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  • Data + Technology
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Podcast: Pedialyte, Hangovers and the Patient Experience


Guest Colin Hung discusses how healthcare can prioritize patient input.

Welcome to the premiere of Data Book’s second season. In this episode, we bring you the story of Pedialyte, the sweet drink for children with the flu, and its manufacturer’s willingness to learn from and adapt to its changing customer base. Why? Pedialyte’s pivot embodies an ethos that healthcare could borrow to improve the patient experience.

For decades, Pedialyte was sold as a crutch for kids with vomiting or diarrhea. The beverage and its electrolytes, sodium and potassium provided much-needed fluids and minerals. But several years ago, a trend emerged on social media: Adults started drinking Pedialyte to battle hangovers.

>> LISTEN: Overcoming the Cultural Resistance to Health Tech

Abbott Laboratories, the maker of Pedialyte, took notice. It quickly began marketing the product to adults, a first for the brand. But the company didn’t stop there. Abbott also introduced new products — powder packs and adult-friendly flavors — to better meet the demands of its new customers.

That’s where this story becomes relevant to Data Book and healthcare at large. Abbott not only capitalized on its new consumer base, but it also monitored how they were using Pedialyte and responded with them in mind. If healthcare is to enhance the patient experience, tech innovators and health systems alike must consider patients’ needs.

And perhaps the ideal way to accomplish this is by observing what patients are already doing and building systems to accommodate those behaviors, according to our guest, Colin Hung. He’s the chief marketing officer and editor of HealthcareScene and a respected key opinion leader in the health-tech space. He’s also the guy behind #HCLDR.

Hung sat down with us for an interview at MJH Studios in Cranbury, New Jersey, where we produce Data Book. You don’t want to miss this conversation with one of healthcare’s rising sages.

Some housekeeping: Data Book will now publish new episodes every other Friday. This change gives us more time to research and write better stories, with the same great interviews from health tech’s brightest minds.

So, welcome back. If you have thoughts about this episode or want to share some ideas for future podcasts, drop us a line on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. And if you like Data Book, please tell a friend and subscribe, rate and review the show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or wherever.

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Ep. 14: Rural Healthcare’s High-Tech Hope

Ep. 13: The Slow, Frustrating Rise of the Electronic Health Record

Ep. 12: Finding Fault When AI Kills

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