As the marriage oath goes… ”in sickness and in health”. For almost a third of humanity, the cultural framework for what people hope will be the happiest relationship of their lives starts with “sickness.” This is just one example of how we are all hardwired to think about and focus on illness rather than on health.
In part, this is because illness can seem concrete while health can seem more abstract. When faced with the possibility of the imminent death of a loved one, you’ll probably spend whatever money is needed to postpone that outcome – whether it’s a pet or a person in your immediate family. But when faced with opportunities to invest in longevity, we often hesitate because the benefits seem less specific and too far in the future. (Jazz musician Eubie Blake, when asked how it felt to be 96 years old, famously replied: “If I’d known I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself.”) These biases are embedded in public policy as well as in individual decisions and personal behaviors. For instance, the UK’s NHS spends only about 5% of its budget on prevention.
At BOI, we seek not just to prevent sickness, but to put more emphasis on being proactively healthy. And we believe that starts with re-envisioning what it is to be healthy and making it more visible.
Our focus is on promoting proactive wellbeing
(even prevention is too late)
What we’re doing now
(and what we’re not)
What we’re not doing is taking a siloed approach. Instead, we imagine tomorrow’s products, services and businesses, we’re mapping out what is being done already, including the things that are not so visible, and connecting the dots. We’re working to build the argument for proactive health case by case, with positive examples of where specific practical solutions are connected to bigger opportunities that benefit all healthcare stakeholders.
At BOI, we have had the pleasure of working on many ‘invisible’ cases that have been the truly impactful, from envisioning how leak-proof underwear can aid menstruators in living their day to day lives without interruption, to bringing better management of family planning to couples on their fertility journey. In the words of Bryan Berger, EMEA Healthcare Business Director: “Through our partnerships, we have learned that the most important solutions are to the greatest pains that people will hopefully never experience.”