The RBV Blog

The people, products, and ideas shaping healthcare today – by Dr. Richard Vanderveer, Chief Innovation Officer, ThinkGen

Virtual/Augmented Reality And Empathy

July 23, 2019

You may remember that a week or so ago, I did a riff on empathy. I discussed the fact that psychologists speak of three forms of empathy. I can cognitively understand what you are going through, or I can actually experience the emotions that you are experiencing, or I can actually be moved to help you with your issues. Or all of the above. 

Let’s take that discussion one step further. Check this out. What you will see and hear in this 3-minute video is Will Garner of Tipping Point Media discussing how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality can be used to create empathy, tightening the bond between representative and physician and between physician and patient. 

Sort of a fascinating discussion, actually. Got me thinking about the post I did on empathy. Got me asking myself the question as to what kinds of empathy VR and AR are actually trying to raise, how successful they will be in doing so and what behaviors might change as a result. My best guess is that while these technologies will attract interest and engagement, which in and of itself is a good thing, they are not likely to increase physician empathy. I am guessing that most Rheumatologists already understand the pain experienced by a rheumatoid arthritis patient and are anxious to help if they can. Similarly, most Ophthalmologists likely “get” the negative impact of macular degeneration and are frankly quite frustrated that there is often not a lot that they can do to help. Does either specialty really “feel” the pain of the patient? No, but that is probably okay.

Bottom Line. As with every potential application of technology, one is left to answer the question “To what end?”  While VR and AR, like many new technologies, are genuinely whiz bang, I increasingly ask questions about where are we going with all this? Clearly, Will’s presentation focuses on the technologies’ ability to increase empathy. But inquiring minds want to know … Then what???

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Richard Vanderveer, Ph.D.

In addition to his blog, Dr. Vanderveer has written numerous articles on innovation in healthcare marketing and marketing research - not only to challenge new thinking, but also to provide specific and practical advice.

Virtual/Augmented Reality And Empathy

July 23, 2019

You may remember that a week or so ago, I did a riff on empathy. I discussed the fact that psychologists speak of three forms

Medicine Through The Eyes Of A Resident: “Less Room For Error”

July 18, 2019

Check this out. When you read the strange title above, you probably thought that in 2019, there is less room for resident physicians to make medical

Habits vs. Goals

July 17, 2019

As most of you already know, I am now spending full time working with my colleague, Dr. Neale Martin, and the rest of the ThinkGen

Most Favored Nature Rx Pricing

July 16, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is an announcement by President Trump that he is “working on” a “favored nation clause” that would cap

“I’ll Put My Cell Phone Away When You Put Your Computer Away!”

July 11, 2019

Picture the reactions of an HCP who is greeted with these words when she walks into an exam room to find her patient’s nose in

Does The Cost Of Insulin Really Keep Patients From Treating Their Diabetes?

July 10, 2019

Check this out.  What you will see is fact checking on Kamala Harris’ recent proclamation that ¼ of Type I Diabetes patients in the U.S. are

What Does A Pharmaceutical Marketer Do With “Empathy?”

July 9, 2019

For that matter, what the heck is “empathy” anyhow?  One of our clients got me thinking about this question when their advertising agency told them they

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Healthcare More “Human?”

June 27, 2019

Funny question, right? But stop for a moment to take it seriously. If AI were to take away much of the grunt work involved in

How Much Will My Heart Attack Cost?

June 26, 2019

Check this out. If you liked yesterday’s riff about the stupidity of requiring DTC drug advertisements to include the medication’s “list” price, you will love

And the Silliness Continues!!!

June 25, 2019

You may recall that a few weeks ago, I sent you to a URL that described the new Federal regulation that will require drug manufacturers

The Folly of Self-Referral

June 18, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is an interesting little riff by The Country Doctor on the topic of self-referral. In it, he points

Hey Big Spender

June 13, 2019

Go here to review some information that will come as no surprise to any television watcher. More specifically, media audits have revealed that the pharmaceutical industry

Nurses Strike!!! Why Not Doctors???

June 12, 2019

Trigger alert. The URL you are about to be sent to contains an article written by a resident physician and published in Left Voice. If

Bezos On Marketing Research-Take Two

June 11, 2019

In a recent post, I sent you to listen to Bob Lederer talk about how Jeff Bezos does not rely on marketing research to come up with

What Does A Burned Out Anesthesiologist Do?

June 6, 2019

Go here to find out. The answer? She sets up a business helping other physicians to avoid or overcome burnout. She holds seminars and webinars. She

Moral Marketing

June 5, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is an important new book that goes to a place that I’m betting most of us, certainly including

This Is Getting A Little Silly!!!

June 4, 2019

What is getting a little silly? See the above graphic. It is HHS Secretary Azar announcing his agency’s Primary Cares Initiative, which has been described

Stop Money Shaming Physicians!!!

May 30, 2019

Here’s a little piece that caught my attention. Why? Because when I got into healthcare marketing research over 40 years ago, it was well recognized

The Cost Of Insulin Is “Through The Roof”

May 29, 2019

Why do people feel compelled to add editorial comments when describing the price of drugs?  Check this out. I always scratch my head when I see

Death By A Thousand Clicks

May 23, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is a URL with one of the longest riffs that I have ever sent you to. I am sorry about

A Little Hypocrisy???

May 22, 2019

Check this out. What you will find is an article informing us that Rite Aid is upping the age requirement to purchase tobacco products to

More Blurred Lines!!!

May 21, 2019

We have often discussed how large sections of health care, that used to be the clear domain of a particular specialty or provider type, are

Understanding The Money Trail

May 16, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is a thoughtful article by a business minded physician. The point of the article? Doctors need to “understand their

Can Patients Be Their Own Scribes???

May 15, 2019

Here is a novel idea from an ER physician who prides himself on being the “Efficient MD.” Rather than have patients sitting for hours aimlessly pouring

Meditations On The Term “Provider”

May 14, 2019

We have touched on this topic before, so I will be brief. Check this out. In previous posts, we have shared the emotions of some blogging

Physician Leadership in a Digital World

May 9, 2019

Check this out.  What you will see is the WEB presence of a physician/entrepreneur who assists physicians in developing their “profitable brands on line.” Just let

Market Research??? No Need!!!

May 8, 2019

Check this out. Based on the graphic above, you can probably guess what you are going to see and here in the latest of RFL’s great

How Do Marketers Bring Value To The HCP???

May 7, 2019

Go here and watch the video. The founder of Elevate Healthcare, pictured above, argues that if HCP’s are going to give us their time, we need

Can You Put Me To Sleep?

May 2, 2019

Check this out.  What you will see are the lamentations of an ER doctor about patients’ requests to be “put to sleep.” There are a couple

From Neuroscience To Behavioral Science

May 1, 2019

Check this out.  What you will see is a report that marketing research giant Nielsen is adding a suite of “Behavioral Science” offerings to the

Caveats Concerning Behavioral Economics

April 30, 2019

Check this out.  What you will find is a very well-reasoned and important piece penned by Koen Smets, the “organization development adviser” pictured here.   As

Bullying In The Medical Profession???

April 25, 2019

This post follows up on my most recent offering, in which I described the legal travails a Neurologist had with her (former) group practice. Today’s post is actually


April 24, 2019

I don’t know what else to say about this case. Check this out. What you will see is an article describing the legal travails of Dr. Diana

Dissatisfaction With A Satisfaction Questionnaire

April 23, 2019

Check this out.  Play the video. What you will hear is the story of customer satisfaction research gone horribly wrong. More specifically, you will hear

Addicted Medical Professionals

April 18, 2019

Numbers are one thing. Like, 10-15% of medical professionals will, at some point in their lives, become involved in substance abuse. But as usual, numbers

The Importance Of Removing Sutures

April 17, 2019

Here is a fascinating little article. Commentary from one surgeon as to why it is so important for the doctor who placed the sutures to

What Family Practice Should Look Like

April 16, 2019

Check this out. Usually when I do a riff on Pamela Wible, M.D., it focuses on her work in understanding and preventing physician burnout and

Please Don’t Tell My Family

April 11, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is an Oncologist’s recounting of the sad story of a 46-year old, non-smoking, active runner, wife and mother.

When Is A Surgeon Too Old To Operate???

April 10, 2019

The FAA requires that airline pilots retire at age 65. Should there be a similar rule for surgeons?  Check this out. What you will learn is

Doctors Need To Shut Up More, Says This Doctor!!!

April 9, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is a thought-provoking article by a physician who is also a freelance writer. In it, he questions the

Death By Patient Satisfaction

April 4, 2019

I’ve done riffs on the craziness of evaluating and compensating physicians based on patient satisfaction before. But you will find new, and humorous, insights on

Is Gastroenterology Just Like Every Other Specialty???

April 3, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is a post that posits that trends that are occurring across healthcare can be viewed as fractal repeats of

What Doctors Can Learn From Taxi Drivers

April 2, 2019

Today, I have for you a one-two punch. I am going to send you to two URL’s. No extra charge. Here is the first one. An


March 27, 2019

  Check this out. What you will find is the story of a physician mother who temporarily loses her young son in a busy department

Tweets, Likes, and Liabilities

March 26, 2019

I can’t top the title that the author of this book serves up, so I am not going to try to conjure up some hokey

Becoming A Healer

March 21, 2019

As most of you know by now, I love words. I am fascinated by words. One of my favorite learnings in undergraduate school was the

gofundme for Medical Bills

March 20, 2019

Check this out. What you will see is a piece that notes that, with increasing frequency, people are turning to crowd sourcing to help cover

I’m An ER Doc and I Have No Friends

March 19, 2019

We have talked about ER docs before. The strains of encountering an endless stream of unknown patients. Dealing with drug seekers. Fuming as they sew

“Next Level” Physicians

March 14, 2019

Check this out.  We have talked about this kind of thing before. But here it comes again. Physicians building “side gig” careers by helping other doctors

Why Can’t Consumers Order Their Own Chest X-Rays???

March 13, 2019

Okay, that question is sort of tongue in cheek. But it reflects the spirit expressed by the MD Whistleblower in this post about consumer genetic testing kits

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