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Focusing on Emotional Technology

Focusing on Emotional Technology

Sulaiman Beg

Sulaiman Beg

February 21, 2018

“If you don’t understand where an individual is emotionally, you cannot effectively help them.”

“How are you?” may be one of the most daunting questions in healthcare, but a new offering from Havas Health & You aims to uncover the emotional triggers that inspire scalable, transformative experiences and to make a difference in human connectivity and healthy lifestyles.

Havas Health Plus is a first-of-its-kind creative agency created to address the emotional drivers in healthcare. Using advanced algorithms and analysis, Havas Health Plus aims to understand and address the emotional triggers––what makes people do or choose something––to build better user experiences and creative communications.

We spoke with Dennis Urbaniak, CEO of Havas Health Plus and Chief Digital Officer at Havas Health & You about the new offering, technology and emotions, and what’s missing in the healthcare industry.

"Emotions and technology go hand in hand now to deliver immersive sensory experiences in ways that never could have been done before."

How do technology and emotions go hand in hand?

Emotions and technology go hand in hand now to deliver immersive sensory experiences in ways that never could have been done before.

Through simple tools like apps, we can introduce music to in clinical management plans to significantly affect outcomes. Multiple social platforms allow for live streaming at a one-to-one or group level, bringing the person to in an experience even when they are miles away. The multitude of sensors across many different tracking platforms can visualize a person’s vital signs and mood over time, helping to understand key causal and correlative triggers of behavior.

It’s a fascinating time as all of this is starting to be applied to health and wellness.

What is emotional technology?

Emotional technology is any technology that is applied in a systematic method to do two really important jobs. The first job is to better understand and identify emotional triggers of behavior. The second job is to use that understanding to develop more relevant content and services that address the emotional needs of people managing their health and wellness. It’s a fundamental priority on the creative need and creative output driving the technology. The tech gives us scale, but the creative emotion gives us relevance and that is what matters.

In a recent interview on Medium you said that there is something “fundamentally missing not just from agencies, but really the entire health care system.” What’s missing?

What’s missing is an acknowledgment that people living with health conditions didn’t choose to have them.

It’s a very basic insight that should be obvious, but for years the industry has been focused on functional, scientific, mass-market benefits. And while those functional benefits are important, if I don’t understand where an individual is emotional, I cannot effectively help them.

I learned this years ago working on a study of “noncompliant” breast cancer patients in a major urban setting in the US. Despite the promise of an amazing new therapy for a particularly lethal form of breast cancer, many patients enrolled in trials didn’t come into the clinic for their treatment, thus, they were labeled “noncompliant.” However, when you actually met those patients, you learned that the clinics were not convenient to travel to in terms of time and location. When challenged with the choice of spending money on bus fare and losing hours at work that took food away from their family, these individuals chose their family above their own health.

The system was noncompliant, not those individuals. Once you have that insight, there are a wealth of possible ways to effectively address that problem.

"In US healthcare, over 50% of consumers and doctors were searching online for issues related to emotional needs."

How does Havas Health Plus fill that void?

We go beyond to find those possibilities, to completely reimagine what’s possible today, and then make that a real solution. With a hyper focus on real results, not academic theory or just self promotion. We have a very diverse team of people who want to do great work that makes a real difference. Our environment respects and leverages that diversity and challenges teams to learn together to really understand those emotional triggers and needs.

Once we can identify those root causes with emotional insights, we can imagine completely new approaches to delivering experiences, and we can prototype models to show how that is possible today. The translation of all this to real-world examples is what will set us apart going forward.

How will this new approach at The Plus make an impact for clients? For healthcare patients?

For patients, we strongly believe that relevant creative experiences addressing true emotional needs will consistently help people better manage their overall health and wellness. We know those gaps are out there as a recent Havas Group Meaningful Brands survey showed that in US healthcare, over 50% of consumers and doctors were searching online for issues related to emotional needs.

For clients, we believe that we can deliver more precise, meaningful content, and experiences faster and more efficiently. In spending the majority of my career as a client, I was always looking to better understand what content and programs were actually working for our customers, but I only really had activity data to use to try and assess effectiveness. If I had available what we can do now, I would have dramatically changed the programs I was investing in.

How’d you come up with the name “Havas Health Plus?”

We had a contest with our team to share their ideas for the name and the spirit behind the name. There were actually two employees that came up with The Plus. Their input along with trusted feedback from other leaders and employees across Havas Health & You helped us land on Havas Health Plus with our tagline, “Go Beyond.”

What will be the initial offerings at The Plus?

We will offer brand building and implementation services across health and wellness at a brand, franchise, and company level. This will leverage our deep Rx experience, but also offer services for digital health tools and other non-Rx emerging health-and-wellness solutions. In addition, we will offer a very novel innovation as a service model through building on learnings from the Havas Health & You Digital Outcomes Lab. Finally, we will prioritize a very strong commitment to pro bono services for causes that our team feels passionate about, as that is a critical value of our entire team, consistent with the values at Havas Health & You globally.

Any future plans that you can share?

We are practicing what we preach in terms of how we operate the business and address the needs of our team to help them do their best work. We have a laser focus on identifying and leveraging individual strengths, on diversity of talent and experience, and on changing/challenging day-to-day norms like email and meetings to create the best possible environment for our teams.

We want our team to be focused on driving performance, working with agility, and creating with purpose. Everything we do at The Plus will be to foster that type of environment. And we aren’t afraid to get things wrong so in the future I expect to have a lot more real-world learnings to share on our progress in terms of what’s working and what isn’t working for our people.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Today there is significant focus and dialogue on the changes and shifts in our industry and what model will be the best one to compete and win going forward. At Havas Health Plus we respect a lot of the existing and the emerging models out there and also respect a lot of the great work that our direct and indirect competitors do.

As a team, we have landed in a place that if we can do the kind of work that our people are the most passionate about, it will result in work that will stand out for our clients and build a very nice business along the way. Through all the other trends and buzzwords out there today, the fundamental premise of let great people do great work, really resonates with us.

“How are you?” may be one of the most daunting questions in healthcare, but a new offering from Havas Health & You aims to uncover the emotional triggers that inspire scalable, transformative experiences and to make a difference in human connectivity and healthy lifestyles.

Havas Health Plus is a first-of-its-kind creative agency created to address the emotional drivers in healthcare. Using advanced algorithms and analysis, Havas Health Plus aims to understand and address the emotional triggers––what makes people do or choose something––to build better user experiences and creative communications.

We spoke with Dennis Urbaniak, CEO of Havas Health Plus and Chief Digital Officer at Havas Health & You about the new offering, technology and emotions, and what’s missing in the healthcare industry.

"Emotions and technology go hand in hand now to deliver immersive sensory experiences in ways that never could have been done before."

How do technology and emotions go hand in hand?

Emotions and technology go hand in hand now to deliver immersive sensory experiences in ways that never could have been done before.

Through simple tools like apps, we can introduce music to in clinical management plans to significantly affect outcomes. Multiple social platforms allow for live streaming at a one-to-one or group level, bringing the person to in an experience even when they are miles away. The multitude of sensors across many different tracking platforms can visualize a person’s vital signs and mood over time, helping to understand key causal and correlative triggers of behavior.

It’s a fascinating time as all of this is starting to be applied to health and wellness.

What is emotional technology?

Emotional technology is any technology that is applied in a systematic method to do two really important jobs. The first job is to better understand and identify emotional triggers of behavior. The second job is to use that understanding to develop more relevant content and services that address the emotional needs of people managing their health and wellness. It’s a fundamental priority on the creative need and creative output driving the technology. The tech gives us scale, but the creative emotion gives us relevance and that is what matters.

In a recent interview on Medium you said that there is something “fundamentally missing not just from agencies, but really the entire health care system.” What’s missing?

What’s missing is an acknowledgment that people living with health conditions didn’t choose to have them.

It’s a very basic insight that should be obvious, but for years the industry has been focused on functional, scientific, mass-market benefits. And while those functional benefits are important, if I don’t understand where an individual is emotional, I cannot effectively help them.

I learned this years ago working on a study of “noncompliant” breast cancer patients in a major urban setting in the US. Despite the promise of an amazing new therapy for a particularly lethal form of breast cancer, many patients enrolled in trials didn’t come into the clinic for their treatment, thus, they were labeled “noncompliant.” However, when you actually met those patients, you learned that the clinics were not convenient to travel to in terms of time and location. When challenged with the choice of spending money on bus fare and losing hours at work that took food away from their family, these individuals chose their family above their own health.

The system was noncompliant, not those individuals. Once you have that insight, there are a wealth of possible ways to effectively address that problem.

"In US healthcare, over 50% of consumers and doctors were searching online for issues related to emotional needs."

How does Havas Health Plus fill that void?

We go beyond to find those possibilities, to completely reimagine what’s possible today, and then make that a real solution. With a hyper focus on real results, not academic theory or just self promotion. We have a very diverse team of people who want to do great work that makes a real difference. Our environment respects and leverages that diversity and challenges teams to learn together to really understand those emotional triggers and needs.

Once we can identify those root causes with emotional insights, we can imagine completely new approaches to delivering experiences, and we can prototype models to show how that is possible today. The translation of all this to real-world examples is what will set us apart going forward.

How will this new approach at The Plus make an impact for clients? For healthcare patients?

For patients, we strongly believe that relevant creative experiences addressing true emotional needs will consistently help people better manage their overall health and wellness. We know those gaps are out there as a recent Havas Group Meaningful Brands survey showed that in US healthcare, over 50% of consumers and doctors were searching online for issues related to emotional needs.

For clients, we believe that we can deliver more precise, meaningful content, and experiences faster and more efficiently. In spending the majority of my career as a client, I was always looking to better understand what content and programs were actually working for our customers, but I only really had activity data to use to try and assess effectiveness. If I had available what we can do now, I would have dramatically changed the programs I was investing in.

How’d you come up with the name “Havas Health Plus?”

We had a contest with our team to share their ideas for the name and the spirit behind the name. There were actually two employees that came up with The Plus. Their input along with trusted feedback from other leaders and employees across Havas Health & You helped us land on Havas Health Plus with our tagline, “Go Beyond.”

What will be the initial offerings at The Plus?

We will offer brand building and implementation services across health and wellness at a brand, franchise, and company level. This will leverage our deep Rx experience, but also offer services for digital health tools and other non-Rx emerging health-and-wellness solutions. In addition, we will offer a very novel innovation as a service model through building on learnings from the Havas Health & You Digital Outcomes Lab. Finally, we will prioritize a very strong commitment to pro bono services for causes that our team feels passionate about, as that is a critical value of our entire team, consistent with the values at Havas Health & You globally.

Any future plans that you can share?

We are practicing what we preach in terms of how we operate the business and address the needs of our team to help them do their best work. We have a laser focus on identifying and leveraging individual strengths, on diversity of talent and experience, and on changing/challenging day-to-day norms like email and meetings to create the best possible environment for our teams.

We want our team to be focused on driving performance, working with agility, and creating with purpose. Everything we do at The Plus will be to foster that type of environment. And we aren’t afraid to get things wrong so in the future I expect to have a lot more real-world learnings to share on our progress in terms of what’s working and what isn’t working for our people.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Today there is significant focus and dialogue on the changes and shifts in our industry and what model will be the best one to compete and win going forward. At Havas Health Plus we respect a lot of the existing and the emerging models out there and also respect a lot of the great work that our direct and indirect competitors do.

As a team, we have landed in a place that if we can do the kind of work that our people are the most passionate about, it will result in work that will stand out for our clients and build a very nice business along the way. Through all the other trends and buzzwords out there today, the fundamental premise of let great people do great work, really resonates with us.

Sulaiman Beg is Havas' Director of Global Internal Communications. He has never eaten canned tuna fish.

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