New York, NY — Patients are getting asked more and more to take part in the decision-making process concerning their care. Wearables and our cell phones have put personalized health data, albeit limited, at our fingertips more patients feel armed to have conversations with doctors about their health.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal called out a relatively new environment where patients are being asked for input: the emergency room. Dr. Erik Hess and his team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn are developing “shared decisiomahyn-making aids” that will help patients that want to be part of the conversation digest often complicated decisions that are being made about the care they can receive. One such tool named Chest Pain Choice, included information about the patient’s diagnosis and provided a 45-day risk of a heart attack and the options for care. Another one of these tools is out of Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and aims to help patients and parents make the decision between surgery and antibiotics for acute appendicitis in children. The tool is in the form of an iPad app that walks through the decision in about 10 minutes and changes based on whether or not it is talking to the parent or the child.

Why it matters:

Patients are getting more and more opportunities to be engaged in their health and doctors are willing to be engaged. Experiences that help patients understand the often confusing choices concerning their health are being created and studies are showing that unnecessary, costly tests and procedures could be provided by involving a willing patient in the process.

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.