmi engagement strategy. And then further down the line, we can also enable content over the course of time through longitudinal care, keeping up with patients that maybe have a chronic condition or were discharged from the hospital after procedure, make sure that we're delivering them content and information over time so they're building better behaviors. So that's kind of the scope of the Emmi solutions. Like I said, my team really focuses on that multimedia content because it's so nuanced and delivers that engagement level that we really hope to meet patients with.
Dr. Craig Joseph: So it's kind of like the old patient handouts that we used to get or that I used to give to parents, Hey, your kid's got strep throat, here's a one pager. You've taken that and put it on steroids. I assume it's also, you know, things like pre-op and post-op guidelines, that sort of thing.
Evan Heigert: Absolutely. So we have content that approaches a wide range of conditions, procedures, lines of service care conditions, etc. So a great example, as you're saying, is, well, we can deliver content prior to a procedure of, say, a colonoscopy procedure that helps a patient better prepare for that procedure, reduces their anxiety about what's going to happen and gives them a better understanding of the anatomy that's going to be looked at, how they can prepare for that procedure so they can make that a successful procedure and then come out of that procedure and, you know, benefit them in the long run. So the benefits are certainly to the patient. It's just being better informed, being able to ask those questions, talk about alternatives and solutions and decision making with the care team. For the care team, it's very helpful because we're serving almost as a proxy to the character, and we know how busy the care team is, how stressed and overburdened doctors and nurses are today. So we are able to deliver that little bit more personalized information and time with a patient that helps make sure their understanding the concepts we're delivering to them in a very, very empathetic way that kind of meets them where they're at. Let's dig into that phrase a little more, because I love that the idea that Emmi ends up being a proxy for the care team.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: So it seems like what you're trying to do is create something that ends up being a win for the both the clinical care team and on the patient side. So can you tell us how Emmi serves as that intermediary and what's the gap that it's filling in healthcare?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, I think‚ that's a great question. I’m preaching to the choir here, of course. But I think one of the, some of the challenges that we see in the space is that, one, as a patient you have less and less time face to face with your with your care team. Right? And in fact, so many times that that personal interaction is being replaced by digital experiences. We are a digital experience. All of our content is generally served in a self-service model that a patient would be able to watch it on their phone, on their laptop, in the bedside, take home and engage with it. Right? But what we want to do is kind of find ways that we're delivering that content in a way that feels as personalized as if they were able to connect with their care team face to face. So that's one key gap that we're trying to solve. The other I thing is that quite honestly, there's just more information out there than ever before. I think we all know that as consumers in the world and with more information become comes with it, more misinformation. Right? So what we try to serve is because we have that harmonization with a doctor's very trusted tool enough today we gain that trust from the care team, that they understand that the evidence based information that they're working from is being delivered to their patients. So it's building that trust, it's doing that connection. It better preparing those patients so they can come in to those visits where they do have five minutes with a patient or so and have a much richer, deeper conversation.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: And you touch on how patients are having increasingly digital experiences related to their healthcare. And we've heard that this is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, patients are reading some doctor's notes that are generated by large language models as actually being more empathetic than their physician, frankly, has time to write. So it seems like from the patient side, they're getting a fair amount of support from their care team, but in a way that it just makes it easier for the care team.
Evan Heigert: Yeah, I think that's, I think you touched on something that's really important and kind of coming back to that storytelling. It's kind of the red thread that I think we follow through all of our Emmi work, which is empathy. I think that's a really important, sometimes overused, but very important concept, right? So we mean empathy by many different ways. One is, as you mentioned, there's precious little time that a patient often has with their care team. I've been in that situation where you come into a doctor's office, you're waiting for a little while. The doctor comes in and says a few things, and then he's out the door. She's out the door, and I forgot the five questions I wanted to ask them more later that day. I'm like, Oh, what did that result really mean? Or things like that. Emmi allows the patient to have an always on available source of information so a doctor or a nurse practitioner will be able to deliver that content. They they see a diagnosis for a patient or their patient is engaging, is going to go through a procedure that can deliver that content to the patient, that they can watch immediately. They can take it home, engage with that later. They can sit down with a caregiver or other circle of care member and kind of review that information together. They can come back three days later and watch it again and engage with it. We actually have tools built in the Emmi program, and this is where some of that interactivity comes into play is I can take notes as I'm watching a program around my colonoscopy, for example, where I have a question about this part of anatomy or a question about this alternative, or do I really need to do this every year, things like that, that information I can gather that I can come back to my next visit with my care team and ask those questions and feel more empowered and more prepared, I guess, to be able to talk about those things.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: And I mean we know there's, and especially coming from advertising, you know this, there's no such thing as one size fits all information. So how does Emmi reach the patient in their context?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, it's really important. And I think as health consumers, as consumers, we expect our experiences in the digital landscape to be highly personalized and meet us where we're at, right? So I think there's two areas that we think about when it comes to that approach for meeting patients and their specific needs. One is approaching diversity in the content we're creating, and I mean that in several different ways. One, we have over 650 multimedia programs, we have over 8000 print leaflets. That's a lot of content. We can't necessarily create that content so it speaks specifically to your experience and your background for every single person. But what we do is we follow the concept of universal design practices. So we use that scope of content to show as many different experiences as possible. And so diversity and inclusion plays a really big role in the way that we showcase those experiences. So that can be represented as everything from showing audiences, showing the patient from different cultural, racial, ethnic backgrounds. So using artwork that shows that diversity of experiences, but also things like socioeconomic status, understanding that not all patients have access to the same level of supplementary care, thinking about mobility levels, you know, if part of our content is to encourage people to find ways of moving to improve their overall health, it doesn't always mean running around the block for every patient. You know, it could mean stretching, it could mean doing water aerobics, things like that. So we try to see a broader spectrum of diversity and showcase those experiences as much as possible. The second part of that that I think is really important is just the concept of personalization. So the value that we bring through those multimedia experiences is that we can build interactivity into those videos. So a couple of examples of that is let's say we have a program around the benefits of physical movement for your emotional and physical health. We can serve up a menu of exercises that serve different levels of mobility or ability levels for the patient. So I can self-select content that if I'm in a wheelchair, I'm able to do stretching exercises that still help me benefit my heart rate and things like that. It gives you that ability to kind of self-select and self-guide information that's more valuable to you.
Dr. Craig Joseph: So you're generally creating content and at about a fourth grade level, is that where you're targeting?
Evan Heigert: Yeah. So one of the one of another key challenges I think that we all can recognize is that patients are coming to these healthcare experiences with different levels of understanding and different health literacy rates and expectations, right? So we we strive to always write our content at a fourth grade reading level. That's by no means to dumb the content down. That's not our intention. Our intention is to find the simplest baseline and the simplest way to understand content for the widest audience. So that's important to meet them where they're at and kind of start that, build that foundation and build on those concepts over time. Other ways that we approach meeting patients and helping them understand and comprehend this content is we try to avoid. We know that healthcare is full of acronyms and jargon and things that we use every day that maybe the average patient might not understand. So we try to use common everyday language as much as possible. Instead of saying bowel movement, we'll just say poop, because that's the way that people understand it. I'm sorry, I'm on a podcast talking about poop, but that's part of life, right? And so we really try to just use everyday common language that helps patients really understand the things that they're engaging with so they can just feel more equipped to be able to have those conversations in authentic way with their care team.
Dr. Craig Joseph: No need to apologize for that concept. We spend a lot of time talking about that here on the pod. So how do you then, so I totally get what your goal is. But sometimes that's got to be difficult, right? Because you're you're going to be explaining and giving complex recommendations. Have there been times where you're you're just like, yeah, we've got to use this word because there's really no other word or or we try to simplify it to the point where we're just using common language and it just didn't get across. So we had to kind of pivot back it up and change.
Evan Heigert: Yeah, absolutely. I think one one of the things we think about at Emmi is when we're approaching building our content, we think about the art and science of how to develop content. So what I mean by that is there's a science to the way that you need to deliver accurate and evidence based information in the right way, in the right order that a patient's going to understand it. But there's an art to how you can deliver that as well. And so our multimedia content is composed of kind of four different components. It's it's the words and the content that we use. It's the voice, the actual human voices that are delivering that that voiceover and that content. It's the illustrated artwork that we use to explain those concepts and put those in a visual format. And then it's the user experience that we built that how we deliver that to the patient. So we can especially when there's really complex concepts, we can kind of pull on those different levers to help make that information easier to understand. So an example of that is a lot of times we will use visual metaphors to help break down and explain a concept that's either very complex or sometimes downright scary. So an example of that is if you think about an aortic aneurysm rupturing and like how if we used realistic, if it was real life footage of that happening, it would be, first of all, very scary and very off putting for a patient, even in our illustrated format to show that anatomy that that kind of that rupture happening would be again, very scary for someone that's maybe facing that as a reality in their life. So we use visual visual metaphors such as we'll show, Hey, this is very similar to like a garden hose that has a bulge in it with a little leak and water squirting out, and how damaging that could be and how that disrupts the operation of that garden hose. So we we find opportunities kind of step back and maybe depersonalize in some way some of those explanations so that even that concept is complex and we can go into it and show examples or real world examples that help them better understand that concept. We can better enhance that comprehension for the patient without scaring them to death, obviously is kind of the key.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: So there's a lot of information that you have to deliver for a particular patient. How do you make a decision about how much to deliver and what to deliver first?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, that is our day to day conversation in a nutshell.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: Sorry. Do you do it in a vacuum or is it just you guys sitting in a room and deciding like, who? Who's at the table when you make those decisions?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, absolutely. No, I think that's an important distinction. So when, we have a very diverse team that works on all this content, we have an incredible editorial team with backgrounds in clinical, clinical backgrounds and behavioral health, behavioral science. We have artists that have biomedical degrees and how to deliver and showcase anatomy and procedures in very empathetic way. We have production artists that spend time at places like Nickelodeon, so they bring that edutainment approach to content. We have voice artist and voice interface designers, so there's a plethora of skilled team members coming together and the collaboration is what's key there. So when there's this particular difficult concept to get across or the ordering of that can be confusing, we really lean on each other to discuss how that might come across. So the writers might start with kind of a script of of what we want to bring across that patient. The artists might come in and say, okay, maybe here's one way that we could break down that. That's a lot of words. How could we show that in, in a simpler way or as a process in that in the journey? Or how could we use the voice artist to really slow down emphasize some of those concepts so a patient has time to think about it and understand it and be present. So that's how we do it within the creative group. Now there's there's other stakeholders that sit at the table that are incredibly important to us. One, we have medical advisors, both from our sister company, UpToDate, as well as third party medical advisors from leading institutions across the country, many times practicing clinicians that we do regular reviews with. So we generally sit down with three or four advisors for every program we create. They give us notes, they give us feedback, help us explain those concepts in the best way possible. We use that information, we use that collaboration. And then ultimately, the key part of the process is bringing it to the patient. So we have a 12 person patient advisory board that comes from a very diverse background, from socioeconomic backgrounds, racial, cultural, geographic backgrounds that we sit down with, especially for topics that are very sensitive or culturally sensitive. We're able to put that content in front of them, have very frank discussions around what they're understanding, what they're missing, where we could maybe dig in a little bit deeper, where we need to like maybe step back on some of the complexity or stereotypes of it. So those three groups are so key to developing the content that ultimately best serves that patient.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: Evan, some of your content is interactive. How does that work and how do you decide what to make interactive and what to leave static?
Evan Heigert: Yeah, I think interactivity is a key component to personalization. Again, we are always, it's another way that we deliver empathy in the content we're delivering. Right? So we again, I keep saying this, but as consumers and as health consumers, we're used to getting snippets of information very quickly and moving on to the next thing. But in the healthcare space, we recognize that that's not always the best solution. You can’t explain a very intricate procedure in 60 seconds and think that a patient is going to be prepared for that and ask all the right questions. Right? So a lot of times we need to expand or contract the amount of information that we're giving to a patient to lead to the best outcome for that patient. Right? But we want to put the power in the hands of that patient as well. So we use interactivity to help bring the patient in, to help self guide the learning process for themselves as well, based on their previous knowledge, their extent of knowledge with that condition or that procedure and other factors. So a recent example of that is we recently created a program around medication adherence, and we know that that's a big challenge in the healthcare space. How do you encourage patients to take their medicine in the right way, in the right cadence and so forth? Right? So there's a lot of challenges there that a patient could be facing. So we started that program and we took a step back and we said, how can we best serve each individual patient with this topic? And so beginning of that program actually starts with a short questionnaire. It asks you, you’re a patient, as you're taking your medication, what challenges do you face? Is it the cost of the medication? Is it you're not seeing the benefits of that medication? Does it make you feel bad because you have to take medication? Is it just hard to get to the pharmacy to get that medication? So we have some of these six, seven, eight quick questions that they're able to self-select in the program itself, whether that's on their phone, on the laptop or in the doctor's office. And based on those answers, those questions, then we can zero in on what some of the advice that we would give them based on those challenges. So if I have all of those challenges, we're going to give you a lot of advice around how to approach that. If my only challenge is that I can't afford my medication, we're going to really focus in on that information and advice that helps you find resources to support that and the importance of of doing so. So that's one way that we use interactivity and personalization to help get shortened the content that we're delivering to a patients so we know that they have that time is precious. We know that their attention is precious, but also we want to make it as actionable as possible. So if I'm getting only the information I need, I can go and act upon that as opposed to sitting through several minutes of information. That's not relevant for me. So that's, I think that's one important reason is like, how can we get the most actionable information to the patient in the shortest amount of time? Are there other examples of that? Is just giving patients the ability to get the information that they deem is relevant based on prior experience? So I brought up colonoscopy before, our colonoscopy program. There's a lot to go into and it's very important that a patient understands a lot of that information in preparation for that procedure. Right? So I think that program might be 20 minutes in its full length. But if I have, if I'm a patient that has had a colonoscopy three, four, five times before in my life, maybe I don't need to know the one on one of the anatomy and what's happening in that procedure. Maybe I really just need to understand what what I need to do to prep for that procedure, when I need to stop eating. So I need to take the proprietary formula, things like that. Like what do I need to do to make that as successful as procedure as possible? So we give people, patients the ability to kind of self-select, say, I've had a colonoscopy before, just take me to that section, give me the two minute rundown of what I need to do to make sure that's a good procedure. Right? And so, one, that increases engagement for the patients. They can decide how much information they want or not. But ultimately we're getting the most pertinent information to that patient. So we actually see that there's real data that stands behind that. So a patient that engages with that content in any form is 50% less likely to need to reschedule that appointment because it into the prep, right? Or it doesn't show up for that procedure and needs to be rescheduled. So there's real ROI for the care team as well as reduced anxiety and more preparation for the patient. So we think about things like that and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the patient of like what would be helpful for them to kind of self-select or guide them to information that's valuable.
Dr. Craig Joseph: Yeah, you know, I had imagined that there'd be just a big room with some illustrators fighting it out with the writers, and I'm disappointed to hear that you all work together along with the target audience, the patients and the and the clinicians. I think that, can you maybe consider for future reference having a big fight, like a physical fight? Because that would be that would make for a better future podcast. I'm just laying that out there now.
Evan Heigert: Well, I could give you a sneak peek into our Slack channel and you could probably find a little bit of that drama if you really want to find it, Craig. But yeah, the ultimate goal is to best serve the patients. So I think we all try to keep that in the forefront as we're working through the best way to deliver that information.
Dr. Craig Joseph: That is fair. Fair enough. So let let me ask you maybe a simple question. As you've mentioned earlier, your sister company is UpToDate and they're the ones that create the information for physicians. How do you work with them to make sure that all of your content is adequate or it is up to date? How do you how do you keep Emmi up to date so that it doesn't get behind? Obviously, it should be pretty current when you create it, but maybe six months later or a year or two later, it's not there anymore.
Evan Heigert: It's a pretty clever name UpToDate, isn't it? Emmi has a little bit more nuance to it, but yeah, I think one of the ways that we do that is we're very committed to we know how how often the medical literature changes. So we're committed to an annual medical review of all of our content. So we sit down with advisors and experts in that space. Again, I mentioned 650 programs, 8000 leaflets. You know, there's a lot of content out there. We kind of we work hand in hand with our, you know, our compatriots at UpToDate and kind of look at where is the literature changing, where can we dig in, find ways that we can improve that content, make it more accurate, but also very important, harmonize the two ends of the business. So making sure that the way that we're explaining a procedure enough to date in the right order and so forth, that we're able to then translate that and deliver that to the patient again with maybe different language, maybe different ways. We're showcasing that, maybe not to the same depth, but that harmonization helps really to the care team and the patient kind of work off the same playbook. So we do that our annual basis, we are constantly updating our content over time. So there's monthly releases where the team is working on certain programs over that month of pushing that out, preparing for the next month of content and really seeing that sometimes 40, 50, 60 updates over the course of the year based on the needs of the literature. So I also say we often get the question why do we use illustration in our multimedia programs? A lot of other tools use like live action or talking heads or things like that. We find that one of the great values of using illustration is the ability for flexibility and agility that awards us. So we are able to come in. And if if a key part of that procedure or the key literature changes, we're able to come in and update that one area, change that one word, update that voiceover and that, and push out a new program much more quickly than if we had to go into an O.R. and like, you know, film, you know, the change of that procedure, if you know, the location of that of that cut is like a few centimeters off. We don't have to we don't have to capture that. We can just draw it, basically. So I think a very real and very recent example of that is I think we all remember this time, this little thing called COVID, where over the course of every month or sometimes on a weekly basis, the recommendations from the CDC or others change. We were updating our content on COVID and COVID vaccines every month at that point. So, for example, if you think, you know, at the early stages, we were told, oh, just cough into your hand if you have to cough. And very quickly we realized, well, that's a way of spreading germs. So you got to cough into your elbow instead. Right? And so we were able to change that artwork very quickly and change that voiceover. So it's giving that direction. If you think the very early stage of the pandemic, we weren't recommended to wear masks a lot of places. And then quickly, we learned that that was a way of containing the contagion. So we were able to come in and update those programs to show people wearing masks in most instances. So that's just a way that gives us that flexibility to be able to move quickly and with agility and stay, like you said, up to date with the latest standards.
Dr. Craig Joseph: So how do you build that human connection? How do you make your content kind of more real life and less sterile so it doesn't look like it was generated by an artificial intelligence?
Evan Heigert: Well, I do think that another benefit of a lot of the tools that we bring to bear in our content illustration, real, real human voices for a voice artist is very much focus on delivering that human connection. I think one of the things that we very seriously is as a creative group, we are people, we are patients, we are health consumers. And so we try to embed our our empathy and our understanding of that experience into the work that we're doing. So, for example, we try to, in our artwork, we build that human connection and warmth into everything we can. If you think about trying to explain to a patient, it's so important to wash your hands for for 20 seconds and sing the Happy Birthday song. You know, I think we've all seen those little diagrams that are somewhat inhuman of like top down view of somebody washing their hands and the soap and bubbles or whatever. We try to spin it around and we show a little kid maybe standing on a step stool in the bathroom with his his little socks stuck in the in like washing his hand and looking at his mother in a loving way. The connection that a newborn baby and that the first time mother has when after after birth and she's holding the baby there in the delivery room, we try to find these little examples of ways that we can build that human connection. A lot of that comes from the fact that we are all human. We use as artists and creatives, we use our experience to help feed that. So another good example of that is we are creating a diagram of how to gauge the height of a child in the best way, how to get them to stand straight, put their elbows against the wall, so forth, so we showed like a profile of a little kid standing up, getting their their height taken. And it turned out it was the artist's five year old daughter that was the model for that diagram. And she was holding her little tiara and her princess wand in her hand while she was being modeled for this scene. And he drew that right into the program. So it's got that little like nuance and that touch of real life that helps just surprise and delight in some ways. And in a lot of ways, those little tiny touches just kind of bring down the anxiety for a patient. It feels like real life. It feels like real people. And it's not just this sterile diagnostic approach to delivering content.
Dr. Craig Joseph: Well, you know, as a pediatrician, I rarely saw patients without tiaras. So I feel like you're doing a good job.
Evan Heigert: Pretty standard equipment.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: You mean you wore a tiara every time you saw patients? That's that's a really, really nice way to build empathy. Evan, we like to ask everybody this question at the end of the podcast, and that's to share with us two or three things, and they could be outside of healthcare, but two or three things that are so well designed that they bring you joy to interact with.
Evan Heigert: Yeah, that's that's a hard one for me because I am a design nerd and I just love, I find things every day in my everyday life that really kind of delight me or or frustrate me. So I'll focus on the delight first. I think I had mentioned to you our previous conversation. I have two littles at home. I have a two year old and a four month old son. So for anyone with kids knows there really is a wide range. There's some really great designed kids stuff out there and there's some really poorly designed stuff. And as a parent, you find out what works well or what doesn't. So my two year old, he just turned two a couple of weeks ago and we wanted to give him a present. And like probably a lot of parents these days, we're really trying to avoid like more screen time, putting them in front of a screen. So what can we do that keeps them engaged, gets them out of our hair for a little bit and like allows him to use creativity and his love of storytelling as well to to be able engage with. So there's this brand called Tony's, Tony Box. Tone in German is actually the word for sound. And so I think it's a correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's a German company. I've learned about this. I've seen it in Europe before too. And so what it really is, is it's kind of it's a self-contained speaker that's indestructible. It's wrapped with soft like easy to clean material around the outside. It's got two little ears on it. It's a little speaker coming through. And basically what you do is you get these little figurines that have a magnet on them and you place them on top of a tiny box and it plays a story or sing songs to you. There's a lot of Disney things. There's a lot, we have a lot of, there's a lot of Dr. Seuss in our house. So there's Horton the Elephant is a favorite that gets played over and over again in our house through that. And they use RFID technology to basically let that little figurine tell the Tony Box Hey, play this story or play this song first. And another benefit of it is you can actually record your own recordings on it through an app. So I can you know, I'm here at the office today. I this morning recorded a little message to my son. So when he got up and was getting ready for school, he heard, Hey, hey, what's up, Henry? Hope you have a good day at school. Here's a song for you. And he can play that on his own. So it's really great content. Keep it all engaging with their their server, their sense of imagination and so forth. But the UI and the design of the materials themselves, they're all also incredible. It's indestructible. The ways that you interact with that box itself are so simple. So there's two little ears. You pinch one ear to turn down the volume, you pinch the other ear to turn up the volume. If you don't like the song, you get to whack it on the side and then it gets to the next song. So for little kids, my son figured it out in like 30 minutes, right? And so he is a master at using this UI of this device. And I think the takeaway I have is that how can you design for your audience in a way that's simplified, that's easy to understand that that surprises and delights and encourages them to be able to engage with that content in such a simple and clear and seamless way, intuitive way. So that's one I'm going to kind of work up the age group here too. Maybe it's not a huge surprise. I will say I have a brother that actually recently was honored to take a role at Lego in Denmark, so he is working at the headquarters as set designer in Billund, Denmark, which is incredible. It's kind of a dream job for him. We grew up with Legos and in my day Legos were just a box of 15 different pieces that you dump on the floor and you build a dragon or a spaceship or whatever. These days they have gotten a little bit more nuanced and complex. So lo and behold, a couple days ago, a couple of big boxes showed up on our doorstep. I popped those open and it was a whole Duplo set for my little for my little guys to play with, which was awesome. And then for me it was a I sneakily kind of cheekily told him, Hey, I saw this, this special A-frame design, that A-frame cabin, if you can imagine that from Lego looks really cool. And he just sent it my way. It's over 2000 pieces and like, really, really interesting design, I got to say, like my skill set with Lego has waned over the intervening decade since I last played with them. So it was a little intimidating. But I actually got to sit down over the course of a couple of weekends, popped open that box that the instructions are way different than I remember back in the day. But it's really like a co-creation coauthoring approach these days at Lego where they invite you, there's very specific directions, but you're able to kind of put your little touches on that design along the way. And the thing that really delighted me was instead of building a whole structure and then maybe there's like a little coffee mug or like a canoe that you can put in there, they intercede these little details along the way as you're building it. So there's like a little record player that goes in the corner of the cabin. There's a little frog that under the front doorstep that you can only see if you know exactly where to look. So that idea of storytelling through design and that co-creation process was just like really wonderful. And so I guess I'm back to being a Lego nerd quite recently.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: I love that answer. My daughter has like six shelves of of Lego kits that she's built and will absolutely not let us disassemble, but that she plays with like regular toys. So she got all the fun of building them.
Evan Heigert: It's a wild experience. Yeah. And if any other boxes show up on my doorstep, I'll let your daughter know. And she can, she can maybe help me out there. So yeah. So I think those are a couple examples like related to childhood and imagination and creation that are really touching. And I'll say for me, myself, one of the brands and one of the things that I really love, as you might imagine from my A-frame cabin, Lego, I really love the outdoors. I work in a digital healthcare space where I'm in computers all the time. We're creating things on computers all the time. I love to disengage and get out and in nature and just like the joy of just quietude and just being out there and kind of enjoying life and nature is so important, so one of the brands I love and I really connect with is is Filson. I don't know if you're familiar with that. It's outdoors brand from Pacific Northwest. I think they founded over 100 years ago to support the Alaskan gold rush. So it was all this like very rugged, well, really handmade, really crafted bags and jackets and boots and things like that. I have a bag that my father in law gave me that's maybe 30 years old or something, but it still works perfectly. And I'm sure that'll be something I'll hand down to my kids as well. But just that idea of craftsmanship, that idea of quality manufacturing is so great, and I think they do a great job of letting the market do the marketing for them. So they allow people to go out and use their materials and showcase the beauty and the action and the challenges they face out in the great outdoors using their equipment. I think that's just a really wonderful way to connect with your audiences, being able to have that authentic, genuine storytelling that helps people make that connection. So bringing it back full circle, storytelling with an agenda, finding that way that really connects with your audience, whether that's a wannabe outdoorsman like myself or it's a patient that's sitting there preparing for a procedure. I think finding that hook, finding that to connect in a really authentic way is so important.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: Those are fantastic examples. Thanks so much for sharing, Evan, and thanks so much for being on the podcast today. We really appreciate having you here.
Evan Heigert: I appreciate the opportunity to be in here and talk with you this afternoon. I think design and thinking about how to meet patients where they're at and how to meet healthcare professionals, where that is such an important topic. So I really commend you all for for leading the charge and talking about these important areas.
Dr. Jerome Pagani: Awesome. Thanks so much. And yeah, we definitely agree.