Patient engagement is a very popular term right now. But what exactly is it?
Last month I offered up the idea of wearable health, focusing on technology, such as Fitbit, Jawbone, etc, as a driver of behavior modification. I envisioned a kind of turbo-charged health consciousness, led by devices you wear that (hopefully) keep you honest and accurate. But really all of the data suggest that wearable technology is barely in its infancy-the mad dash to launch looming on the horizon with a projected swift uptake. Kind of like phase 3 trials in the healthcare industry, with approval "coming soon."
Thanks to buzz from places like CES 2014 and SXSWi, companies have a new quandary: what's our wearables strategy? The proliferation of wearable gadgets has unleashed a virtually infinite number of ideas, but the challenge is finding combinations that deliver a winning mix of Usability, Functionality and Benefits.
As marketers, we often talk about the power of social media and online channels to boost brands, improve patient knowledge and more. Yet, while millions of people globally are sharing their stories and supporting each other online, there is still a lingering cultural bias against being sick in public. Marketers in health need to understand and be sensitive to the complexities associated with how patients are using social channels to share stories about illness. This essay is designed to provide readers with perspective (and original research) related to this issue.
As pharmaceutical and biotech companies compete for the hearts and minds of prospective patients, they are re-discovering public relations as a powerful way of doing so. PR, with its unique ability to educate and inform, is a highly effective tool to communicate complex and often challenging information.
The topic of health is like the hottest new restaurant: Everyone wants in. In the U.S., we are beginning to see a fundamental shift in consumer health as doctor visits continue to decrease, while self treatment is on the rise. In addition, everyone seems to be getting into the health and wellness game. You may ask yourself why this is happening? There are a few key trends that are making health en vogue.
We've become a culture in which our calendars are dotted with months commemorating everything from alcohol awareness (April) to ultraviolet awareness (May). In those two months alone, you can find as many as 50 public information themes related to health.
The Affordable Care Act has changed the game for healthcare organizations and, in the process, created a new dynamic for marketing professionals and administrators. This is not dissimilar from what the financial services industry experienced 35 years ago with the introduction of the 401k. Both events are seen as democratizing their respective industries and giving individual consumers greater control over very personal decisions impacting their life and livelihood long into the future.
For those who attended the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, it was apparent digital health took center stage. While this might otherwise be a footnote for marketers, it could reveal one of the biggest opportunities to capture new data. The real movement afoot is called "quantified self," the ability to measure our lives through sensors and turn what has historically been unusable exhaust into a structured set of data that is actionable for consumers and marketers alike.