Editor's note: Tom Donnelly is vice president, head of medtech, at research firm Branding Science. Dave Norton is founder and principal of research firm Stone Mantel. Mary Putman is lead digital strategist at Stone Mantel. Christophe Carington is senior research executive at Branding Science. 

Do patients find your health care technology stupid, dumb, smart or genius? Stupid technology uses data incorrectly, making the experience unnecessarily difficult. Smart technology uses data to make health care experiences easier or better than they used to be. As technology progresses, so do patients’ expectations. As more offerings enter the market, digital health tools must go beyond simply “doing the job” and support empowered patients. This is the idea behind genius technology – turning what was a medical condition into a superpower. Is your current digital health care solution stupid? How could you update it to be smart or genius? 

Answering questions such as these is part of the work of the Digital Healthcare Collaborative (DHC), a collection of thought leaders from pharmaceutical manufacturers, solutions providers, medical systems and health insurance companies providing thought leadership, collaboration and consumer research as part of an innovation process. We focus on the future of patient/population experiences and engagement, solving for the next two to five years. The real strength of the group is that we are trying to tackle a common problem and are not limited to the lens of one company.

In this article we will provide more background on the work and purpose of the Digital Healthcare Collaborative; describe the research methodologies we use; and illustrate two frameworks that guided our recent work. 

Then we will present findings on questions posed by the DHC:

Each DHC engagement is a year-long program following an academic year. Here is a snapshot of the program in 2019-2020: