Food instead of drugs

Nestle announced its intent to enter the health food intended to prevent disease. In a country that likes to eat, that could be a very good thing. 

Influx Insights ponders the pertinent questions:

1. Could food work in unison with pharma to deliver better health impacts?

2. Can food health science provide a viable alternative to pharma?

3. Does food health science have a huge advantage because a healthy diet is something that’s being considered more widely by governments and consumers as an alternative to high medical costs?


Researchers from the Viterbi School of Engineering at University of Southern California have developed a robot that will act as an exercise coach for people, particularly the elderly.

Health is Co-Created

The creation of health has always been about partnerships. Health isn’t something that can be achieved in isolation. Unfortunately, patients today have come to depend upon the healthcare system to keep them healthy. And while providers are doing an amazing job when it comes to medical intervention, the reality is that American patients are in an unhealthy state. The way to fix this is to pursue co-created health. Read about it here.

Healthcare will come to depend upon a business model made prominent in the previous decade: co-creation. Co-creation is simply value created together by the customer and the firm. In healthcare that value is health and it’s created by the patient and their providers.

Bruce Nussbaum has written that today’s organizations need to be in the “enabling business” to be successful. He continues, “All the talk about platforms and convergence and content is about people building their very own products and services to fit their lives.” Healthcare needs to become an enabler of health, to allow and encourage patients to build their very own health-creating services in partnership with healthcare providers. 

The transition to co-creation is a momentous challenge. Today’s healthcare service offerings are too often limited to the reactive approach of treating illness. Healthcare will always be necessary to treat illness; but there is an increasing societal need to also enable health creation. The reality is that the vast majority of healthy decision making relies on the individual responsibility of patients; for a plethora of reasons patients are struggling with that responsibility. Health as a partnership, co-created, marks the realization that traditional healthcare can do more to help patients lead a healthy lifestyle.

Chris Anderson’s talk on the power that online video holds is well worth your time. Even if your work/hobbies have nothing to do with online video–because by the end of the talk, you will think very differently. Healthcare included.

Two related links for your further digestion. First, Ethan Zuckerman writes about an Eric von Hippel talk on user innovation and this intriguing finding, “there’s 2-3 times more innovation from consumers than there is from the industry.” User innovation in healthcare certainly exists and I think it’s an area that continues to grow.

Second, a Slate article looks at creative pairs–relationships that were once thought of as a lone, creative genius. Here is the hook, “The shift in understanding creativity is well underway. The stereotypes of miraculous breakthrough moments—and the incessant drive to locate them in the head of epic individuals—are slowly yielding to a portrait of complex, meandering, inherently social paths toward innovation.”

Yet as Americans are getting heavier and heavier, few marketers seem to be taking notice.

 Ad Age, they continue: “While it’s not a problem that impacts all sectors – overweight consumers don’t need a different kind of battery or toothpaste – more spacious restaurant booths, wider desk chairs and more leg- and shoulder-room on airplanes could present an opportunity for marketers to adapt to a changing consumer.”