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Health Care Design Conference - 2013 Boston


About Me

As Principal Product Manager of Iora Health's collaborative care platform, Jess loves being part of a team building products that work for the people that use them. Her job at Iora Health has been described as "spear catcher", "cat herder", or "sh*t umbrella", depending on who you ask. She doesn't always have all the right answers, but lives to frame the right questions. Prior to joining Iora Health, Jess spent many years as a designer and front-end developer, usability consultant, product manager and creative director primarily in healthcare, education and publishing. She believes that product design happens best when the people using the product are part of the design process. Jess lives in the greater Boston area with her pulmonologist husband, daughter, son, and their dog, Lady. She holds an MFA in performance from Penn State University and a BA (in theatre) from Cornell University.

Q&A with Jess

HxD asked speakers to tell us what inspires and drives them in healthcare and design.

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  • Q1: What is your burning mission in health?

    I want us all to design healthcare systems that act as an extension of care, rather than a barrier. Treat human beings as the complex souls that we are— rather than a package to be moved through a system as efficiently as possible.

  • Q2: What is one thing you want everyone to see?

    God's Hotel by Victoria Sweet.

  • Q3: Why it inspires you?

    Most approaches in reducing healthcare costs focus on efficiency: of the office visit, the hospital stay, the experience. The result (and even the goal) is a care team that spends less time with a patient, rushing through observations and interactions in a fractured way. Humans have their own natural pace and they are more complex than a FedEx package or a table in a database. Like the "slow food" movement? We need to start what Dr. Sweet calls a "slow medicine" movement. Technology in healthcare should be unobtrusive and should support the relationship and interaction between people- because that's the space where care happens. Technology should be used to create more space and time for human interaction, rather than a replacement for it.

  • Q4: What is your patient story?

    A dear friend of mine was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor (glioblastoma) 2.5 weeks after the birth of his second child. I am immensely grateful for fantastic care he's received so far. I'm also grateful for the software apps designed to create and moderate online support communities, fundraise, and help coordinate care and support for patients. The importance of providing really good information on a diagnosis, to quickly and efficiently communicate out to a network of friends and family is so powerful. With web-based support tools we've been able to leverage the love and helplessness we all felt so quickly into action to support. Their journey has just begun, but I'm feeling so grateful that the tools were here from the start to channel their network into action and instantaneous support.

  • Q5: Why HxD?

    I went to HxD last year with just a few months under our belt at Iora Health. I was inspired by the speakers, and promised to come back and share stories---and also bring an Iora physician with me because I felt like there weren't enough providers at the conference last year.

  • Q6: Why should someone come to your session?

    Innovation is messy. You can hear us talk about our lessons learned- from both our achievements and our cringe-inducing failures-- all without getting your hair mussed. You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll be entertained. You'll hear people talk fast.

Jess at the Conference

CONFERENCE | Monday, March 25

Breaking the Mold

Details coming soon.

"Last year's HxD conference was so amazingly inspiring, and has definitely caused me to strive harder and become more passionate about improving our healthcare system." - 2012 HxD Attendee

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Watch the 2012 HXD Conference Recap