Columbus, OH — What if a child could learn how to manage her diabetes from her teddy bear? Or an adult could be prescribed a clinically-effective app instead of another pill? What if we made it easier for people dealing with cancer to get the financial help they need or for doctors to work the way they really want to?

In 2013, all of those things became possible – even easy – thanks to big changes in how healthcare brands are connecting with and supporting people. In recognition of those and other first-of-their-kind experience shifts, we’ve curated 13 of our favorite stories about how brands are changing the everyday experience of healthcare in this special report:

13 Best Healthcare Customer Experiences from GSW

These experiences have four core tenets in common:

  1. Work the way people work: Sure, technology can make things better, but only if it’s a technology you really want to use. The experience innovations we saw in 2013 didn’t try to force new technology on unwilling customers. Instead, they worked with tools people already embrace and gave them choices about exactly how to interact.
  2. Built for real life: Most of the important choices people make about healthcare don’t happen in the exam room; they happen at home and in everyday life. These experiences are built to work there, to fit in and stick with you even when there aren’t any white coats around.
  3. Help explain choices: The language of healthcare isn’t an easy one. It can be jargony when you want it to be simple and brief when you want it to be long. These solutions are designed to spend time when it’s needed and to let people learn and ask questions at each of their own speeds. That leads to more lasting and confident healthcare decisions.
  4. Actively break down barriers: Sometimes those barriers are logistical and practical (like how to find a doctor), but often they’re much more emotional (like: how to keep fighting when you feel so alone). These experiences tackle both kinds of barriers, making it easier for people to break down their own barriers and ask for the help they really need.

Huge thanks to the reports contributors: Alex Bragg, David Wink, George VanAntwerp, John Mucha, Patrick Richard, Ritesh Patel, Sarah Doll, and Tyler Durbin.

Posted by: Leigh Householder

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.