OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Convincing Younger Generations to Act // Spreading Innovative Ideas among the Physician Community

I've gathered insights into COVID-19 from a frontline healthcare worker and identified areas to improve our reaction to the pandemic.

Photo of Harish Karumuri
0 2

Written by

Interview with Dr.Jessica Byrd – a family medicine specialist who is working in the frontlines of this pandemic in Winchester, VA. It was really great being able to hear about this global situation from the practitioner's perspective. 

Information from Physicians to People: When it comes to the availability and dissemination of information, the main source people are hearing it seems to be coming from mass media, with a secondary source from word-of-mouth through social media. This is a second-hand retelling of information, and this information is not always being shared properly – Dr.Byrd stated that there needed to be a better pipeline of doctors sending information to people in order to make sure that the most accurate information is being sent out. We see Dr. Anthony Fauci making many rounds of interviews everywhere, from mainstream media sources (CNN, NBC, FOX, etc) to YouTube channels (Philip DeFranco, Lily Singh, Trevor Noah) who have large audiences of younger people.

Partying Culture overtaking Social Distancing/Reaching to Younger People: Dr.Byrd talked about New Orleans as an example; Mardi Gras wasn't canceled, parties were held, and we now are seeing a rapid increase in cases in the weeks after. In addition, we discussed how college-aged students were not following the procedures – from discussion with friends who needed to live on-campus, there were group chats that were discussing when the next party is going to happen. New lockdown procedures are in place in many states but there needs to be a good source of information on convincing this 18-24 age range to stay at home as much as possible.

In addition, reaching to children on understanding what to do while not scaring them can be useful – Mark Rober had a great video on this (

Communication between Physicians: The culture between physicians is currently a large sense of camaraderie – lots of communication on best practices and updates within the community. Dr.Byrd mentioned this is happening primarily through email communication and meetings, which is a great start. I think there is massive room for growth here, especially for communicating medical innovations that are occurring. For example, the children's hospital was able to develop at 90 min COVID-19 test. Replicating this in other places is difficult because the machinery used, and other aspects of the development process weren't known.  A means to communicate these developments can lead to more information to lead to new innovations.

Did this resource motivate you to change your behaviors?

  • Yes

In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?

With this information, I was able to understand the scope at which the disease spreads, and why I need to take precautions ongoing outside. I even more deeply understand the effort going into finding a fix for this horrible situation, and I want to play that part in social distancing to help physicians do their jobs.

Did you share this information with your network?

  • Yes

In what ways did you share this information?

Mainly word of mouth through parents and friends

Where are you getting information around COVID-19?

  • National Government
  • News: Television
  • News: Digital
  • Social Media
  • Word of Mouth

What information do you feel you are missing about COVID-19?

There isn't much information on the progress that's happening and new updates. We keep hearing things are getting worse (which it's important to know what's happening) but I wish there was an easy way to see how people are being creative and innovative to find solutions during this time. 

What populations or personas are not currently being addressed with today’s COVID-19 information?

Efforts like having Dr.Fauci on YouTube are fantastic to reach younger audiences. What if he got on TikTok. Proctor and Gamble sponsored Charli D'Amelio (42.6 million followers). Perhaps this is an avenue to disseminate more information? Or this is a weird thought – giving information at liquor stores? I mean, that's where parties get their supplies.

As for sharing innovative ideas, having a public source on building new equipment and tools could be useful, almost like a GitHub for health.

What is your current profession?

Systems Engineering/Computer Science Undergraduate Student

In what city are you located?

Sterling, VA

In what country are you located?

United States


Join the conversation: