Episode #54 – Compassionate Behavior Design with Kyra Bobinet MD

Welcome to the first ‘Creating a New Healthcare’ podcast of 2019!

This is an incredibly timely topic.  At the start of each year, most of us resolve to discard bad habits and take up new, healthier ones. We all struggle with the perennial challenge of getting motivated, avoiding frustration; and sustaining new behaviors beyond just a few days or weeks.  In this interview we discuss a new approach and health app focused on healthy eating – fresh Tri – which our guest co-developed with Walmart.

Our guest this week – Kyra Bobinet – is a bestselling author and the CEO-founder of engagedIN, a neuroscience behavior design firm that uses neuroscience to make health and wellness products, and communications, more engaging.

Kyra is a physician who received a masters in public health from Harvard. She was the recipient of Harvard’s 2015 Innovator Award. Kyra is the author of A Well Designed Life: 10 Lessons in Brain Science and Design Thinking for a Mindful, Healthy, and Purposeful Life.  She and her work have been featured by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Huffington Post and NPR. She’s created health startups, blockbuster products, health apps, and evidence-based programs in mind-body & metabolic medicine.  

Some of the incredibly relevant issues covered in this episode include:

  • “The emperor has no clothes.” – Kyra’s assessment of the employer wellness industry
  • The fundamental differences that make her new app – fresh Tri – unique in the world of healthy habit development
  • Why the perception of ‘failure’ is actually harmful to our health and is the neurophysiological basis for de-motivation
  • How to apply the basic principle of design thinking to constantly improve one’s   approach to developing healthful habits – and how to side-step failure traps
  • A rare opportunity to hear an expert describe  ‘the anatomy and physiology of behavior design’
  • The ‘secret sauce’ Kyra discovered and believes to be the single most important factor in sustained behavior change

What’s unique about this interview and the work Dr. Bobinet is doing is that it goes beyond healthcare and physical health. This message of how we perceive failure and success is a fundamental life skill. Kyra’s research can assist us in avoiding the pitfalls of self-defeat in all aspects of our lives. Her underlying motivation – to remove the self-blame and harsh criticism we inflict upon ourselves – is a hopeful and realistic way to begin the new year.  

As always, I hope you get as much out of this interview as I have.

Zeev Neuwirth, MD