RWJF Pioneering Ideas Podcast: Episode 4 | MakerNurse, Visualizing Health Data & More

May 12, 2014, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

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Welcome to the fourth episode of RWJF’s Pioneering Ideas podcast, where we explore cutting edge ideas and emerging trends that can transform health and health care. Your host is Lori Melichar, director at the foundation.

Ideas & Projects in This Episode

  • MakerNurse (2:38) - Nurses Kelly Reilly, Roxana Reyna, and Mary Beth Dwyer share how they hack the supplies in their hospitals’ supply closets to improve patient care. (These nurses are all involved with RWJF grantee MakerNurse, the brainchild of Jose Gomez-Marquez and Anna Young, who lead the Little Devices Lab at MIT.)
  • Alternative Marketplaces (8:59) - Grantees Terry McDonald (St. Vincent de Paul) and George Wang (SIRUM) have something in common: They’re passionate about turning other people’s trash into resources that can improve health and health care. We introduced them and invited them to have a conversation about their work.
  • Visualizing Health (19:15) - RWJF entrepreneur in residence and former WIRED editor Thomas Goetz, RWJF program officer Andrea Ducas, designer Tim Leong and the University of Michigan’s Brian Zikmund-Fisher talk about Visualizing Health ( -- how it came about, how they collaborated to make it happen, how it features agile research practices and what they hope happens next
  • Designing a Culture of Health (25:45) - Game designer Jane McGonigal and IDEO CEO Tim Brown share ideas about designing a culture of health (highlights from the master class conversation at TED 2014).


...On MakerNurses:

  • “The inventions start at the bedside. The need is always at the bedside first.” - Roxana Reyna
  • “A lot of the time spent in the world of nursing is hunting and gathering.” - Kelly Reilly
  • “I think a lot of informal workarounds are just passed down from generation to generation of nurses.” - Mary Beth Dwyer

...On creating alternative marketplaces for waste that can improve health:

  • “How we deal with our wastes, what we perceive of what we cast off, is something that has dramatic impact on community health.”- Terry McDonald
  • “We like to call ourselves the of unused medicine.” - George Wang

...On Visualizing Health:

  • “We lack data about how to present data.” - Thomas Goetz
  • “We're producing Visualizing Health as a platform under a Creative Commons encourage designers and researchers and health professionals to build on what we've done.” – Andrea Ducas
  • “I'm a big believer that constraint breeds creativity.”- Tim Leong
  • “One thing that was reinforced to us in this project is how valuable it is to think of any process in an iterative way.” - Brian Zikmund-Fisher

...On designing and building a culture of health:

  • “The biggest societal shift that I think we could make towards a culture of health is... the length of a typical standard work week.” - Jane McGonigal
  • “We have to design for human experiences, not just for an efficient healthcare system.” - Tim Brown

Your Turn

What ideas or questions did listening to this episode inspire? What are you working on that relates to one of the featured stories or themes? We’d love to hear from you.

Do you have a cutting-edge idea for advancing a Culture of Health? Learn more and submit a proposal.

Listen to Past Episodes

Check out all episodes of the Pioneering Ideas podcast, where we explore topics like the science of choosing, the radical effect of empathy on innovation and the power of the placebo effect.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.