Accelerating Digital Health Innovation Success

Podcast, Videos


In the latest episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat, I sat down with two brilliant guests: Fard Johnmar, Founder of Enspektos, and Denise Pines, President of the Medical Board of California. Among other things, we discussed the concepts of “FemAging” and “ePatients”, and how COVID-19 has affected both of these. We also explored an array of other interesting subjects, such as digitally active health consumer trends, technologies/innovations that have the potential to be game-changers for FemAging, the involvement of Big Pharma in FemAging, and whether virtual health services will translate into more equal medical care for middle age/older women.

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey through the years, and about the conversations and work with life science and other healthcare stakeholders that brought you into a place of understanding, interest, and desire of navigating the “e-patient” concept?

Fard Johnmar: I just want to say that working with Denise has been a real pleasure over the years as well. We’ve had so many great conversations and things that we’ve been able to work together. Working on “FemAging” has been a great pleasure. In terms of “e-patients”, in 2015, I was approached by my co-author Rohit Bhargava, who is a very well-known strategist and futurist himself, to really focus it on what, over the next few years, are going to be the issues that people will be focusing on in healthcare. This was before people started talking a lot about things like big data, empathetic interfaces, chatbots, and robots. What we wanted to do with that book was to present and landscape a canvas of what the healthcare future would look like. When we wrote this book–although it is called “e-patient 2015,” we wrote it in 2012 or so–this was before people started talking about a lot of these issues.

One of the things that I have always been intrigued by related to digital technologies is the intersection between technology and the human. This also has an impact on the work that Denise and I are doing with “FemAging”. The most important thing for me has always been “What is the human reaction to these technologies?”

When I first started working on digital technologies, the big thing everybody was talking about was web-to-data, social media, and blogging. People were really intrigued by this idea that patients themselves were becoming experts, and collaborating directly with clinicians to understand their conditions. One of the first things that I did way back in 2005 was to work on a report that was about 100 pages or so, focusing on what I call “The emerging healthcare blogosphere”. The blog seems old-fashioned, but back in those days, they were really new and people just didn’t know what they were all about. I interviewed people like Kevin MD, who is now very famous with his blog, and other folks that were in the healthcare space to basically say, what are the human and innovation implications of these blogs?

Looking at the human side of the technological bloom, that approach has really driven my work in working with government agencies, life science companies, device companies, and startups all around the world. Getting to the FemAging phenomenon, when Denise and I were talking about this issue, we have this focus on the human. We immediately said, number one, we’re not seeing a lot of innovations for older women, number two, if we were to develop these innovations for older women, between the ages of 40 and 65, what do they want?

One of the things that I found across the time that I have been dealing with technological innovation is that the technology tends to be foregrounded and the human tends to be in the background. By taking that human-centric approach that Denise and I have always taken, we were able to come together to think about women’s health in a different way than what we’ve seen with some of the types of activities, products, and services that have been real areas of focus up until now…

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Fard Johnmar & Denise Pines, or listen to the podcast version, below.

To check out previous Fireside Chats and to make sure that you don’t miss any future updates, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or our podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, kindly leave a review on iTunes.

About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.