We are at the cusp of potential breakthroughs in personalized medicine, and there are a range of innovation areas where they are likely to take place. The Personalized Medicine World Conference, which took place in late January in Silicon Valley, identified six major themes that encapsulate this innovation:
Each of these areas holds extraordinary potential for changing the paradigm of medicine—one that shifts a framework based on correlating individual symptoms to past treatment outcomes in the general population to prevention based on personally identifiable disease risk.
While I’m not professionally qualified to delve into these areas with scientific rigor, as a healthcare marketer it is a fascinating area and a communications challenge to consider that very soon our providers, insurers, and patients (or should I say pre-patients) will need to understand these concepts and their commercial ramifications.
Why simplification isn’t simple
In thinking about communicating complex and intricate science, I often begin by asking myself a few basic questions:
The answers will vary based on the stage of product development and the level of informed awareness within the market. And while these questions may seem general, they become important to think through critically when communicating emerging healthcare technologies and solutions to an audience with a variable ability to comprehend their true value.
In the desire to differentiate products and solutions with complex attributes, the communications model often tends to become simplistic in an effort to simplify, thereby losing the essence of a health solution’s true value. On the flip side, surprisingly often, less complex disease areas tend to get overcomplicated and dependent on the how, rather than the “so what,” due to a lack of real differentiation among the products. Simplification is a thoughtful process—one that requires critical thinking in distilling complexity, not by the exclusion of complexity but by its refinement. As we move forward, this ability will be needed among healthcare marketers more than ever before.