For Women By Women

The For Women By Women initiative aimed at increasing awareness and treatment of breast cancer while furthering General Electric’s commitment to women’s health. With a curation of collaborators including IDEO, Susan G. Komen, The Mayo Clinic, and a variety of other commercial and institutional partners, Sub Rosa conducted a campaign to re-imagine the mammography experience. The result established GE’s long-term investment in the field, and charted a course for innovation and progress for years to come.


Client Conversation


GE approached Sub Rosa with an unexpected challenge: faced with declining market share in medical imaging, the company needed a new approach to their business that would create a catalyst for change within the marketplace, and help GE rise to a new position as innovator and market leader. In order to accomplish this, Sub Rosa was tasked with reimagining the mammography process and leveraging key insights to help chart a course for GE’s future in medical imaging.

Sub Rosa combines tremendous creativity and strategy with flawless execution. Lots of agencies have ideas; very few are able to actualize those ideas. Linda Boff, Executive Director of Global Advertising and Design


Led by conversations and research that focused on patients, cancer survivors and medical professionals, Sub Rosa developed a strategy centered on empathy with the patient.

Historically, patient experience has been relegated to a minor part, or entirely absent from the medical imaging journey. Innovation in the machines or technology wouldn’t move GE’s business in the right direction quickly enough (on average, technical innovations take eight years to pass approvals and perform at scale).

Therefore, Sub Rosa focused on understanding the soft science and experiences that, informed by patient conversation, could be improved. By reversing the point of view, Sub Rosa discovered new points of empathy that revealed underlying pain points in the experience and built a program designed to solve these issues.

Our Work

In order to truly understand the patient experience, Sub Rosa designed and opened a retail space in New York’s SoHo district. The space invited women of all ages and demographics to share their experiences, and work collaboratively with researchers and engineers to understand how to improve the overall patient experience. Findings ranged from issues of pain and comfort management, lexicon and taxonomy improvements, to overall spatial efficiencies, design improvements and more. A concept exam-room manifested findings from the conversations in real time, for testing with participants.

The amount of human impact we were able to help create in those short thirty days was astronomical and I'm proud to have played a small role in bringing these findings to women around the world. Michael Ventura, CEO



The results of this experience exceeded expectations for every metric. Not only was the program successful in developing a path to new financial and market share growth for GE’s medical imaging business, it was also able to unearth a variety of findings that improved the overall patient experience, efficacy of testing and national screening rates for women.

On the business-side, Sub Rosa developed a service layer to GE’s product business, allowing the findings from the research to be monetized by GE with its core hospital customers. Instead of simply selling machines, GE added a consulting layer that allowed the business to assist hospitals in developing GE Women’s Centers that applied findings related to lighting, lexicon, temperature, patient comfort, and other key experience drivers. This new revenue stream allowed the brand to capture previously undiscovered market share and revenue.

On the patient side, the program uncovered new modalities in screening and the overall patient experience, which increased the propensity for regular patient scheduling of screening, testing efficacy, and ongoing follow-up and patient care. Overall, this program gave GE a viable platform that allowed the business not only to grow in financial terms, but to build a new high-water mark for the industry in terms of patient understanding and empathy.