Daring to be Different While Striving to be Better at Greatist

Ever since I did my first research on Mobile Social Games for Health, I have been observing and expanding my definition of health and wellness that coincides with the broader acceptance of integrative medicine.

I came to the Greatist office in New York City admiring their infographics while wondering where the “happiness” part of health and wellness fits into their model.

Having long been a student of Edward Tufte, I had burning questions about what makes an engaging infographic. Most of the ones on the web are cluttered, hard to read and unnecessarily long.

“We can help make healthy living cool, if we could produce inspiring and informative content in a way that is friendly and down to earth,” explained, the CEO and Founder, Derek Flanzraich. “All of our writers have research backgrounds, and their content is fact-based, while being friendly, accessible and funny.“

With clean, inviting graphics and fact-checked content, Greatist infographics are an engaging way to tell a health story.

Derek aspires to build a health and wellness brand that people trust. He thinks about wellness broadly which includes happiness and believes that stress will become part of the national conversation.

“We are not building a content company. We want to be the defining health and wellness brand for this generation- step by step, we will start with content, build a community more like Reddit, and define health and wellness like patientslikeme for preventive health.”

As for the business model,“[we are] not focused on revenue, but rather experimenting to find what people are willing to pay for.”

Does anyone remember being left out of sports as a kid? I do! I can still remember that awkward feeling when we had to line up and wait to be chosen as a team partner. Because I was short, I was always picked last to be on a sports team. To compensate, I had to excel in math and science. Similarly, Derek says he got into health and fitness due to a broken right hand as a child when he was left out of sports, and he now is motivated to help others use health and wellness to feel good.

I think we should applaud those who dare to be different, and maybe even better communicators, as a way to take on the long standing challenge to improve health literacy.

Using new media and social networking to educate and improve health literacy might just be the critical first step in patient activation on the way to patient engagement.

What do you think?


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