Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Recalibrating a Patient-Centric Perspective in Healthcare Today



Ongoing digital transitions, punctuated by erratic responses to the COVID pandemic, are changing how we approach health care as a service and business. This volatile moment invites the design of original and imaginative solutions: we are transitioning to a new patient-centric era that challenges us to embrace physical distancing and technological-driven schemes. Ethnographic analysis can demonstrate which initiatives are truly relevant for patients and help bring them closer to their physicians.

This talk will walk through examples of patients, healthcare organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, and scientific associations teaming up to redefine what patient-centered health care means today and how it can be executed. Presenters will cover the origins and shortcomings of patient-centered health care initiatives (patient advocacy efforts, regulatory measures, and more recently, the role of digitalization). Then they will provide examples of ethnography-based work that is sensitive to the stakeholders’ different cultural lenses, and introduce new research approaches, from unified patient-doctor journeys to mapping the new role of public healthcare payors and pharmaceutical representatives. Finally, they will share a methodological toolkit aimed at helping practitioners who work in/for healthcare sectors to detect evolving needs of key players, then swiftly develop solutions that have a positive impact on patients’ outcomes and the new healthcare ecosystem that supports them.


Selene Camargo CorreaSelene Camargo Correa is a senior consultant at A Piece of Pie, an innovative strategy consultancy headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. Selene has more than ten years of experience in sociological and comparative research in which she combines ethnography with other qualitative methods. At A Piece of Pie, she has specialized in medical anthropology and focused on the foundations of clinical care and the analysis of the physician-patient relationship. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Barcelona and a Master’s in International Management from EADA Business School, Barcelona, Spain.

Juliana SaldarriagaJuliana Saldarriaga is a cultural anthropologist and manager at A Piece of Pie in Bogotá, Colombia. Here she enjoys bringing ethnographic theory and practice as well as ethical research dilemmas into the corporate world. She has a master’s degree in Development Studies and in her thesis suggested participatory design methods are crucial for gender equality and deep institutional transformations in organizations. She is passionate about applying relational ethnography to understand healthcare systems and she has a growing interest in critical designs or transition design, as it is making us ethnographers and designers think where our profession is headed and should be headed. Juliana is also co-founder and blogger for Siete Polas, a feminist organization that raises awareness and co-creates with women and girls to achieve gender equality in Colombia and Latin America.

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