HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Elizabeth Bacon, President & Founder, Find Wellness
What is your burning mission in health and why?
EB: America’s healthcare system is broken, and its focus on providing “sick care” leaves most people without a guide when it comes to preventative care and wellness. My startup, Find Wellness, aims to support people in seeking care from natural health & wellness practitioners; we have intuitive search tools for people to find the right, qualified providers for their needs as well as easy-to-use solutions for practitioners to manage their practices. When it comes to technology, as well, the western medical system is burdened with too many disconnected systems, almost all of which are frustrating to use and some of which interfere with the delivery of care. My mission, given my background in user experience design, is to humanize technology at every touchpoint between patient and provider. By focusing on people’s goals, we can deliver innovative solutions that reduce friction and ease the way towards optimum health.
What is your patient story?
EB: Even my relatively limited experiences as a patient in the western healthcare system tend to leave me feeling disrespected and lost. At one point, I was told that my diet had no relationship to my intestinal problems, and that I needed to take four pills a day for the rest of my life to manage my symptoms. This approach seemed ludicrous and wrong, and I had to embark on a lengthy journey with odd twists and serendipitous turns to find my way to a healthy diet and lifestyle that has me pain-free and prescription-free. What would a less-activated patient have done in that situation? We can’t let the system beat patients down and deny our inherently individualized needs when it comes to health & wellness.
What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?
EB: Naturally I’m throwing my weight behind my startup’s technology (see our website at http://www.findwellness.com) which aims to transform healthcare by growing the market for natural health & wellness practices by operating at the intersection of intuitive search, personal health tracking & big data analysis. Beyond this, I have a lot of hope for telemedicine & related efforts like those of Bright.md to simplify the pursuit of routine healthcare and lighten the load on primary care providers. Additionally, the ongoing scientific validation of ancient practices like meditation to reduce stress and improve health represent the vanguard of embracing approaches to health that don’t fit into the current western medical system model.
Why should people come to your session?
EB: At the session I’m leading with co-presenter Lorraine Chapman, we will share our experiences using the tools and techniques of user experience design and research to inform the creation of awesome health apps and health IT. When we understand people and their context, we can deliver solutions that fit into their lives and let them achieve their health goals. UX methods can improve both technology and health outcomes, and we hope to surprise people with how easy they are to learn and apply, no matter your role.