Wellness and preventative care is a difficult component of patient health to build consistent habits around – particularly for underserved communities. Per the Urban Institute, low income adults are almost 5x as likely to report being in fair or poor health as adults with household incomes at or above 400% of the federal poverty level. Low-income American adults also have high rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other chronic disorders compared to wealthier Americans.
There’s opportunity for digital technology to build a greater sense of literacy around what wellness means, and to help create consistent preventative practices to improve and maintain good health. However, we can’t just innovate for innovation’s sake. The last thing the world needs is another health tracking app. Effective, actionable, and sustainable change requires real conversations with real people in underserved communities to truly understand (and design) sustainable solutions.
We collaborated with Grapevine Health Founder and CEO, Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, to go ‘on the street’ to talk to people about the myriad challenges and experiences facing underserved patient populations and use those conversations as fuel for innovation.
In these rich brainmeld collaboration sessions, experts from the Providence Digital Innovation Group, the broader Providence team and Dr. Lisa herself unpack challenges outlined directly from ‘people on-the-street’, and collaborate in real-time around how and where digital can fuel engaging and sustainable solutions surrounding how we can promote and drive improved wellness and prevention in these communities.
This episode focuses on the challenges surrounding how patients in underserved communities take after their own health – in other words, the things they’ve learned from growing up in their communities, and not the things their doctors have told them.
Key themes the team covered in this conversation:
Taking things a step beyond simply building tools for accessing care to address “the last mile problem” in healthcare, by getting smarter about how we can personalize interactions to meet patients’ unique needs.
Building a greater sense of food literacy, and providing education to communities to help them adopt healthier diets and behaviors surrounding nutrition.
Investing and thinking in greater detail about how we can drive greater positive ‘habit-forming’ behaviors to help give patients more ways to engage in their own health.
Solutions ranged from developing QR codes in the places people frequent to give them actionable and easy recipes and information about food, as well as building digital frameworks that leverage gamification to create habits through different mental triggers, like competition or “streak” tracking. The team even came up with an app concept that scans healthy food items to provide information and easy recipes for people to use.
Watch the full episode below to learn more: