“EP164: The Missing Link to Realize the Potential of Technology, with Kyra Bobinet, MD MPH”
by Stacey Richter

Listen to the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

What do physician burnout and sub-par patient portal usage have in common? It’s forgetting about how the user will react to the technology. To get what we hope to get out of a technology, we have to consider how to fulfill positive engagement and behavior change and build that right into the use case and workflow. Otherwise, people might come once, but either they’ll ditch before they get signed up or never come back, or in the case of physicians, burnout. Today I speak with Dr. Kyra Bobinet, MD MPH and CEO of EngagedIn, a neuroscience behavior design firm.

Dr. Kyra Bobinet has five words of advice on engaging people in health: be caring, authentic, and useful.

As a national speaker, bestselling author and CEO-founder of engagedIN, a neuroscience behavior design firm, Kyra devotes her life to cracking the code of WHY we engage in our health. Everyday, she and her team use neuroscience to make products and communications more engaging.

For this work, Kyra received the 2015 Innovator Award from Harvard where she received her Masters in Public Health. She earned her medical degree at UCSF School of Medicine.

Dr. Bobinet is the author of Well Designed Life: 10 Lessons in Brain Science and Design Thinking for a Mindful, Healthy, and Purposeful Life. She has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Huffington Post, ExperienceLife and NPR.

She has created health start-ups, blockbuster products, health apps, big data algorithms, and evidence-based programs in mind-body & metabolic medicine. A former executive at a large payer, she has designed large-scale population health management and wellness interventions that yielded ROI for Fortune 500 companies.

Dr. Bobinet co-teaches patient engagement and health design with Dr. Larry Chu at Stanford School of Medicine, and studied in BJ Fogg’s behavior design lab.

When she’s not geeking out on neuroscience, you can find her engaged in her 160-acre training center in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


00:00 How we should be looking at engagement.
01:50 “If it doesn’t make sense to the brain, then we shouldn’t be talking about it.”
02:50 Competing priorities in patients’ lives.
03:50 Why people don’t use patient portals.
04:45 Right-sizing expectations with patient portals.
05:00 “Where’s the cheese?”
05:30 Get real about the ‘season of’ and defining the use case for the patient portal.
09:00 Is seasonal health enough?
10:30 Emotion as a value proposition.
11:00 How Kyra would redesign patient portals to be more purpose-driven.
11:50 How patient portals can be an extension of trust, not just a repository.
19:00 How to go about improving user experience within patient portals.
19:20 “What’s this doing to their brain?”
20:30 The main patient portal participants.
24:00 Where self-image and social aspects fit into EHRs.
28:40 What makes us better designers of behavior.
33:00 “We just have to remember what we know.”
33:45 You can learn more at engagedin.com and changetrainingcenter.com.

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