Making Health Tech More Human

Intelligence is generally considered an exclusively human attribute, but we’re fast approaching an age where machines will be considered intelligent as well. If this is indeed the case, it’s only natural that machines will also develop a genuine personality. Many of them, such as Siri from Apple and Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, already have names and voices. 

There’s also Watson from IBM, a “cognitive assistant” that can read 40 million medical documents in 15 seconds and “understand, reason, and learn.” Named after IBM’s founder, Watson may soon eclipse all of us in knowledge as it continues to learn. 

What does this all mean to branding devices? 

Today, there is a bevy of devices that monitor many aspects of health with what seems
like a human touch:

Nima is a device that can test food samples for hidden gluten, created for people living with celiac disease



The Smart Caregiver helps prevent patients from falling out of bed or wandering out of the house

Spencer, a connected health hub created by HAP Innovations, ensures patients are managing their daily health routines through connected care

Health tech has recognized many unmet needs and has been swiftly filling them, to the point where the health gadgetry market has become quite saturated. It’s already time to start thinking about these devices differently.

Adding (warmth) humanity to (cold) technology

Technology can come across as cold and uncaring when in fact these products are created for the sole purpose of caring for people. 

One way for a health tech product to stand out in a cluttered market is to personify that product. Give it a name and personality that brings the product experience and brand to life—and make sure that this personality is maintained throughout every point of engagement with the product and the brand experience. 

When personifying a brand, what do you personify?

The first thing to consider is what you name your product. It’s best not to personify for personification sake, but to have a specific goal where the name not only helps you get to that goal, but also becomes the “face” of the product. For instance, when naming a recent connected health hub that dispenses daily doses of medicine, HAP decided on “Spencer.” Spencer was perfect because the name has personality, character, and charm. Most importantly, the name is short for “dispenser,” which speaks to the functionality of the product in a human, nonthreatening way. 

As this was a personality-driven product, HAP recognized the need to have the writing come from Spencer and be written in first person: 

Hello, I’m Spencer. With me by your side, you’re never alone when it comes to your health. You see, we’re in it together. I’m here to help support you with your daily health routines, including managing your medicines and helping keep you motivated and on track. How do I do it? I’m your seriously connected health partner. I connect you to your caregiver and to your pharmacist in a totally integrated way.”  

The net takeaway to the patient or caregiver: you don’t have a robot helping you take your medicine on time. You have a friend.

Get sticky by getting personal

Personifying the product begins to create product stickiness. But every aspect of your product messaging, every touch point, must pull this personality through. 

The personification of Spencer as a seamlessly connected healthcare buddy is a valid way to launch technology in a cluttered environment. By making technology friendly, you help take the value and utility to a better, more personal level.

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