Klick Health

The MUSE Returns to NYC!

VP Strategy

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The Klick-curated MUSE again swept into New York City last week, emblazoning industry conversation and innovation with an all-star showcase of renowned disrupters across art, science, and technology. Let's recap the passionate evening, and keep the spirit of MUSE alive in healthcare!

The latest experiential experiment from Klick Health, MUSE is a modern-day salon that stimulates inspiration and conversation across all the connected disciplines of healthcare. As an immersive installation intersecting art, science, and technology, MUSE has inspired and engaged thousands of industry shapers in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto since debuting over a year ago. Triumphantly returning to the Big Apple last Thursday evening, this latest installment showcased an amazing array of thought leaders, advocates, and special guests—all amid captivating artistic performances, dazzling atmosphere, and incredible culinary masterpieces.

Whether you attended last week or eagerly await the next installment, a quick scan of #KlickMuse gives just a taste of the ideation and passion shared, including the headliner of the evening, Arianna Huffington. “We were thrilled Arianna discussed how health issues caused her to reevaluate success and what it means to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life,” said Klick Health CEO and MUSE Curator, Leerom Segal. “Like all our speakers, she embodies the true meaning of inspiration and reminds us what’s really important.” So let’s recap the evening’s highlights to continue the conversation and generate new possibilities in health.


“An Evening of Inspiration”

Venues for MUSE events are always carefully selected, each chosen to complement and enhance the evening’s unique presenters and participants. For the latest MUSE in New York City, Klick’s Brand Experience team transformed more than 35,000 square feet across three floors within Center548, a classic loft space in Chelsea Arts District just off the Hudson. Inside, the spatial canvas came to life with signature MUSE multisensory immersion featuring wall-sized simulations, dynamic animation, and atmospheric lighting. Interactive installations included a motion-controlled 3D beating heart, and a gesture-activated virtual reality experience inside the human body. “The medium is still the message,” said Peter Flaschner, Head of Customer Experience at Klick. “And so is the mood!”


MUSE venue


Bringing Out the Best

How better to kick off an evening of art, science, and technology than with the original voice of Apple’s Siri? And who better for the most recognizable voice in the world to introduce than Leerom Segal, CEO of Klick and MUSE Curator?




Citing the evening as the 38th anniversary of the death of Dr. Charles Best, co-discoverer of insulin, Leerom welcomed guests with the same spirit of experimentation, disruptive risk-taking, and opportunity that led to one of the greatest medical discoveries in history. Sharing how inspiration never happens in a vacuum, Leerom compared the conditions necessary for Banting and Best’s incredible discovery with the goals of MUSE: To encourage partnership, create an intriguing atmosphere ripe for revolutionary transformation, and spark the creativity and passion that lie at the heart of innovation.


Love That Boy

Leerom then introduced the first of the many inspirational and distinguished speakers, Ron Fournier. The nationally acclaimed senior political columnist discussed his soon-to-be published book that chronicles his sometimes arduous but always rewarding journey with his son, Tyler. Gradually coming to the understanding that he loved Tyler not despite his Asperger’s challenges but because of them, Ron shared a poignant story of how he has embraced his role as caregiver, and learned to appreciate Tyler through the eyes of others. Several unexpectedly funny teachable moments came in, of all places, the White House.




Recounting how he introduced his son to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively, Ron described their very different reactions, with memorable results. The adventures revealed how many of the same qualities that make someone great—tireless intensity, obsessive focus, and relentless drive—can be tendencies that create cognitive and emotional challenges. Along the way, he discovered how a father’s love destroys the artificial delta between what we want our kids to become, and what they need from us right now.


Hidden Miracles & Inspirational Gratitude

Leerom next introduced Louie Schwartzberg (@LouieFilms), a cinematographer, director, and producer, celebrated for capturing breathtaking natural images that celebrate life that reveal connections, universal rhythms, patterns, and beauty. His three TED Talks have over 47 million views, and his oeuvre extends from feature films to television, commercials to documentaries. Louie shared how the irascible spirit of his Holocaust survivor parents inspired him since childhood, and showed stunning examples of the natural world, revealing how film can become a powerful modality for health and healing.




Ice Buckets & Stupid Cancer

A special salute was then given to ALS Ice Bucket Challenge co-founder Pat Quinn (@PQuinnfortheWin) and Stupid Cancer founder @Matthew Zachary in the audience. The two former MUSE speakers are a testament to empowered patients who not only turn and fearlessly battle their conditions, but who also create advocate communities that provide countless resources and vast networks of emotional support. Celebrating the spirit of the MUSE, Matthew called the experience, “One of the most unique platforms I’ve had the opportunity to participate in—to share, influence, and disrupt the status quo.”




The Passion & Pain of Innovation

@Claire Wineland then took the stage, an 18-year-old cystic fibrosis patient, advocate, and founder of Claire’s Place Foundation, dedicated to supporting children and families impacted by CF. Recently named one of Seventeen Magazine’s 2016 “Power Teens”, and featured on Fox Teen Choice Awards 2015, Claire defiantly insisted the entire patient paradigm needs to radically shift. Powerfully stressing how damaging “pity” can be for a patient’s spirit, she insisted that such defeatist energy should flip into aspirational encouragement fueled by the realization that patients actually have many distinct advantages over those who take health for granted.


Claire Wineland


“Don’t pity me, instead realize I’m living an incredible life,” Claire beamed. “I’m sick and probably always will be sick, but I’m happy!” She conveyed how pain and contentedness aren’t mutually incompatible—and took things even further by revealing how a patient’s perspective is a prerequisite for innovation itself. Like Pat and Matthew, Claire’s indefatigable spirit not only inspires the patient community, but redefines what we traditionally consider health and sickness. Coming to understand how they complement each other is the key to not only empathizing with patients, but discovering what healing is all about.

Celebrating Claire’s enthusiasm, and knowing that singer/songwriter Jack Johnson was a favorite, Leerom unveiled a video tribute recorded by the Grammy-nominated musician for Claire.


UberHealth & @CirculationMed

From patients to personalization, the MUSE focus then shifted to Harvard Medical School Professor, Boston Children’s Hospital Chief Innovation Officer, and Uber Healthcare advisor John Brownstein, PhD. Relating how the mobile technology revolution has brought instantaneous, two-way, geo-located, customized communication to everyone’s pockets, digital services have revolutionized just about every industry—except healthcare. He then discussed the success of the unprecedented UberHealth pilot program for delivering flu shots as easily as summoning a ride, paving the way for similar health and wellness services.




John then announced Circulation, his vision for non-emergency medical transportation. Fully HIPAA compliant and seamlessly integrated with healthcare systems, the new service will address the reality that about 3.6 million patients in the U.S. miss at least one appointment due to lack of access to transportation. Sizing the market opportunity, John said $5 billion dollars is spent every year on NEMT and millions of it is being wasted, adding that Circulation will modernize the system with on-demand options, enhance the overall patient experience, and lower healthcare system costs by supporting healthier outcomes.


Sound & Vision

That brought the first act to a close, an intermission of the sultry sounds of the Honey & Vinyl Combo. Attendees mingled and munched, and played with some of the tech, such as the motion-controlled 3D beating heart. Created by Klick Labs using Microsoft Kinect, the tool provides live heart-rate telemetry and immersive 3D perspectives based on the viewer’s location in relation to the screen. Compelling for operating room visualizations, a physician/surgeon can explore multiple views without touching a computer or scrubbing up again. The application is also useful at congresses, medical schools, and other educational forums.


VR Demo


Klick Labs also showcased their next iteration of a virtual reality experience inside the human body. The demo combined Oculus Rift VR with a motion sensing system to show the biological mechanisms responsible for aging at the cellular level. Attendees gestured to manipulate biological structures, drift through clouds of antibodies, escape from endosomes, and explore cellular environments around the mitochondria to witness the latest anti-aging therapy theories in action. The installation illustrated how VR can advance traditional patient and caregiver education, healthcare professional training, and immersion therapy.


“What Can I Help You With?”

Arguably the most recognized voice in the world is that of Susan Bennett, the original voice of Apple’s Siri. Yes, Siri is actually a real person, that person being Susan Bennett, a human with her own Twitter profile @SiriouslySusan you can follow, and even tweetchat. A cultural phenomenon unto herself, Susan aka Siri has become synonymous with the humanization and personalization of technology—its successes lauded, its shortcomings parodied. Susan shared her odyssey from going from obscurity to being on everyone’s iPhone, and her fears of being typecast in the voice 0ver world. Now openly Siri and proud, meeting and talking to the warm, jovial, and engaging real-life person behind the voice that launched a hundred million smartphones was a strange but wonderful experience.




A Nation’s Shame

Imagine your own children poisoned by contaminated water, and the governmental officials responsible not noticing or caring? Switching the water supply of the city of Flint, Michigan to the Flint River in April 2014 precipitated a water contamination crisis that has since become a disgrace to American public health. Professor Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech led a study that first sounded the alarm on the high levels of corrosives and lead in the water supply. But his efforts went stubbornly unacknowledged from authorities that exposed a new level of arrogance and uncaring that he’d never encountered through an illustrious career that made him a MacArthur Fellow, and one of TIME magazine’s most innovative scientists.


Flint Kids


Now an election season hot potato and justifiably so, the Flint Crisis illustrates the worst kind of public health neglect, one fueled by social inequality and general lack of human empathy. Personally outraged by what he discovered not only in the water supply, but in the apathy and callousness of the system surrounding it, Marc said he “blew through every penny of my retirement savings” to expose the crisis, rescue the countless children poisoned, and help the city get back on its feet. His actions exemplify what our jobs should always be about: The protection and advancement of public health. Ultimately we’re all responsible and accountable, as crises like Flint never happen in isolation, the next one right around the corner. Are we ready? Marc has inspired the level of vigilance and action we need.


Random Determinism

Talking about pulling a rabbit out of a hat, appropriately next up was celebrity magician Dan White (@Danwhitemagic). A recurring guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and resident magician at The NoMad Hotel, Dan stunned the audience with the power of participation. Asking random guests to choose words and numbers, he inexplicably then showed the audience physical evidence of the exact inputs he’d just been offered. The lesson: Things aren’t always as they seem, and the power of suggestion can create an outcome apparently based entirely on will—or at least on some really clever showmanship.




The Sleep Revolution

Headlining the evening was none other than Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. Listed as the 52nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, Arianna is one of the most driven people on the planet who nonetheless came to the realization after nearly collapsing from exhaustion that sleeplessness is not a prerequisite for success. Arianna has devoted her new book to the vital topic, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, where she insists that burnout and our 24/7 wired world are imperiling our required 8 hours of sleep like never before.




Expanding her ideas from a TED Talk, Arianna shared the importance of sleep, and the destructive power of its absence. She insisted we take better care of our smartphones than ourselves, proven by being more aware of battery charge than our own health, She offered recommendations on how to improve health through more sleep, including less screen time and keeping our phones out of our bedrooms. “Why wake up to a phone?” she said, “when you can wake up to something human?” Arguably no more fitting a close to an evening of art, science, and technology—reaffirming the human source of our creativity and passion to heal.


Murphy’s Law

The evening wound-down by revving-up to the spins of world-renowned DJ/producer, three-time winner of the coveted Scribble Jam DJ Battle, and global ambassador/judge for the Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition, Paul “Skratch Bastid” Murphy.




Channeling the Muse

As a verb, “muse” means “to ponder carefully and meditatively,” suggestive of creative daydreaming and thoughtful experimentation. As a noun, “the muse” signifies the transcendent genius of an artist, as channeled through “a Muse,” one of the nine daughter-goddesses of Zeus and Mnemosyne, presiding over memory and the arts. These gals included a few familiar faces such as Calliope, goddess of epic poetry and Clio, maven of history; and Erato, lyric poetry; Euterpe, music; Melpomeme, tragedy; Polyhymnia, music; Terpsichore, dance; Thalia, comedy; and finally Urania, purveyor of astronomy and the Zodiac.


MUSE invite


At Klick Health, our ultimate end-goal is to help our diverse healthcare clients realize theirs: To improve and extend human life. That makes us all disciples of the Greek god of medicine and the healing arts, Asclepius. Son of Apollo and a mortal human, dual-powers of head and heart came together through their own daughter-goddesses Hygieia, responsible for cleanliness; Iaso, recuperation; Aceso, healing; Aglaeia, beauty; and of course Panacea, goddess of all our aspirations, the universal remedy. To this day, the snake-entwined staff of Asclepius (often mistaken for the caduceus) remains the symbol of medicine.

Today’s super-convergence of entwined specialties across science, communications, technology has created tools of medicine and healing that would astound even a Greek god. Proud of being the Agency of the Future today, Klick Health uniquely understands that an exponential rate of change demands mastery of both head and heart. Success therefore takes cross-disciplinary expertise coupled with the creative passion that patient advocate Clair Wineland so astutely identified as the source of innovation. That’s essentially what MUSE is all about: Sparking connections and encouraging disruption necessary for change. Join us!





More About the Author

Michael Spitz

A digital health expert since before digital health was cool, Spitz has since developed omnichannel campaigns for top pharma and device brands, and helps drive agency innovation, digital transformation, and emerging channels. See him present at conferences, read his blogs, and follow him for the latest trends and opinions on Twitter @SpitzStrategy.

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