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Redefining Creativity in Health

Issue 2 2017

"Redefining Creativity in Health"

It never ceases to amaze me when fellow marketers ask ‘don’t you wish you were doing something a little more ‘creative’?

From the innovative medicines created in laboratories world-over to the sales techniques used to convey their novelty in the face of tight industry regulations, nobody can accuse healthcare of lacking in the creativity stakes. And in recent years, the way in which we express and transfer this creativity through educational experiences is beginning to catch up.

In 2016, Australian nonprofit MS designed a conference engagement piece to get the rest of the population up to speed with what it means to live, and move, with MS. With the help of an expert team of physiologists, disease specialists and, yes, cycling enthusiasts, the organisation created an unrideable bike, that’s crooked cogs, wonky frame and unpredictable gears simulated the infuriating loss of control and unrelenting physical discomfort experienced by a person with MS.

Besides the inevitable bumps and bruises, the result was an empathetic connection with the MS patient experience. And for those who weren’t (un)lucky enough to get a ride, the story still shone through on social media, earning project a Silver and Bronze Cannes Lion Award. View further details here.

Earlier this year, The National Autistic Society (UK) created a VR experience that gave everyday people a new insight on autism. Complete with flashing lights, blinding colour, startling noises (and a hearty dose of social stigma), the video placed viewers at the centre of a world where they had no choice but to receive Too Much Information. View the 360 video adapted version here.

In recent years, creativity has also transformed more traditional peer-to-peer medical educational experiences. Most often used as a diagnostic exercise at conferences and events, life-size patient holograms complete with scripted dialogue and realistic character traits, form part of interactive patient case studies, bringing clinicians one step closer to understanding the patient perspective.

Every day, healthcare is inventing solutions that reinvent the possibilities for people on the receiving end of what are inarguably some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. And using new technologies and mediums to tell these stories in a way that puts everyday people in patients’ shoes. If that’s not creative, I don’t know what is.

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