It’s revolutionized advertising and the media industry. It’s also helped people to connect more easily and given them a lot more “friends”. It’s made paying bills through the mail seem downright quaint. But does digital technology have any practical use in the health care industry? Eric Pulier certainly thinks so.
A New Jersey native, Pulier’s affinity with all things computer began at an early age. He was programming them at age nine. He headed his own database software firm in high school. So it’s not surprising that he was tapped to be part of Harvard’s Class of 1988, or that he elected to study technology at the neighboring Massachusetts Institute of Technology during his time there.
Pulier graduated from Harvard magna cum laude with a degree in English and American literature, and by 1991 had relocated to the West Coast, where he founded People Doing Things, an organization that utilized digital technology to help people communicate and complete tasks in fields such as healthcare and education. By 1994, Pulier was one of those embracing interactive digital technology for use in these fields, and he founded the company Digital Evolution, which he sold to the larger US Interactive LLC in 1998.
After the sale of Digital Evolution, Pulier focused on developing a technology program for the Starlight Foundation, an organization dedicating to improving the lives of chronically, critically, and terminally ill children. Well-endowed by the prominent entertainment and technology figures that founded it, the organization is famous for granting “wishes” in the form of trips to amusement parks or visits from sports stars. But it also provides educational and technological services to its hundreds of participating hospital partners, including providing computers and mobile devices to children and their families. In 1994, Pulier began working with the foundation to create Starbright World, a private social media network for ill teenagers and their healthy siblings to interact with peers using these devices. The site drew much praise as a way for these children to stay socially connected and find an escape from issues.Beginning in the late 1990s, Pulier began working for both the Clinton and Obama administrations as an adviser on health care/technology initiatives. In addition to continuing to work in this field, he is involved in philanthropic efforts, such as the Painted Turtle summer camp for ill children.
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