Virgil Wong is an artist and digital technologist transforming human health.
Virgil Wong is the Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Medical Avatar LLC, a digital health company that pioneered medical “time travel” visualizations with health coaching programs that reduced the incidence of diabetes and heart disease in high-risk communities by over 26%. At Columbia University (Ph.D. research certification, cognitive studies and intelligent technologies), he studied how time travel simulations of patients’ bodies can increase engagement, motivate disease prevention, improve chronic disease management, optimize patient-physician communication, reduce misdiagnoses, and decrease hospital readmission rates.
As a visual artist working with concepts in medicine and technology, Professor Wong has exhibited interactive installations, films, paintings, drawings, and prints in galleries and museums around the world – including the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan; and Deitch Projects in New York City. He produced and co-directed Murmur, a cardiovascular dreamscape film that premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. In the previous year, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for an art and medicine exhibition called Corporeal Landscape.
In 1996, Professor Wong founded the Web & Multimedia division at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College. Over 15 years, he defined the Internet strategy for both institutions based on one central principle: informed and engaged patients will help reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve outcomes. As co-chair of Weill Cornell’s Clinical & Translational Research Science Center (CTSC) Cross-Institutional Web Portal Working Group, Professor Wong supported researchers in their lifesaving efforts to quickly bring new treatments to patients with incurable diseases. Even within the complexity of two Ivy League academic medical center and the understandable risk aversion of any healthcare institution, Virgil excelled at building a thriving culture of innovation. By leveraging entrepreneurial best practices, Virgil helped both organizations embrace new opportunities in interactive design and technology in interactive design and technology.
Since 2000, he has also been an adjunct professor in The New School’s Masters in Media Studies Program, now teaching virtual reality, photography, film, and interactive media. Professor Wong received The New School’s Faculty Mentorship Award for Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005.
As head of digital experience for HGS Digital, Professor Wong is a digital transformation and AI expert who creates frictionless digital experiences. By leveraging entrepreneurial best practices, he is helping global brands build cultures of innovation to leverage digital technologies for interactive transformation, growth, and success.