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  • 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

  • What if McDonald's did Healthcare?

    I often thought about what it would look like if McDonald’s became a point of care? With their recent expansion news, it seems as good a time as any to indulge our imaginations and imagine a world where McDonald’s was a part of our health journey. For instance, when COVID19 vaccinations started rolling out, I imagined a McDonald’s drive-thru lane turning into a vaccine destination. Here’s your COVID19 shot, would you like fries with that? And while logistically — COVID19 safety concerns and all– this would be an unlikely option, I couldn’t help but wonder what the most ubiquitous fast food chain could accomplish. With over 38,000 restaurants and locations in over 100 countries, McDonald’s has mastered scalability and customer service, becoming synonymous with “ease”. Is that not what we want for healthcare? Now, to take a fast food chain like McDonald’s and consider it a part of the healthcare ecosystem sounds quite outlandish. McDonald’s is not known for its nutritious meals and is probably more associated with causing health issues than providing care. But there’s no denying that McDonald’s already has the consumer engagement — the type that healthcare so desperately needs. We can work with that. So what would a McDonald’s point of care look like? Let’s take a dine-in example. You walk into McDonald’s for a quick bite, perhaps a coffee for your morning commute or a snack after a long day at the office. The menu overhead offers you some options and you notice a special menu that’s listed as “diabetes friendly”. It’s a list of items curated by a dietician that makes your decision-making a little easier. You order a dietician-approved snack and wait for your number to be called. While waiting by the soda fountain, a blood pressure kiosk beckons you over. You sit down, have your blood pressure read and by the time its done your food is ready. You see that your blood pressure is a little high and you ask the kiosk to send the readings to your email . Once receiving the blood pressure readings, you grab your food, fill your drink at the soda fountain and see a list of local community health services. You scan the QR code, unlocking a free coupon for a McDonald’s drink when you get your flu shot at one of the community health providers. Drink and food in hand, you head off on your day, but with a little more health resources at your disposal thanks to your McDonald’s pit stop. What always strike me about McDonald’s was how it acted as a destination for families. I remember watching a father buy his daughter an afterschool snack and then watching her play in the indoor kid’s playground. Now what if there was exercise equipment set up, so that father could get in a few reps while his daughter plays? Oh, and don’t forget wifi. McDonald’s provides a reliable wifi connection, making it a surprisingly good choice for people on the move. So if people are frequenting McDonald’s for food, play and wifi service, couldn’t McDonalds become a health resource too? I’m not saying McDonald’s is the ideal health partner. But it is a uniquely American company that understands American consumers and could perhaps be a part of the solution to America’s healthcare headache. Instead of admonishing people for eating at McDonald’s, it’s time we used their sources of comfort and routine to encourage healthy choices. If McDonald’s can pioneer fast food, what’s stopping them from creating a new way to experience health?

  • Narrative Strategy: A Compass for Disruption

    A pervasive, master narrative in the US is that people with addictions are at fault for their condition. “Master narratives,” as research psychologists Kate McLean and Moin Syed have defined them, are “culturally shared stories that guide thoughts, beliefs, values and behaviors.” They are seemingly omnipresent yet invisible, defining what is and isn’t possible. But through the use of personal storytelling, stories of people struggling with addiction have given us greater context and clarity to the addiction crisis, helping break down the master narrative into human experiences — changing attitudes, cultures and even policy. It’s through personal storytelling that we can create a new narrative, expanding the confines of the status quo, and turn what seemed impossible into a better reality. As a narrative strategist, I help teams navigate the master narratives of society, culture and industry, while using personal stories to change the status quo. Working with diverse stakeholders, we co-design a new narrative — one that disrupts the master narrative and provides a desirable alternative. As Julie Hosler describes it, “narrative strategy builds a bridge between the author and the protagonist, allowing the shaping of the story to be placed in the hands of the person who is most affected.” Narrative strategy is a participatory design process that crafts an empowering narrative for stakeholders; mobilizing them for action and bringing everyone along a shared journey for desired outcomes. Narrative strategy uses the pillars of rhetoric to transform an idea into action. Aristotle’s rules of persuasion — ethos “credibility”, pathos ‘emotion’, logos ‘logic’ — allows us to harness a narrative’s power into an engine for change. Yet the narrative is not a static document, but rather, through participatory design, an actionable guide for implementation. Since stakeholders craft a shared story that empowers each individual with their own role within the narrative, the narrative induces action. Everyone knows what part they play in the new narrative, but better yet, they want to be involved, since they helped craft it in the first place. Ownership of the narrative is key. With narrative strategy, stakeholders build a North Star for their new narrative. North Star Narrative © Ari Mostov The North Star is then used through the three stages of stakeholder activation, engage-align-mobilize to transform intent into action. Stakeholder Activation © Ari Mostov This collective story, powered by rhetoric, guides the strategy into the desired outcome. This could be creating a cultural paradigm shift, launching a new category-disruptive product, or designing scalable solutions for the most complex problems. The narrative strategy breaks through the vice of unhealthy behaviors, outdated attitudes and mundane policies to catalyze lasting change. Narrative Strategy Narrative Strategy © Ari Mostov With narrative strategy, intent becomes action and vision yields outcomes. Everyone knows what story they are in and where they are going. The North Star narrative provides them with direction when things are clouded in ambiguity or complexity — a compass for disruption. Narrative strategy allows us to “solve for x”, helping us to find solutions, even when there are no answers. As our world becomes more complex and disruptive, the status quo will no longer serve us. To achieve new outcomes, we must embrace new narratives. To create sustainable change, we must co-design a future story that we all can be a part of. 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. Her strategic narrative and engagement designs improve outcomes for health seekers worldwide. Learn more at

  • Who Are We Innovating For?

    So much of today’s “innovation” focuses on incremental product improvements — shiny, new features for products that have been around for decades but don’t truly transform our paradigms. Innovation is supposed to be the cure all for what ails us, but if we’re still subscribing to the status quo, have we experienced innovation at all? A true innovation transforms power and resources. When I work with innovators, we find a lever that shifts the dominant narrative, creating a new story where everyone can thrive. Often these levers do involve existing technologies, but they are applied in surprising and unorthodox ways. It requires a deep reflective and inclusive design practice, unlearning our ideas of what successful innovation even looks like. But most importantly, when we desire to create something with lasting impact, we have to ask ourselves: who are we innovating for? Here are some of the innovative companies I’m seeing that are answering that question boldly: Cognixion Cognixion has leveraged augmented reality to transform communication for individuals with disabilities. Cognixion’s “assistive reality” products provide individuals with a communication resource, increasing participation amongst those who are often left out. Instead of using augmented reality to embellish our world, Cognixion has created a new category of augmented reality that expands access and ability to those who have been left behind. When more individuals are able to participate, I consider that an effective innovation. Bliss Bliss is the first finance application I’ve found that leverages an existing financial instrument to better serve those who are often marginalized. Bliss, which caters towards transgender individuals, but is also expanding to serve survivors of violence, uses treasury bills to build financial independence. For many, having their money in treasury bills is the first introduction to investment, and I personally think it’s an easy on ramp to understanding and growing wealth. Bliss has other phenomenal benefits, but using something as overlooked as treasury bills to help vulnerable people enter the investment space gives greater depth to what’s possible in innovation. Vot-ER Vot-ER is pioneering voting as a social innovation, bringing voter registration to healthcare visits. Founded by ER physician Dr. Alister Martin, vot-ER is leading the way in civic health, demonstrating the impact voter registration has on healthcare and health outcomes. Voting has been an overlooked tool in community care, but with Vot-ER’s voter registration badges, clinicians can help their patients beyond the clinic. Innovations that expand access and power to more individuals don’t necessarily need new technology. Often we just need new thinking and a new approach to transform our ordinary way of doing things into something extraordinary. As we continue our pursuit of innovation, I encourage every innovator to take a moment and reflect on who they are really innovating for? If we continue to chase gizmos and gadgets that only help those who already have power and resources, will we ever be able to see the full potential of innovation? Innovation, at its core, is an opportunity to do things better. But better isn’t enough. We must use innovation so that we can create efficient, effective and sustainable solutions so everyone — not just the few– can thrive. Ari Mostov is a narrative strategist. She helps companies navigate disruption through the power of story, bringing her entertainment expertise to innovation. Learn more at

  • Electric Vehicles: Charge Your Car, Charge Your Health

    With the Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure improving each day and the hype for better charging station rest stops coming towards fruition, it’s time we take full advantage of our next great American road trip revolution: rest stop healthcare. While waiting for my Chevy Bolt to charge this past weekend, I couldn’t help but notice what a unique opportunity charging stations offer for our healthcare needs. EV charging does, at the moment, require more time than a simple gas fill up. But what time you spend waiting on the charge is easily made up for with lower costs and more efficient vehicles. Plus, as a road trip nation, we love a good rest stop. We love to stop to stretch our legs, see local roadside attractions, and get some shopping done. So while we’re waiting on our cars to charge, let’s take advantage of this precious time and charge up our health as well. What would this look like? Well, we could take a page out of Tulsa’s gas stations that offer urgent care clinics and start offering them at charging stations. Or we could lean into the wellness and fitness side of things, especially since driving is such a sedentary activity. Like public outdoor gym equipment for adults right next to a playground for kids, along with designated areas for yoga or meditation. Or how about health kiosks that check your vitals inside the fast-food chain? Or a pharmacy that fills your prescription while your car charges? Another added benefit is we’d be expanding healthcare services to underserved areas. Many small towns along major driving routes have just a handful of services available to them, with the closest hospital usually far away. If EV rest stops offer more than just coffee and charging, local residents could have easier access to care thanks to the new infrastructure investment. There’s plenty of existing healthcare designs we could incorporate into our rest stop EVolution. If we’re investing in making each EV charging station an oasis with lounges, wifi and shopping, why not dig a little deeper and include healthcare services as well? Ari Mostov is a healthcare narrative strategist, working with healthcare innovators to create a new narrative for health. Learn more at

  • Crafting Behavior Change

    One way to describe a story is: a character wants something but there are obstacles in their way that they must overcome. Behavior change is similar. We want to change our behavior to reach a desired outcome, but there are obstacles in our way. Behavior change is not always straightforward, but if we lean into our natural storytelling tendencies, maybe, we can make it easier. I see the world through the lens of story, having built a career producing stories for TV, film and games. So when I work on behavior change designs for clients, I always start with identifying who is the main character and what do they want? For instance, let’s take Disney’s Moana. Our main character is 16 year old Moana, daughter of the Chief of Motunui. She wants to save her people from the blight that is infecting their island home. We have a main character and her desire — we know who’s story this is and what’s driving them to take action. But there are, inevitably, obstacles. For Moana, she must learn to navigate the open ocean, find and convince demi-god Maui to join her on her quest, and confront the fiery demon Te Ka. In behavior change design, this is where we start identifying the barriers that get in the way of our user’s desire. How can the main character, Moana, overcome these obstacles? Interestingly, each time Moana is about to give up and declare herself unfit to pursue her desire in the face of these obstacles, she receives social support from either her grandmother or the Ocean spirit, reminding her of her initial desire but also her capability. With their social support reinforcing her desire, Moana overcomes the challenges and restores the heart of TeFiti and saves her people. Moana has finally gotten what she wants, with her behavior changing along the way. When designing for behavior change, it’s not enough to identify the obstacles to the desired outcome — we must also create social support that reinforces the initial desire of the user. Think of Alcoholics Anonymous, one of the most successful behavior change interventions. It’s not a particular high tech behavior design intervention. What it is is a story support system, where fellow addicts help each other overcome their own obstacles through the reinforcement of their initial desires. When we start looking at behavior change design through the lens of story, we can see a more complete picture of the user, their desire and the obstacles they face. But more so, we can help thread social support systems into the main character’s story, noticing the gaps of positive reinforcement when their desire is not enough. We can then help craft a new story, one where the main character finally gets what they desire. When designing for behavior change, ask yourself: Who’s story is this? What story are they in? And how can we help the main character craft a new story where they reach their desired outcome? Ari Mostov is a healthcare narrative strategist, working with healthcare innovators to create a new narrative for health. She often has the Moana soundtrack stuck in her head. Learn more at

  • The Innovation Narrative

    Innovation can often feel like a struggle. Especially when you’re leading a team to build something that’s never quite been done before, while also convincing stakeholders to buy-in to something that has no guaranteed success. So you re-read The Innovator’s Dilemma, compile data in support of your proposal, google “innovation success stories” and somehow come across this blog post. Hi, welcome. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s pause and talk about those “innovation success stories”. Innovation success stories are always about innovations that already exist. From the invention of the wheel to driverless vehicles, these stories recount what has already occurred through the typical story structure: a beginning, middle and end. That’s what stories do — they tell us what happened. The stories we tell about how those great ideas became innovations don’t necessarily guide us as we seek to overcome our innovation struggles. Yet the innovation narrative is different. A narrative is a larger system of stories, woven together with a beginning and middle, but the end has yet to be determined. It has a hoped for end, and a number of individual stories that support it, yet it’s evolving. And with innovation, when we are creating and implementing something new, we cannot know the end state ahead of time. We have an idea, but not certainty. We must evolve, tapping into what we do know, and following that journey of ideation to implementation. The innovation narrative guides us in the innovation process, providing engagement, alignment and mobilization to deliver new value. It’s a mechanism for agility and motivation, giving companies the North Star they need to transform a desire into reality. Here are three ways the innovation narrative can support you and your team: Engagement One of the most challenging aspects of innovation is engagement. If you’re an organization that is struggling to get support for a new endeavor, or your team is overwhelmed with their other tasks, a narrative provides an effective tool to grab everyone’s attention and cut through the noise. As Caroline Bartel and Raghu Garud note, “innovation narratives are powerful mechanisms for translating ideas across the organization so that they are comprehensible.” With the innovation narrative, complex ideas are made relevant and compelling, helping everyone prioritize the project. Alignment Another key asset of the innovation narrative is the ability to develop consensus and direction. Innovation invites diversity, tangential thinking and association. It requires the ability to embrace possibilities, while also finding a way forward. A narrative is able to find commonality, framing multiple perspectives into a cohesive, aligned strategy. As Carl Rhodes and Andrew Brown argue, “[innovation] narratives frame ambiguity, complexity, and even paradoxical situations in an approachable way by visualizing possibilities Mobilization Most critically, the innovation narrative goes beyond the hype and promise of what’s possible, and instead mobilizes the organization to deliver their innovation goals. Francesco Zurlo and Cabirio Cautela write,“the [innovation] narrative acts as a tool that the company uses to implement innovation processes. In the current competitive context dominated by open innovation, where the companies become permeable to spurs, ideas, technologies, and relationships, the ability to structure the narrative becomes fundamental in attracting the resources and relationships necessary for the company’s competitive and innovative goals.” The innovation narrative becomes a part of the company’s culture and behavior, transforming the day-to-day operations into an engine for value creation. Through the power of narrative, innovation is not an ad-hoc, wishful-thinking approach to competitiveness, but rather a paradigm shift in the “how-to” and “why” of the company. The innovation narrative provides guidance and meaning for each individual, team and organization to create what has yet to exist. While storytelling is essential for celebrating successful innovations, it’s narrative that provides the fertile ground for innovation to be realized. With the innovation narrative, we are able to engage, align and mobilize throughout the innovation process. Too often innovations are lost in the unpredictability of human interaction, trounced by competing demands and vague goals. With the innovation narrative, we can always find our North Star, and keep moving towards that new reality. Acknowledgement: A special thank you to Matthew Lewis for his feedback, Jennifer Kenny for the mentorship and groundbreaking work in innovation, and researchers Rebecca Price, Judy Matthew and Cara Wrigley. Ari Mostov is a narrative strategist, creating innovation narratives for category disruptive companies. Learn more at *updated August 30, 2023

  • Unique Value Propositions for Healthcare

    By now, you’ve probably heard about UVP or Unique Value Proposition. This is a marketing term that helps you communicate what differentiates your solution from the competition’s. Plenty of great resources exist for crafting a UVP, but there’s an unusual challenge in designing UVPs for healthcare. Healthcare is a complex system with multiple stakeholders. And guess what? You need a UVP for each stakeholder group. Maybe you’ve already cracked the UVP for your target customer. Say you’ve created a medtech device for patients with diabetes. Awesome, the patient knows why your device is unique and what makes it the best fit for them and they decide to use it. But what about the clinicians, the ones caring for the patient? And the payers, the one paying for the device? And the policymakers, the ones granting market access? Does your UVP make sense to them and what they value? Probably not. You need a Unique Value Proposition for each stakeholder group. Because even if your solution is for one stakeholder, you’re not going to find much traction in commercializing your product unless you have designed a UVP for all the players involved. So how do you craft a UVP for each stakeholder, while also remaining true to your product and company? First, you need to know your company’s narrative. What’s your history? Your present? How do you imagine the future and how you will shape it? Next, identify the values of your stakeholders. What clinicians value is slightly different than what patients value. What regulators prioritize will be different than what payers prioritize. Each healthcare stakeholder, although all in the same industry, will have different needs. Then you can start crafting your UVPs based on each stakeholders’ unique context. I recommend using analogies as part of your process, as it provides a quick reference for each specific stakeholder. Yes, healthcare is complex. Yet by developing UVPs for each stakeholder, you are able to agilely respond to their different and emerging needs. By customizing for each stakeholder, you remain relevant and gain their buy-in as you bring your product to market. Craft UVPs that are just as unique as each stakeholder and you will find yourself well on your way to success. Ari Mostov is a healthcare narrative strategist. She helps healthcare leaders navigate disruption through the power of storytelling. To learn more, visit

  • 🌟Brand vs. Narrative 🌟

    I'm often asked if I work on branding. A company, product or person's brand is best thought of as their personality or identity -- something that can help them be easily identified in a crowded field. And while branding is essential, it has it's limits. Companies need a narrative. A company's narrative is a system of stories that align language, comms, culture and functions around a shared purpose. A narrative goes beyond color schemes and catchy slogans -- it's the source of truth for the business. As a narrative strategist, I love helping company's craft their narratives. Ultimately, your narrative informs your brand. So if you find yourself focused on your branding, take a step back and see if you can identify your narrative. Starting with your purpose is always the best step.

  • Input-Process-Output: Meaning Making in the Age of AI

    AI is changing everything, including how we make meaning. Perhaps you’ve stayed up countless nights worrying about your livelihood, or maybe you poked around the internet to experiment with AI and see what it can do for you. Or, you’re an AI evangelist and you can’t get enough. For me, personally, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a writer when AI can do the job for me. And there’s an odd sense of relief, to be honest. No longer do I have to stare at the screen and hope words will appear. I input a prompt to chatGPT, and it outputs a reasonable string of words and phrases that can get the job done. The process of writing is no longer tedious. And for certain writing directed tasks, it’s a marvel worth celebrating. Recently, I challenged myself to write everyday for a month. I’ve been letting my creative writing skills languish and I needed to reclaim my identity as a writer. I had one requirement: it had to be written by me, no help from AI. I decided to write about the future and what it would feel like. You can check it out here. What I discovered during that experiment was how much I love writing. It wasn’t about the outcome. It wasn’t if the writing was any good or pleased others, or accomplished anything (you know, like pay the bills). It simply was a stimulating, visceral experience to put words down on the page and let my imagination take charge. It gave me that beautiful flow state, that gorgeous feeling of perfect alignment and ease, where everything is effortless. It had nothing to do with the input. It had nothing to do with the output. It was all about the process. While AI is taking the process out of all the ways we work and do, I believe we will have to reorient ourselves to making meaning based on what actually feels worthwhile. What gives us a meaning wont be the outcomes we’ve been told to spend our lives chasing. AI will deliver the outcomes, and we’ll just be involved in the periphery of inputs and outputs. But process? The actual doing of the thing — that’s where we can find our meaning. For instance, AI can now produce visual art that rivals professionals. Input into DALL-E or midjourney a prompt and it’s output is an impressive visual. If AI can make art, does that means you should stop creating art? Hell no. Because I promise you, AI can’t experience the joy of creating. Only humans can do that. If the process of creating or doing something brings you satisfaction, do it. Lean in. Embrace every sensation of the process. Think back to when you were a child. What did you do in all your childlike wonder? You likely played, learning about the world and yourself through your senses, through the process of exploration and discovery. It was only with time and cultural conditioning did your focus shift to generating outcomes. Outcomes like monetary value and productivity became your compass for meaning, and now AI is causing you an existential crisis that seems to have no resolution. But I hope you can pause and find what it is that you enjoy creating. What do you want to spend your time doing? What feels best to you? No longer worry about the outcomes. Draw ugly things. Paint weird shit. Write silly love songs. Create with abandon and enjoy the process. It’s essential to our meaning making. *no AI was used or harmed in the creating of this post.

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