Research Fellow @ Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Resident Physician @ Mount Sinai Hospital

Pursuing User Research When Everyone’s in Quarantine

Pursuing User Research When Everyone’s in Quarantine

Timothy Berendt, Contributing Columnist and former Director of Innovation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass. April 21, 2020

Many innovators are struggling with a big question right now: How do you maintain the quality and breadth of your user research when it seems the whole world is under house arrest due to coronavirus? We all know that the innovation and design world rely on interactions with customers and users, through activities like empathy, anthropology, focus groups, and testing. So how do you preserve that input into your process when everybody is locked down?

It’s an ideal moment for getting your team to embrace new tools and approaches. A few examples…

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Physician-scientist with extensive experience developing and translating nanotechnologies and biomedical optical technologies from the bench to clinic in areas of genetics, oncology, and cardiovascular diseases. Extensive experience in community building in healthcare innovation, research, medical, and physician-scientist communities through various leadership roles.


Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute for Medical Engineering and Science

Research Fellow, MIT Innovation Initiative
Former Co-Director, MIT Hacking Medicine
Regional Director – Europe, MIT Hacking Medicine
Co-Director, MIT COVID-19 Challenge
Co-Director, MIT Hacking Racism Challenge

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139


Resident Physician, PGY-3,
Department of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-Based Medicine

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai Hospital
One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1194
New York, NY 10029