Article | December 9, 2020
The pandemic-fueled technology adoption has enabled the healthcare industry to address the challenges, including cybersecurity, telehealth, invoicing and payment processing, patient experience, effective payment model, and big data. The responses to the unusual COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption of new digital technologies in the industry. It has also fueled advancements in health technology. From the start of 2020, these advancements transformed the healthcare industry into a next-gen one by accelerating digitization of their internal and external operations by two to three years.
This surprising impact of technology in the healthcare industry has brought out unexpected competition between the key players in the B2B healthcare market. Whatever the field, adapting yourself to modern changes is the best strategy to thrive. Get yourself updated according to the changes or get yourself outdated is the new norm in the healthcare industry.
The following trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic in 2020 show that healthcare providers are always searching for new ways to improve their productivity, performance, and efficiency. These were the need of the hour during the pandemic, for them to surge ahead of their competitors.
• Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare
• The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
• Supply chain management technology
• Privacy issues
• AR/VR/MR in Healthcare
• Digital marketing trends in healthcare
This article looks into the major innovations, advancements, and trends brought out by the global pandemic in 2020 in the healthcare industry.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry in the US today is its digital capacity to effectively engage consumers and make them stay healthy. This can include helping people to prevent getting infected by various diseases such as COVID-19 and effectively managing various other chronic conditions. This is where technology in the healthcare industry has a major role to play.
Due to the latest advancements in technology, the healthcare industry was already evolving but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transformation dramatically. McKinsey reports that US$250 billion was spent on technology in the US healthcare industry to shift the industry into a virtual care model in the wake of the pandemic. Also, a study by FAIR Health, a non-profit group, says the increase in telehealth claims in the US is 4,000% in 2020.
Here’s a detailed look into the above-mentioned advancements, innovations or trends brought out by the pandemic in the industry.
Had the world ever thought that it would be possible one day for doctors to remotely examine the health of patients via a smartphone or a computer? Telemedicine, a new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, addresses many challenges in the industry. Improved technology in the industry has made telemedicine easier, even for people, who are not computer savvy. Telehealth services are now provided through different telemedicine apps.
In the light of the pandemic, rather than in-person visits, 43.5% of primary medical visits were done using telehealth methods in April 2020 in the US. The major benefit of telemedicine is that it reduces contact between healthcare workers, patients, and other patients. This reduces the chances of the spread of infectious diseases.
Reports say that 71% of Americans considered telemedicine useful at the beginning of the pandemic. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years too. With the pandemic, telemedicine saw an immediate boom compared to previous years. This boom in telehealth is projected to break US$185.6 billion by 2026.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare
Artificial intelligence, a new trend and advancement in technology in the healthcare industry, had a critical role in fighting the pandemic. AI played a major role in areas such as pandemic detection, vaccine development, facial recognition with masks, thermal screening, and analyzing CT scans. AI is becoming the new operating technology in the healthcare industry.
Major AI healthcare applications
Healthcare providers will benefit a lot from AI-driven tools as AI technology in the healthcare industry has become a transformational force. Machine learning algorithms and software in AI will revolutionize the use of technology in the healthcare industry and the science of healthcare in the coming years too. AI will unify machines and humans through the brain. Some of the AI technologies in the healthcare industry, which are very relevant, are machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), rule-based expert systems, physical robots, diagnostic and treatment, patient engagement and adherence, and administrative applications.
Benefits of AI in healthcare and statistics
AI addresses many challenges that present technology in the healthcare industry cannot tackle. Better data-driven decisions, increased disease diagnosis efficiency, reduced treatment time, easy integration of information, reduced costs, increased patient satisfaction, fewer errors, and easier payment options are some of the benefits AI-assisted technology in the healthcare industry can provide.
According to an analysis by Accenture, by 2026, clinical AI health applications are expected to create approximately US$150 billion for the US healthcare economy as annual savings. Also, the US AI health market is expected to reach around US$6.6 billion by 2021.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Nowadays, medical interactions involve some sort of equipment or device; it can be a glucose monitor, blood pressure monitor, or even an MRI scanner. It may not be a surprise now that, according to a 2020 Deloitte report, the available number of medical technologies are around 50,000. The internet-connected devices, which are known as IoMT tools, are transforming the healthcare and technology in the healthcare industry.
What Is IoMT?
The connected infrastructure of software applications, medical devices, and health systems and services are the IoMT. This has emerged by combining IoT development with telehealth technologies and telemedicine.
Potential of IoMT in healthcare and statistics
Lower costs for care, fewer mistakes, and more accurate diagnosis are the potential capabilities of IoMT. IoMT paired with various smartphone applications allows patients to send information regarding their health to doctors and get treated for diseases. This type of technology-driven healthcare not only improves patient experiences but also reduces the cost. IoMT, the new trend in technology in the healthcare industry, also has a positive effect on drug management.
According to Goldman Sachs, IoMT will save US$300 billion annually in the healthcare industry. AllTheResearch expects that the global IoMT market value will reach US$254.2 billion from US$44.5 billion in 2018.
Supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry
Utilizing advanced supply chain management technology in the healthcare industry enables healthcare providers to reach the right patients with the right product at the right time. Digitalized supply chain management also makes healthcare organizations improve provider-patient connectedness, data flow and analytics, regulatory compliance, and asset tracking.
A range of challenges faced by healthcare providers prompts you to digitalize supply chain networks, using the latest technologies in the healthcare industry. Advanced supply chain management technology will help you optimize costs, reduce unnecessary variation due to error and variability, enhance patient care, engagement, and delivery, and address new value-creation priorities.
According to reports from market researchers, global healthcare supply chain management technology is expected to reach US$3.3 billion in 2025 from US$2.2 billion in 2020.
Privacy is a serious concern in technology in the healthcare industry, especially because of HIPAA compliance in 2020. Although data and information of patients can be efficiently stored and retrieved through cloud computing, complying with the strict electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) is difficult.
While electronic health records and sensor networks, and advancements in other technologies in the healthcare industry will surely improve the quality of healthcare by reducing medical errors and costs, associated security and privacy are challenges to be addressed. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association estimated that stolen or lost PHI may cost the US healthcare industry approximately US$7 billion annually.
To solve these issues, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have to stop using outdated technology and adopt state-of-the-art technologies without violating HIPAA. Encryption technology in the healthcare industry is the best option and healthcare providers should start using it to ensure the privacy of patients.
AR, VR, and MR in Healthcare
Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are important technologies in the healthcare industry to enhance and ensure the quality of telemedicine, especially during the period of the pandemic. The pandemic has made these technologies more popular and the trend is expected to continue in the future too. Both of these technologies in the healthcare industry are used to enhance patient and provider visits and even to educate medical students.
AR and VR also have the potential to help stroke victims overcome deficiencies, assist in robotic surgeries, educate patients before surgeries, facilitate easy surgical planning, help patients with PTSD, and reduce anxiety in children during a painful procedure or blood tests. Mixed reality (MR) is the mixed use of both VR and MR in a patient’s healthcare process and is also gaining popularity.
Blockchain is a trend which is expected to revolutionize technology in the healthcare industry. Using blockchain or digital ledgers will enable you to securely distribute transaction records to patients with improved data security. Along with other trends such as cloud computing and IoMT, blockchain also offers portability, accessibility, and high security. One of the greatest benefits of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is interoperability.
As blockchain provides full visibility through a digital ledger, it improves integrity and transparency. Blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is beneficial to handle clinical study information, patient wearable data, and patient records.
Scope of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry
Various statistics on blockchain technology in the healthcare industry expect a wide scope for this technology. The global blockchain technology market in the healthcare industry is projected to cross US500 million by 2022.
Digital marketing trends in healthcare
Digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry has been revolutionized as new trends were set by the pandemic in 2020. As the world shrunk to online mode during the pandemic period, the following healthcare digital marketing trends emerged.
The smartest way to attract new patients to your service is content marketing and educational content. 2020 is the time where the content truly emerged as king. Educational content is vital in the healthcare space because everyone always tries to learn new things. It can be a trick or tips about the latest technological advancements, general industry news, or new diagnostic options.
Mobile responsive websites
Another important digital marketing technology in the healthcare industry is making an attractive website, which also must be mobile responsive. In this modern world of technology, everyone wants to access every facility at their fingertips. So, if your website is not mobile responsive, you won’t get traffic to your website easily.
Along with these two trending digital marketing technologies in the healthcare industry, some of the other trends are:
• Video marketing
• Multichannel initiatives and customer touchpoints
• Online reputation
• Powerful presence on social media channels
• Location-based SEO
The essential trends and advancements in technology in the healthcare industry depicting the future of healthcare are machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science along with a focus on effective healthcare digital marketing technology and strategy. The pandemic fueled B2B healthcare technology will make the industry evolve every year and go on resolving new challenges that arise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is technology important to the healthcare industry?
Integrating technology with healthcare industry will improve quality of life. Also, the use of digital technology in the healthcare industry will increase efficiency, quality, and patient experience.
What is new technology in healthcare?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many trending technologies are used in healthcare. The new technologies in the healthcare industries are AI, blockchain, chatbots, voice search, and virtual reality.
What are the negative impacts of medical technology?
Medical technology can have some negative impacts on patients such as impersonal or minimized care, negative health effects, increased patient costs, inappropriate use, and invasion of privacy.
Article | March 2, 2020
The information and data within any business is a valuable asset. It is now considered a key driver to business growth and success. Data is collected every second of every day, and so it is important for businesses to capture, process, and manage data correctly. The security of data must be a priority within a business. It needs to be protected from unauthorised access to prevent it from being tampered with, destroyed, or disclosed to others.
Article | February 12, 2020
With medical system consolidation and increasing numbers of medical records created, the need for digital access and storage is gaining steam. Digitizing records allows clinicians to improve accuracy and decrease redundant testing and studies, as well as reduce treatment delays. Greater availability of digitized records has other perks too. With vast amounts of accessible medical data, researchers can move public health studies forward, also potentially improving care and treatment of individual patients. As a result, cloud storage is taking off, though healthcare organizations are adopting it more slowly than other industries. According to a 2019 Nutanix report, 71% of healthcare organizations using cloud were considered the least mature – relative beginners – in that they were using fewer cloud services. Compare that figure to finance or retail, where 13% and 15% respectively were beginners. However, that is changing.
Article | February 18, 2021
Your sales cycle encompasses every action you take to close a new customer as a salesperson. But there is a possibility for the sales cycle to be confused with sales methodology. Sales methodology is a framework in which one practices a sales cycle. Whereas the sales cycle is the step-by-step process of you, as a salesperson, to close a deal with a client.
Piper Drive, a sales CRM and pipeline management platform defines a sales cycle as the series of predictable phases required to sell a product or a service, and that sales cycles can vary greatly among organizations, products, and services, and no one sale will be the same.
Especially with the healthcare industry, a thorough understanding of your health tech sales cycle will make your sales operations more efficient. Shortening the sales cycle without an up-front investment for sales is one of the critical healthcare sales and marketing goals. If you shorten your health tech sales cycle, you get more time to make additional leads. This will ultimately result in having an improved bottom line.
A faster and shorter sales cycle can bring you more advantages in the competitive sales world of your industry. It will indeed allow your company to grow its business by improving market share. Have you ever thought, as a salesperson, about the effective ways to shorten the health tech sales cycle? This article mainly focuses on proactive ways to shorten your sales cycle and improve profitability.
Challenges of Long B2B Health Tech Sales Cycle
According to Marketing Sherpa, a market research institute, the length of the sales cycle can vary from industry to industry. Comparatively, the health tech industry has a longer sales cycle. Still, there are many effective ways to shorten it and bring a positive impact on your sales process.
In general, B2B sales take a lot of time to maintain. Thus, the B2B health tech sales cycle takes even months to close a sale with a prospect and faces many challenges in the process. Some of the challenges you may face, as a health tech salesperson, can be the following on the process:
Turning the Lead to a Sales-Ready Prospect
No health tech salesperson will find a lead ready to make the sale without any persuasion from you. In the health tech sales cycle, lead nurturing should be your best bet to convert a prospect.
With longer sales cycles, it won't be easy to nurture a lead all through the process and make a sales-ready prospect. It would be easier to convert leads when they are ready if you keep in touch with the prospects. People often find it difficult to do so in the long health tech sales cycle and end up not converting potential clients into happy customers.
Maintaining Engagement Over Time
The sales team keeps converting leads on their radar. As days and months pass, it is challenging to memorize each prospect you have interacted with. Neglecting them brings nothing to your business.
It can be a juggle to balance new prospects with existing SQLs. Older ones may get lost in the weeds as new leads come in. No one can tell which one is a higher priority. Whom will you pay more attention to and for how long? It can be a severe obstacle in the long B2B health tech sales cycle.
Keeping Your Sales Team Energized
If your sales team is not engaged with the process itself and enjoys it, they will have a more challenging time dealing with leads. It is a fact that, unfortunately, salespeople can become frustrated or bored due to working with difficult and hesitant leads.
As the health tech sales cycle drags on, it is tough to remain emotionally calm. If you have no strategies to energize them promptly, apathy or discouragement may come into play.
Ensuring Marketing and Sales Alignment
Lack of communication between the sales and healthcare marketing teams can pose the most detrimental challenges. It can impact the health tech sales cycle seriously. This loss of alignment between marketing and sales can hurt lead nurturing and lead to further difficulties like the ones listed above.
When the two teams move out of sync, it often requires a lot of effort to get them on the same page again. These teams can work separately with decisions and different goals, but it would not benefit the entire company.
Five Stages of the Typical Sales Cycle
It is better to understand the five stages of the health tech sales cycle to comprehend how the sales cycle comes into play completely.
This is the stage where the sales team attracts leads and listens to them, and learns to offer what they need.
This is the stage for you to get leads to move forward with your offers. You can utilize all the data you have amassed during prospecting.
As a salesperson, this is when you learn about leads and determine whether the prospect intends to buy.
In this stage of the health tech sales cycle, you offer your product or services as an effective solution for your lead's pain points.
It’s a fit! By now, you know if your lead wants your product or service and move forward.
Benefits of Shortening your Sales Cycle
A shorter health tech sales cycle allows you to meet more prospects within the same time frame. For example, if you take one week for each prospect to complete the cycle, you can meet more people than with a two-week average life cycle for a single prospect. As you meet more people, it allows you to make more money. Moreover, most of the prospects prefer to have shorter sales cycles provided that you fulfill their need and solve their problem.
However, even with a short health tech sales cycle, you should have an effective method to track sales information. Along with a short sales cycle, an effective method will increase your team’s efficiency and sales numbers. You will make more profits and improve your sales cycle.
Ways to Shorten your Long Health Tech Sales Cycle
One of the significant challenges faced by healthcare technology salespeople is shortening their health tech sales cycle. Unlike B2C, the B2B process of sales has to deal with many decision-makers and educate them about the value of your products. Typically, it takes a lot of time and effort to convince your prospects that your solution is customized to meet their unique needs.
However, your health tech sales cycle can become agonizingly long as each prospect can have a different perspective about your solution. It can also occur due to the number of people involved in the decision-making in B2B companies. According to the latest Demand Gen Report, the buyer’s journey is getting more complicated and longer. This makes the sales process worse, which is already tedious.
However, the good news is that you can follow these marketing strategies to shorten your health tech sales cycle tactically.
Understand Your Buyer Personas
Keep yourself away from trying to engage the wrong people. This will not bring you any results in the end. Before commencing the sales process, you should have a clear idea of who your targeted audience is. The decision-makers or influencers in the organizations you are targeting are your buyer personas.
After identifying your personas, by answering the following questions, you can outline their qualities:
• What are their goals?
• What are their responsibilities?
• What trigger drives them to buy?
• What problems are they dealing with?
• How do they like to research?
• What inhibits a purchase?
As you answer these questions, you will get a clear idea of the best way to approach them.
Send an Introductory Video
The prospects get to know the salesperson only in the in-person meeting. So before the in-person meeting, you can consider sending them an introduction video. This would add value and explain why you are interested in them with a ‘call-to-action. It creates familiarity by the time you connect with them. This is a very creative step to shorten your health tech sales cycle.
Provide Pre-Sales Appointment Content
Having a sales appointment with a prospect, who does not know anything about your solution, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your health tech sales cycle. This means you may have to have several meetings to convince the client. This problem can be eliminated with a lead nurturing email with informative content. This email can have a link to an informative blog about your product, which was written previously. It will make them peruse your website before the actual sales meeting with you. It saves your time by eliminating many meetings to educate the prospect about your product.
Provide Post-Sales Appointment Content
The prospect is expected to come out with some concerns and objections after the first sales appointment. As a healthcare tech company salesperson, it is your responsibility to eliminate all those obstacles by addressing them strategically. Sending follow-up emails, videos, and case studies helps address those concerns. The content can be used to guide other prospects too. Overcoming these obstacles with effective content can shorten your health tech sales cycle effectively.
Come Clean with Pricing
Pricing of your products can be one of the main concerns for your prospects. Many salespeople address it only at the last stage of the health tech sales cycle. Not revealing the price at the beginning will only lengthen your process. Moreover, it may result in losing trust in you. Be transparent and reveal the price, to save yourself from such issues.
Leverage Social Proof
One of the smartest ways to win the trust of your prospect is to provide social proof. It will also make the deal close sooner. The best social proofs are case studies with the impact of your products or ROI. Remember to make that the company featured in the case study is similar to the particular prospect's company.
In the health tech sales cycle, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the prospect. Your sales cycle should connect with the process of lead nurturing, where you act as an advisor. This will also help you build trust with the prospects and increase your chances of closing the deal before the expected time.
Executing all of these alone would be challenging. At Media7, we help companies market their healthcare technology product with innovative strategies and support by implementing these strategies effectively. Our strategies help attract prospects, convert them and turn them into your happy customers forever. To know more about us, visit https://media7.com/
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the stages in the health tech sales cycle?
B2B health tech sales cycles include seven main stages. They are sales prospecting, making contact, qualifying the lead, nurturing the lead, making an offer, handling objections, and closing the sale. Following these steps help a salesperson to close the sale effectively.
How does the health tech sales cycle help?
The health tech sales cycle helps you identify potential clients and nurture them through the process of sales. It makes you effectively and efficiently guide your clients and gives them the confidence to go forward with more effort.
What are the best practices for the health tech sales cycle?
The best practices for the health tech sales cycle can be attracting more prospects through content marketing, building trust by understanding clients better, focusing on your customers' clients, and knowing the prospect’s organizational chart.
Why is the sales cycle important in health tech?
The sales cycle in the health tech industry helps the sales managers to forecast the accurate picture of your sales. This because they know where your salespersons are in the sales cycle. It also gives a clear picture of how many deals your salespeople close out of a given number of leads.