While diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has arguably become the most important topic in healthcare today, Sharecare’s mission since its founding has always been “All Together Better.” A core part of this belief is that DEI truly makes us all together better and is an important part of effecting the change we want to see in the world. The global pandemic has raised Americans’ consciousness on racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, bringing the unique health experiences of racially and ethnically diverse communities to the forefront. As we head into a third year of the global pandemic, the Health Equity conversation is not over. In fact, it’s just beginning to take shape.
Multicultural consumers make up almost 40% of the U.S. population. In the past two years, online searches for this type of content have increased by 104%. In fact, 81% of HCPs consider health inequity as the biggest driver of change in healthcare over the next 10 years. Consumers are more loyal to brands that stand for diversity and inclusion and expect brands to promote their diversity and inclusion efforts.
Through Vital Voices, Sharecare’s latest storytelling innovation, the goal is to raise the collective consciousness of all Americans about DEI in healthcare marketing. This new interactive storytelling experience utilizes audio, video, clickable images, statistics about the condition and the minority populations featured, and Vital Voices Viewpoint to offer key actions and solutions for condition management—all in an effort to elevate the health equity conversation.
Here is a step-by-step description of what users see as they scroll through the Vital Voices experience:
- Vital Voices begins with an Interactive carousel featuring a series of black and white images of racially and ethnically diverse Americans living with a certain health condition. (Vital Voices will be available across 10 conditions in 2023.)
- Users scroll through the carousel and choose the image of the person they want to learn about. Each person featured was selected to meet key criteria of personas typical of that condition. Upon tap or click, the image changes to color and their story appears below.
- Content includes their image, social media handle, personal healthcare story as told through a combination of text summary, audio clips, and exclusive video content.
- Critical facts and content specific to multicultural and underrepresented populations and that condition appear
- Wrapping up the experience is Vital Voices Viewpoint, which includes tips and advice specific to minority populations to manage their condition and advocate for themselves against inequities.
For example, Sharecare’s Vital Voices stories of Hispanic and Black women with Metastatic Breast Cancer, who are statistically more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than white women, encourage earlier screening and provide education on how to seek out clinical trials, if needed. Additionally, due to the lack of access to mental health services in minority communities, Vital Voices also brings forward the critical nature of mental health treatment as part of chronic condition management. The online education center provides ways to seek out services, and free solutions including, at-home, on-demand meditation videos.
One memorable patient featured in Vital Voices shared this as part of her story, “There are ethnic disparities in treatment, education, and disease awareness. Being a person of color, the disease presents differently, and it leaves a lot of room for misdiagnosis.” And one of Sharecare’s healthcare practitioners, an expert in addressing racial disparities with her patients, said this in one of our videos regarding implicit biases in treatment: “People of color are generally seen as biologically stronger than white people, and experience less pain than them as well, and this can affect treatment recommendations.”
Sharecare’s goal is to reflect the patient and caregiver populations they serve, so they can see themselves, feel a connection to the content, and advocate for themselves raising awareness of the need for unique doctor/patient conversations. Sharecare’s interactive content drives action—81% of users talk to their doctors about what they learned. Vital Voices addresses disparities in health equity in a real, authentic way that aims to empower and encourages positive health outcomes.