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Author Archives: Christine Nieves

User-Centric Innovation

Jul 10, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves / RWJF Program Associate Christine Nieves

Determined to increase my productivity and keep my desk free from clutter, I recently read an excellent book that several friends recommended to me called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. We at Pioneer talk quite a bit about what it takes to change behavior – what kinds of innovations can we support that will help more people embrace healthy habits? Implementing this book’s recommendations reminded me just how stressful change can be – even change that’s designed to reduce stress! And it got me thinking about how important it is to base any innovation on a real understanding of the people it effects.

I recently spent the day at the MedStar Institute for Innovation -– at Pioneer, we’re always interested in learning more about other units within large organizations that are focused on innovation (and we love to play host, too). Anyway, the folks at MedStar spoke quite a bit about human factors engineering. If you aren’t familiar (I wasn’t), human factors engineering is about accepting the fact that humans will inevitably make mistakes, and designing environments and tools that take that inevitability into account, so that the impact of mistakes is significantly decreased. Human factors engineering often goes hand-in-hand with extensive usability testing.

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Dispatches from Datapalooza: Day 1 Highlights

Jun 4, 2013, 10:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves / RWJF

From: Christine Nieves

To: Paul Tarini, Beth Toner and Thomas Goetz

Date: June 4, 2013

Why didn't you warn me that this conference is so enormous? Wow! As a first-time attendee, it is hard to believe that Health Datapalooza started just four years ago with 40 or so participants in one room. On Monday, more than 2,000 people gathered under one roof to advocate for the same cause, and I am enjoying learning from so many of them.

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Dispatches from Datapalooza: Bringing My 'A' Game

May 31, 2013, 9:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves / RWJF

From: Christine Nieves

To: Paul Tarini, Beth Toner and Thomas Goetz

Date: May 31, 2013

This is my first time attending Health Datapalooza, and I am intrigued. I am fascinated by the fact that there will be a reception at the National Zoo on Sunday evening and a 7 a.m. run to kick us off Tuesday morning. It's not just any run, though—it will be led by Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s what I call intense!

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Heritage Open mHealth Challenge: Searching for a Sum Greater Than Its Parts

Mar 4, 2013, 3:14 PM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves Christine Nieves

“Smart” phones are rapidly becoming ubiquitous; almost half of all American adults own one. Every one of those phones has the potential to be a health companion for its owner, providing reminders about pills to take or tips about healthier foods to eat. Phones can also collect valuable health data—such as the quality of the air we breathe or the number of steps we walk. For people with a chronic disease such as diabetes, a smart phone can track the kinds of meals that spike their blood sugar or the side effects of their medications; it can even relay that information back to a doctor, who can then help patients better manage their health.

To date, the major tool for harnessing the power of mobile technology has been the app. Just like there are apps for weather, news, or restaurant reviews, there are apps for health. They can do amazing things, from measuring and monitoring, to imaging and predicting. But, there aren’t just a handful of them—there are thousands! And, that’s where the Heritage Open mHealth Challenge comes in.

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40 Years of RWJF + 10 Force Multipliers = Young Leaders Transforming the Future

Nov 19, 2012, 9:45 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves / RWJF Christine E. Nieves Rodriguez

This December marks my first year with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and with the Pioneer Portfolio. Throughout the year, I’ve been amazed by the team’s connection to health and health care innovation, and have been humbled to be part of RWJF as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

As part of its anniversary celebration, RWJF announced its inaugural Young Leader Awards. I was excited that RWJF chose to honor 10 leaders, 40 and under, who offer promise for leading the way to improved health and health care. The Foundation recently announced the 10 winners who represent great diversity in the future of health care innovation.

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