Who Would Have Thought Podcast Launches With Special Guest Natalie Hayden

By Sacha Heppell - July 28, 2020

In the first episode of the podcast we listen to the voice of an extraordinary Crohn's disease patient advocate about her journey from diagnosis to what life is like today.

Who Would Have Thought is a podcast about digital health innovation. Exploring what’s possible for the future of digital health. The potential for precision medicine and personalized wireless drug delivery systems to improve the day to day quality of life.

Founder of SmartTab Robert Niichel, CEO with experience of leadership and management in pharmaceutical research and development and Sacha Heppell, Chief Marketing Officer are the hosts with their first guest Natalie Hayden, a patient advocate, mother, former TV news anchor who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and chose to make difference for others with her blog Lights, Camera, Crohn’s, an unobstructed view. Her blog has become one of the most influential with Healthline declaring it one of the best Crohn’s Disease blogs of 2020.


Natalie shares with us her real patient experience, the impact of covid-19 and her perspective towards the new technologies in healthcare and how far we’ve come since her initial diagnosis 12 years ago at the age of 21. Since then, she decided that “there’s more to life than a diagnosis”.

Natalie's journey through the disease began when she walked into a hospital as one person and came out as a totally different one, after being diagnosed in an emergency room, as she recalls. Not only did this lead to her having to take 22 pills a day with heavy duty side effects but, through time and self-growth, has now become about identifying and relearning about herself with the hope of not only inspiring but also helping those other five million patients around the world  in their battle with this disease on a daily basis. Her mission in life is to be an advocate for those battling inflammatory bowel disease and to show that a chronic illness doesn't have to dull your sparkle. Through her blog Lights, Camera, Crohn's - An Unobstructed View, she is able to support IBD patients,  specially those who are newly diagnosed because they are in the hardest part of the entire patient journey.



Natalie has been on biologic medication since 2008 as with most IBD patients. Biologics can’t be taken orally. They must be injected subcutaneously, via injection or intravenously because your stomach acids will destroy the delicate complexity of this drug. SmartTab is working to develop ways to deliver medicine more effectively through its wireless drug delivery platform. 

Many patients struggle with self injection, especially the pediatric community . Having to get a needle prick and inflicting pain on oneself can become a very stressful situation, some people have to take anxiety medication prior to doing their biologic or have to take a trip to the doctor's office to get it done. 

This is why it’s so important to understand the day to day life of patients today. The patient's voice fuels SmartTab’s commitment to innovation as they advance novel, effective therapies with the development of personalized wireless drug delivery systems. Their vision is that 10 years from now most tablets and capsules will have some type of electronic precision drug delivery and monitoring system. With that being said… SmartTab is working on InjectTab™, an oral injection capsule for biologics and large molecules. This would have a tremendous impact for the treatment of Crohn’s disease and other diseases that require injection.  Removing the fear, anxiety and pain associated with injections. Find out more about SmartTab’s path to commercialize these solutions by visiting their website.

During The Who Would Have Thought podcast interview we look at what we aren't realizing that we should about the day to day life living with IBD and how we Pharmaceutical and Digital Health companies can work with veteran patient advocates to help people and make IBD treatment an empowering experience for the patient. 






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