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Blog Posts (62)

  • Healthcare Vending Machines

    I know there are places in the world with quite advanced vending machine technologies and options, but as we bear witness to the consumerization of American healthcare, I can’t help but wonder what vending machines for self-enabled care look like. Yes, vending machines offering band-aids and PPE are not new, but what does it look like for healthcare products that are often caught in the crossfires of politics to be as easy to obtain as a bottle soda or bag of chips? As a consumer driven society, we love a convenient, on-demand service. And while the technology, privacy and safety concerns remain, I do think normalizing healthcare vending machines could bring us one step closer to accessible healthcare, bodily integrity and healthier communities. Here’s what I want to see in a healthcare vending machine: Reproductive & Sexual Care: Abortion pills and PrEP There have been several instances of vending machines providing Plan B, but what about abortion pills or PreP? With a vending machine that provides mifepristone, you can enter an access code or swipe your insurance card and get the medication you need right now. Or maybe you’re traveling and forgot your PreP. With a quick entering of your medical record, you can select the medication you’re prescribed to keep you healthy and safe. Push a button, get your medication. Maybe it can be that easy! Harm Reduction: Narcan With the recent FDA approval of OTC nasal narcan, having this life saving medication in a vending machine could dramatically reduce overdose deaths with a simple push of a button. This is not a new concept; narcan vending machines exist, so perhaps we’ll start seeing the product being offered alongside bottled water and chips? Diagnostics: COVID19 tests, STD tests, pregnancy tests and more If there’s no pharmacy or health clinic nearby, vending machines could provide easy access for basic diagnostics. In rural locations or underserved areas, a vending machine that offers diagnostic tests could be the first point of care for someone who needs more information but is unable to get to a clinic or has reliable connection for a telehealth visit. From COVID19 tests to personalized testing (i.e. everlywell), healthcare vending machines can empower individuals with more information about their health while scaling access and intervention. Consumer healthcare is here and it’s only going to get more integrated with our lives. If we want to increase healthcare access and equity, we need to consider all possible options. Vending machines are easy to use and are becoming more technologically advanced, so that perhaps we can live in a world where healthcare really is as simple as pressing a button. Ari Mostov is a healthcare narrative strategist and principal of WellPlay. A Hollywood veteran, Ari brings her entertainment expertise to healthcare, creating a new narrative for health. Learn more at

  • To build the future of healthcare, we need an irresistible story.

    Recently, I attended NextMed Health 2023, a conference that shares the “now, near and next of healthcare”. Lots of new terms were introduced by people who are building the future of healthcare, but how do we incorporate those terms into everyone else’s story — where they are now? For those of us who can’t see the future of healthcare because we are drowning in challenges in the present (insert any healthcare problem here), what story do we need in order to move us all towards the future? I learned early on in my life that stories have power. When I was 15, I entered a storytelling contest on a whim, thinking it was some marketing scheme to get new sign ups or maybe a free magazine subscription. Turns out, I won that story contest and it changed my life forever — resulting in a horse, a career in Hollywood and even a husband. Suffice to say, fairytales do happen and we should never underestimate the power of stories. We know stories are powerful and transformative, yet how can we use stories to bridge the gap between where we are now and where we want to be going? In William Gibson’s words (which were quoted several times on the NextMed stage), “the future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed.” The most disruptive and life-changing technologies for healthcare already exist, but we continue to struggle with adopting and scaling them, unleashing their true potential so everyone can experience the future of healthcare now. The future of healthcare is here for a select few. Yet, we can use stories as a vehicle to bring the future to everyone, transforming the “now, near, next” to “here, there, and everywhere”. From Ineffable to Inevitable As a narrative strategist, I help transform the ineffable into the inevitable. I work with groups to develop a new actionable story, providing a North Star as they navigate the unknown and build a desired future. If the future is a destination, then we need narrative strategy to get us there. Here are the three major phases of narrative strategy that we can use to create a new story for the future of healthcare — one that is embraced by everyone. Step 1: Story-listening Everyone has their own story. We are all unique, living our own lives in our own way. With story-listening, we hold space for the stories people are in, listening to and bearing witness to their current realities. Navigating complexity and nuance are key here as we begin to understand everyone’s individual story, fully comprehending the context they are in. Think of story-listening as the start of a road trip. You are currently at your starting location. Maybe you’re the driver. Maybe you’re the passenger. Maybe you don’t even have a car. Your perspective on where you are right now is unique to you. But if you want your friends to also come along this road trip, you need to know where they’re starting and recognize that their starting point is not identical to yours. Step 2: Participatory Storytelling Once we’ve fully witnessed the stories people are in, we start identifying the threads of similarity. What themes are common amongst all these individual stories? How can we recognize what is true for everyone? Working with the individuals, we weave these threads together, telling a collective story that has been crafted by the very people who are most affected by it. Continuing with our road trip metaphor, once identifying where all your road trip pals are located, in order to get us all into the car and on the road to where we’re going we need directions. Like a GPS, participatory storytelling identifies your current location and gives you the directions to get to your destination. To get more technical, just as GPS uses your location data to give you a step by step guide, participatory storytelling identifies the shared data between all participants and synthesizes it into a way forward. Step 3: Responsive Story-living A well told story is irresistible. It immerses an individual completely in what’s happening in that very moment. As Veteran Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde puts it “There’s a way in which immersion is a very primal concept, something that happens to us regardless, even if a good storyteller is just telling you a story with his mouth. If that story is well told, you’re gone. You’re in it.” Story-living is when you are fully immersed in a story, and that story becomes your new reality. And while this new story has captivated us into new possibilities, it can’t remain static. It must be responsive to changes, updated when things are inevitably disrupted. Once your road trip crew arrives at your target destination, this becomes your new location. You are no longer on the road, but are now at the desired spot you’ve been yearning for. Welcome, you are now story-living! Ultimately, if we want to bring the future of healthcare to everyone, we must craft an irresistible story. An irresistible story that recognizes where we are now with our diverse experiences and shared desires, while guiding us to a story worth living. Ari Mostov is a healthcare narrative strategist and principal of WellPlay. A Hollywood veteran, Ari brings her entertainment expertise to healthcare, creating a new narrative for health. Learn more at

  • The TV Will See You Now

    As TVs become smarter and healthcare becomes more intimate with our at home lives, we are starting to experience the ultimate consumer health experience: health entertainment. Looking towards Samsung’s bold healthcare strategy, which now includes health monitoring for using “ remote photoplethysmography (rPPG), an intelligent computer vision technology that assesses vital signs by detecting changes in facial skin color caused by heartbeats” as well as their partnership with a virtual care provider HealthTap, the infrastructure is in place for healthcare to be as easy as turning on the evening news or watching Sunday night football. Yet even with better technology and digital services, will audiences use their favorite silver screen as a tool for better health? Will these health services delivered through our TVs even be used? That’s the tricky thing about consumer health. We don’t want to engage with anything too clinical or pathologizing. We don’t want to be reminded of all the things “wrong” with us, even if it impacts our health and quality of life. The US Healthcare system is punitive and alienating, any whiff of “you are a bad patient” will send us running to the hills. But we do engage with these topics in one unusual place: entertainment. Beyond Awareness From The Last of Us’s plausible pandemic plot to Grey’s Anatomy’s impact on breast cancer screenings, entertainment has been able to engage audiences through compelling storytelling and relatable characters. From must-see medical and sci-fi dramas to our favorite characters navigating their own health plot lines, television programming has a unique ability to raise awareness of health issues and even induce action. But now, with smart TVs that offer health monitoring and virtual care, it’s possible that our viewing habits can transform into health habits. Entertainment that Heals TVs with health capabilities can only really make a difference if they are paired with our favorite stories. Imagine watching Ted Lasso, a show lauded for its approach to mental health, and in particular, the characters’ challenges with therapy. While watching the episode, you’ve enabled your Samsung Neo QLED’s camera to monitor your vitals. As the show progresses, your heart rate increases, reflecting the emotions and conflicts your favorite character goes through that feel oddly familiar to your own. In one scene, Ted is experiencing a panic attack. You recognize his state as something you may have experienced before. The episode ends and before the credits rolls, a pop up from the TV queries “your stress index levels were elevated, would you like to speak to a healthcare professional?” Right in the moment when your body is responding to your favorite character’s challenge, an option to access care is readily available. With a click, you are connected to a health professional and grant them access to your vitals from the TV’s health monitoring. From watching Ted Lasso to meeting with a healthcare professional, your viewing habits have just been transformed into care. You’ve just experienced health entertainment. This is just one hypothetical scenario of how TV entertainment can be a point of care. Another opportunity is to pair the TV’s health monitoring capabilities with video games, with some now being granted FDA approval for treatment of conditions. Being able to monitor your vitals while playing your favorite game can help capture more health data, tailoring care to suit your needs. How cool would it be if your virtual care doctor were able to analyze your playtime vitals and prescribe a video game to improve your health? Or better yet, as smart TVs advance and health monitoring is expanded to track health behaviors, we can watch TV shows or play video games that increase our physical activity, regulate our emotions, or even quit smoking. With all these health possibilities, we can’t lose track of the most important ingredient: storytelling. Without a great story, our attention will quickly drift elsewhere. Even with great hardware and services, we won’t engage with health unless it’s a story we want to be a part of. Ari Mostov is an award-winning entertainment producer and healthcare narrative strategist. She brings her entertainment expertise to healthcare to create a new narrative for health. Learn more at

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Other Pages (10)

  • Unlocking Innovation: Narrative Strategy

    Home Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions More New Things Are Coming In the meantime, check out: The 90 Minute Narrative ​ ​ Follow along LinkedIn Medium You can reach me here. ​ ​ Narrative Strategy: Storytelling for Outcomes Read the latest white paper from award- winning producer and strategist, Ari Mostov. See how narrative strategy can help you navigate disruption and deliver outcomes. Name Email Company Position Download Narrative Strategy White Paper

  • Speakership | WellPlay

    Speakership A Hollywood veteran, Ari brings the best of storytelling to the stage. She transforms complex, challenging topics into entertaining experiences that mobilize audiences. With a commitment to scaling healing, Ari cultivates a unique opportunity for audiences to engage with uncertainty and confidently navigate the unknown. ​ Selected Presentations Navigate Disruption Use narrative strategy to navigate the unknown. ​ ​ Ideal for: category disrupters, STEM leaders, policymakers. Lessons from Hollywood Transform audiences into fans with entertainment. ​ Ideal for: product, design and sales teams. Command Complexity Bring clarity, engagement and action to complex challenges. ​ Ideal for: STEM leaders, cross-functional teams and PMOs. Don't see a presentation that's right for you? Contact Ari to discuss a custom proposal. "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." - Carl Sagan To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Previous engagementS Ready to be wowed? Schedule a free 30 minute discovery call I'M READY Home Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions Let's Connect Based in Los Angeles, California First Name Email Last Name Subject Leave us a message... Submit We'll be in touch. Follow Us Twitter Medium LinkedIn

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