Sometimes an idea seems just soooo obvious…once somebody’s finally thought of it!
Not like “pet rocks”, which still seems an impossible multi-million-dollar concept. More like sliced bread or the wheel. Both of the latter ideas seem so downright apparent, it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when people went without. Yet, there was a time when luggage was dragged and uncut loaves ruled.
Today, I’m going to make a prediction: in the not-too-distant future, people will think it bizarre that there was ever a time when health education was not entwined with entertainment.
Think about it. What is more boring than a pamphlet discussing the importance of pulmonary toilet? (Yes, there is such a term.) What is less interesting than a talking head video of some non-charismatic medical muckety-muck making the topic of colon care even less inviting? Health knowledge and healthcare education have long been made just so boring and so bland that most folks tune out before the first sentence hits its period.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Just like today’s big bakeries, the current healthcare behemoth can deliver better “bread” – sliced and ready for sandwich-making – with just a little extra effort.
Healthcare concepts can be made easy to understand, as long as the medical messenger is willing to remember that lingo needs humanized and big words need translated. Sure, talking doc to doc or nurse to tech or some medico to some other medico, lingo and acronyms speed communication. But, when you want to bring someone unfamiliar with the technical terminology to a new understanding, you need to remember to speak in their “native tongue” (i.e., normal “human-ese”.)
Tie an ongoing awareness and sensitivity of language barriers together with the engagement value of entertainment and suddenly you’ve got something! When people are entertained, they’ll listen. When they understand what’s being said, they just might remember it. When they “get it” and get a laugh or two, you can almost guarantee they’ll walk away wiser and maybe even willing to engage again.
That’s what Health Nut Media is all about – tying entertainment to easily understood healthcare knowledge. We believe it’s one of those sliced bread-type ideas. We take complex healthcare topics and break them into bit-sized portions using language that is easy to understand. We use entertainment and fun via animation and games. Then, we provide it using the tools that people have shown they enjoy: video, games, and apps. Give people what they need, how they need it, with a little laughter and watch them engage!
Basically, that was the genius behind Sesame Street®. They revolutionized early childhood learning by making it really fun. It seems hard today to believe learning the ABCs was ever anything but engaging fun. We’re looking to have that same impact on healthcare education, medical literacy, lifestyle choices, and, hopefully, long term health outcomes.
I think our future selves will look back on this idea of tying entertainment to health education as one of those “duh” concepts; it’ll one day be hard to believe we ever tried to understand healthcare any other way.
Dr. Gregg, October 5, 2011