ELITE 2018 Tech-Know Geek Jason Sankey of GSW, a Syneos Health company

Jason Sankey

Technology Director Innovation

GSW, a Syneos Health company

Using Tech to Provide Empathy

Emerging from the cool, calculated world of industrial design, Jason Sankey has done nothing but bend, manipulate, and push the expectations of technology to bring patient stories and experiences to life.

As Technology Director Innovation at GSW, Jason functions as an almost mythical hybrid of designer and developer. He jokes, “I just got tired of hearing developers tell me, ‘No, we can’t do that,’ so I just started pulling things apart and figuring out a way to make my ideas happen.” For the creative teams he works with, Jason is like having a developer who speaks their language.

Taking inspiration from everything from blogs to science fairs, Jason has a knack for taking problems apart and rebuilding solutions with innovations baked inside. This skill becomes invaluable when convincing a client to reach beyond their expectations without blowing up their budget. Jason also doesn’t fear failing.

“I can’t explore the unknown if I’m not allowed to fail,” Jason adds. “I have to know what’s out there, so I can figure out where GSW can go next.”

This mindset allowed him to break new ground with the successful Epilepsy Empathy Project in 2016, which used virtual reality technology to enable neurologists to actually feel an epileptic seizure. For Jason, the success of the VR Epilepsy Empathy Project didn’t come from the client accolades, but from the individuals who were moved by the event. “A nurse and mother of a daughter with epilepsy, approached us afterward and said, ‘This was the first time I actually understood what my daughter goes through,’” Jason recounts. “To me, that’s why I do what I do.”

Even though 2017 saw Jason help GSW win multiple awards including Healthcare Marketing IMPACT and the Clios, his eyes are fixated on the horizon in 2018. “I think we can make VR a group experience,” Jason exclaims, “not just for individuals.” Whatever reality-bending technology comes next, Jason will make sure it’s as inspirational as it is innovative.


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