Archives For Mayo Clinic


According to a UN report on aging, the world’s population is aging at an unprecedented rate. By 2050, the number of people 60 years or older will exceed the number of young people under age 15 for the first time in history. The effects of population aging are profound and impact everything from economic growth, labor markets, and taxes to healthcare, housing, and family structures.

Simply put, aging is a fact of life. Our parents, grandparents, friends, ourselves: we all will age. Whether we’re able to stay active, healthy, and retain our sense of autonomy as we age, well, that’s another matter. Which is why this question is so pressing: How might we all maintain wellbeing and thrive as we age?

This is the latest OpenIDEO design challenge posed by Mayo Clinic and it’s one I encourage you to contribute your creativity to. After all, staying mentally active is key to healthy aging.

What aspects of aging are you most concerned about?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Re-designing healthcare

September 23, 2009 — 4 Comments

I spent last week at the Mayo Clinic symposium on health care innovation called Transform. It was excellent. A great group of speakers and an audience populated by some of the most important players in health care innovation.

You can check out the videos from many of the speakers at the Mayo Transform site. Unfortunately I can’t link you to the individual talks but I would recommend the following in particular:

Clayton Christensen on the Innovators Prescription. For those that have not read the book this talk makes a rigorous argument for how the business model of healthcare needs to be restated.

Amy Tenderich talks about the Diabetes Challenge. An attempt to get design thinkers engaged in improving the lives of diabetes sufferers.

Victor Montori, a Mayo physician, does a great job of showing how doctors get it wrong when they don’t consider the whole lifestyle of the patient when they prescribe remedies.

Denis Cortese, the current head of the Mayo, describes where the health care system is dysfunctional today and what Mayo plans to focus on to help resolve that.

Elizabeth Teisberg talks about health care policy and in particular the importance of focusing on value not cost reduction.

Frank Moss from the MIT Media Lab gives a great talk and demonstration (with one of his graduate students) on empowering each of us to be responsible for more of our own health care.

Patrick Garaghty, CEO of Minnesota Blue Cross Blue Shield, makes an impressive argument for how it is in the interests of payers to focus on wellness programs. Given the bad press that insurance companies have been getting in the recent debates it was good to see some real leadership coming from them.

As always, Larry Keeley makes an eloquent and urgent case for innovation based on showing how Leonardo got things wrong.

The three ‘i-spotter’ award speakers all gave great short talks on their projects – Jaspal Sandhu, Jeff Belkora and Alexandra Carmichael.

I headed up the last session which was specifically on design thinking. I was followed by three wonderful talks by Karl Ronn of P&G, Christi Dining Zuber from the Kaiser Innovation team and Maggie Breslin from SPARC, the Mayo design and innovation group.

Overall I was very impressed by the level of the dialog about innovation and design thinking, particularly amongst the physicians. I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that a profession that is focused on making people’s lives better is so enthusiastic about a human centered innovation process.

The image is courtesy of Marc Koska at Safepoint. I included the story of Marc’s innovation, the auto-disable syringe, in my talk.

Mayo Innovation Symposium

August 16, 2009 — 1 Comment

The Mayo Clinic is hosting a symposium on innovations in health care experience and delivery at their Rochester, Minnesota campus in September. I will be speaking on design thinking and health but should that put you off, their are some great speakers on the roster that will be well worth listening to. They include Clayton Christensen, Larry Keeley, Craig Barrett, Linda Avery (23andme), Denis Cortese M.D. (CEO pf Mayo), Karl Ronn (P&G) and Frank Moss (MIT Media Lab).

Check out the website if you are interested in the debate about where health innovation is going. It could be a refreshing change from the circular arguments we are hearing in the press about health reform these days.