What Does the Health Care System of Tomorrow Look Like? (Franziska Moeckel)

In the latest episode of the Gensler Design Exchange, Tama Duffy Day invites Franziska Moeckel, an Assistant Vice President at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Falls Church, Virginia, into the studio to talk about the future of the health care industry. The two talk about Inova’s forward-thinking philosophy on service delivery and proactive patient-care, including Franziska’s specialized focus on “driving the genomic revolution, [and] helping people to live longer, healthier lives.”

The first step Inova is taking to change the way we think about health care is asking the question: Are we actually providing health care, or are we just providing “sick care”?

Rather than simply restoring a person back to health during sickness, Inova nurtures relationships with patients while they are healthy in order to re-wire the way patients and doctors think about care. According to Moeckel, Inova is also currently employing precision medicine — a term coined by former president Barack Obama to refer to specialized treatment based on individual differences in genes, environment and lifestyle — to determine the most effective approaches to care for a client.

At Inova, the Genomics Laboratory is at the very core of this initiative with MediMap, a genetics test at the crossroads of pharmacology and genomics, otherwise known as pharmacogenomics. With MediMap, a simple saliva sample or blood test can provide the roadmap to your care by showing physicians your genetic makeup and your body’s ability or inability to metabolize certain medications. In other words, MediMap, prescribed through physician referral, can provide patients with high-level knowledge on what prescriptions best suit their bodies based on their genetic data, which may help them make more educated decisions and receive more personalized care in the future.

Inova’s MediMap Baby initiative expands this service by offering it as a complimentary option in the standard package of care to all newborns delivered at the Inova Women’s Hospital and Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, with a goal of aiding new parents in making safer decisions for their children.

MediMap Baby will soon also be available at Inova’s other health care campuses — the newest of which is currently under development. Below, Tama and Franziska discuss the future of Inova’s health care campuses, encouraging community wellness and collaborative energy through design:

TAMA: Currently you’re developing an entire new campus at Inova really focused on both bringing people who might be considered sick and needing healthcare and people who are well and might be living on that campus and exercising on that campus. Can you talk a little bit about that integration and your goals for the success of that community design?

FRANZISKA: As you said, it is a very exciting time to have this opportunity and this blank slate to bring together different individuals, different communities who may in the past have been sectioned off into, “You are sick, you stay there. You are healthy, you are welcome here.” This new concept embraces human life and all the stages of life, and it bridges age, gender, stage of life, and stage of health. Taking that into consideration and looking at healthcare and healthcare design and how it has impacted our thinking is very fundamental to what we want to do at the Inova Center for Personalized Health.

We really want to bring people together to live, work, and play if you will, and Inova will play an integral part in that in terms of educating people about their health…empowering them with their genetic information [and] empowering them with the knowledge and tools that they would need to [be] healthier.

The Inova Center for Personalized Health will be a place where you want to go grocery shopping. It will be a place where you want to read to your kids and perhaps bring them to [an exhibit] that will show: “This is way back when the first human genome was sequenced, and look how far we have come.” It will be a place where data analysts will talk directly to physicians to find the next solution and code and [conduct] breakthrough research. It will be a place where people will live and converse and bring together ideas that have never been thought about. Even though the Inova Center for Personalized Health is a tangible place, it is so much more than just a place; it is a concept, it’s an idea, it’s dreams, it’s innovation. It’s really that hub where all of these ideas, thoughts [and] footprints cross [to] make life a wonderful place.

TAMA: You talked about sick care, and health care has been based on sick care. How do we keep that patient healthy? We bring them natural light, we bring them air. If we [focus on] people that are well, we could provide an even better experience because many of these impediments…hopefully have been removed.

FRANZISKA: I think we’re at an interesting time. It’s that balance between the digital world, where the expectation is that everything is on your mobile phone…but then there is also this need for human interaction and personalized touch. So how do you bring the two worlds together, and how do you do that in a space? It reminds me of a panel discussion that I was privileged to be a part of that was called The Patient Will See You Now. We attempt to have patient care where the patient is at the center of everything, but when it comes to design how do we facilitate that in terms of geographic vicinity [and] space?

I think one of the innovative ideas [of our molecular tumor board], in addition to having the tumor sequenced for the patient, is bringing in [the patient’s] family so that they can be part of the discussion that physicians have together. The family part of that discussion [with specialty physicians] to be educated about the [treatment] path now and in the future in one place is quite tremendous.

TAMA: It’s almost as if it’s this combination of research and knowledge, but it’s clear you’re talking about communication. At the end, it feels like all of our conversation around design excellence, around genomics, around increasing longevity — so much of it all ties back to communication and our ability to communicate with each other.

FRANZISKA: There is design in everything. There’s a design in which genes and medications you look at for pharmacogenomics. There’s a design in how you show these results in an understandable way from reports. There’s a design in how you think about communicating what genetics are, what precision medicine is, and what personalized health is in terms of designing communication [and] designing the brand. There’s design in how you [choose] a simple, painless cheek swab over a blood draw, especially for babies. There’s a design element in how you offer this kind of testing to other individuals so that they can come to us in a room that’s bright [and] doesn’t remind [them] of the typical physician office. It’s very intentional, and we can still build and learn. It’s also this design component that gives you the flexibility to listen to input and to take into consideration changes that are necessary to constantly improve [a] process.

As Inova expands its practice, it hopes to become an “innovation hub” not just for patients and doctors, but also for collaborators from universities, startups, providers and more to work together around the goal of advancing personalized health and holistic care.

Learn more about Inova and the future of health care design with Tama and Franziska by tuning into episode three of the Gensler Design Exchange, now available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Libsyn.

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