Article | January 11, 2021
Healthcare marketing, for a healthcare provider, is challenging as a lot of technologies are emerging in the market. What matters is choosing the right healthcare marketing techniques and technology to market your products and services. The global digital health market size was USD 51.3 billion in 2015. According to Global Market Insights, this is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.9% from 2016 to 2025. However, to compete with your opponents and to face the challenges of increasing patients buying your products and services, you need an excellent and well-designed marketing strategy with the latest healthcare marketing trends.
As we have entered a new decade, healthcare providers should look into developments in the healthcare marketing brought out by the year 2020. The global pandemic has changed all the practices in the industry, including the style of healthcare marketing and technology. Since the turn of the century, online marketing has been a part and parcel of healthcare marketing. However, healthcare marketing is witnessing a new era. This can be attributed to the increasing integration of various smart devices in the everyday lives of people and the introduction of artificial intelligence algorithms. Are you ready to leverage these technological transformations and changes?
This article discusses some of the major healthcare marketing trends to be integrated into your healthcare marketing strategies.
One of the important healthcare marketing trends that you can use is online reviews from happy patients. Healthcare providers have largely relied upon these online reviews— the patient sentiment—to establish a reputation and acquire new patients. These reviews are widespread across multiple online platforms and anyone can easily access them.
A study conducted by Binary Fountain in 2019 claimed that 60% of people use online reviews to choose a healthcare provider. It also claimed that 75% are influenced by online feedback when they go for a healthcare provider. This shows how influential this healthcare marketing trend is. Thus, in 2021, healthcare providers should concentrate on acquiring positive reviews and replying to both good and bad reviews and feedback. It is crucial to respond to negative reviews for your online reputation management, as 70% of patients consider it important to address patient concerns publicly.
Content is King
Content marketing is yet another healthcare marketing trend that healthcare providers should focus on. Producing educational, entertaining, engaging, and high-quality content is crucial in increasing your online brand visibility and patient engagement. This aspect of online marketing came into existence ever since Google became the king in the search engine market and established their ever-evolving algorithms.
To leverage this healthcare marketing trend, healthcare providers should have a plan for creating content holistically and publishing it on multiple platforms in different forms. All content that goes online should be well-produced and authoritative. All forms of text-based content, such as articles, blogs, press releases, white papers, and case studies, should be well-written and have high-quality links. It is also good to add images to your content to increase engagement.
Within this healthcare marketing trend, video marketing is considered to be the most effective one because online visual content appeals to users more than any other form of content. To make the most out of your videos, you can run video ads on YouTube, share them on your social media pages, and post them on websites and landing pages.
Responsive, Fast Loading Websites
Among the online healthcare marketing techniques, it is very important to have a very responsive and fast loading website. Also, the navigation on the site should be smooth and easy. This is because the websites with these features win more patients.
Websites of healthcare providers with ads and pop-ups, navigation issues, and slow loading will make users leave the site in no time. This will be much realized in 2021 as patients expect websites to load instantly on all their devices, including their smartphones.
To increase patient acquisition, you may have to streamline and optimize your website for both mobile and desktop viewing. Here are some quick tips to make your website loading fast and navigation easy:
• Decrease image size on your website
• Switch to a faster web host
• Clean up unnecessary code.
Growing Influence of Social Media
Having a strong presence on all social media platforms is an effective digital healthcare marketing tactic. The online presence of your healthcare organization should not be limited to your website. To maximize your brand’s reach and to have an impact in 2021, you may have to make full use of all social media platforms. In terms of lead generation, engagement, marketing, and reputation management, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others, are turning more influential nowadays. According to Statista, social media has 2.82 billion active users. More specifically, according to Hootsuite, as of 2020, 90% of older adults use social media to seek or share healthcare information.
This most influential healthcare digital marketing trend can be effectively used by creating and promoting targeted ads on all these platforms. Also, by interacting with users through likes, comments, and shares and publishing content regularly, you can increase your organic reach. For any healthcare provider and marketer of 2021 and beyond, it is a massive mistake to neglect the power of social media.
Data-Driven Healthcare Marketing
In 2021, to personalize outreach campaigns, healthcare providers and marketers will have data and tools. Adhering to HIPAA regulations, healthcare providers can design various marketing materials according to key demographics, such as key health concerns, income levels, age range, etc. This is the more granular approach to reach new patients and to keep your regular and current patients loyal to your brand. This personalized healthcare marketing technique will make patients feel that they are treated well and slowly build up trust in your brand.
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which is reliable and healthcare-specific, can store relevant patient data. To optimize your marketing strategy, insights from the stored data can be considered. Thus, this important healthcare marketing technique—data-driven healthcare marketing—helps you personalize your healthcare marketing campaigns.
Turning to Telemedicine Technology
Demanding physical processes and spatial barriers are not yet a big restriction for healthcare providers. Artificial intelligence, telemedicine, automated systems, and IOT contribute a lot to make healthcare more efficient and accessible. Highlighting these features in healthcare also becomes an effective healthcare marketing technique.
Using telemedicine software, healthcare can be provided remotely, which eliminates the need for an in-house visit. Although this breakthrough happened at the start of the century, it will become more accessible, viable, reliable, and will be used widely than ever before in 2021. Patients with mobility and transportation issues prefer using remote healthcare services and adding these facilities to your services can be considered a part of healthcare marketing tactics. So start offering remote healthcare services, if you have not started yet. This will eventually increase your brand reputation and build up trust.
Self-Serving Technologies- Patient Profiles, Chatbots, and Appointment-Scheduling Modules
As part of healthcare marketing plan and strategy, patient profiles, chatbots, and appointment-scheduling modules are incorporated by providers in their websites. These additions provide more awareness and control of their health to the patients. Updating your website to include these self-serving technology will help you improve the patient experience online.
Look forward to the new developments in healthcare marketing technology to improve your healthcare marketing, which is suitable for you. Embracing all of these changes and transformation in healthcare marketing strategy will help you stay ahead of your competitors with effective healthcare marketing campaigns strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are technological advances in healthcare?
The year 2020 witnessed a lot of technological advancements in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic. Some of the major ones among them are personalized medicine, telemedicine, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
What technology is used in healthcare marketing?
Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, voice search, and augmented reality are some of the major technologies used in treatment and marketing in healthcare in 2021. However, the technology in healthcare marketing is ever-evolving as new trends are set every moment.
Why is technology important in marketing?
Technology is very important in businesses and marketing as technology helps businesses grow. It also creates relationships and it is necessary for communication between the customer and the organizations. Technology is an essential part of any business for development and growth.
What is the most effective healthcare marketing technology?
There are many existing and emerging healthcare marketing technologies in the global market. However, the most effective marketing technique is social media; generating leads through social media and websites.
Article | March 26, 2021
Health tech marketers tend to have a real bias problem. Everyone wants to believe that they have the best product available in the market, and are quite vocal about it on social platforms. But, are those the things your buyers want to know about your products?
The biggest mistake you can ever make in health tech marketing is leading it with a technology bias. It will immediately create a distance between your audience and you. If you are working in technology, you can easily assume that everyone knows what you are talking about all the time. You breathe and live your industry. And as the marketer of your company's products, it's your responsibility to go to prospects with your tech company’s message. In your personal life, too, you may talk to your friends and families about your work and realize they have no interest in what you say as they have no idea what you are talking about. That is because they are not immersed in your company or industry.
The same can happen in your health tech marketing process with your prospects and customers. Instead of focusing on their problems, if you lead with your technology solution and features of your products and company, you will lose them. It is vital to step back and see the bias you have in your company’s marketing initiatives.
How Technology Bias Affects Health Tech Marketing
The effects of technology bias in health tech marketing are strongest when the health tech marketer focuses more on technology, product, or company than the buyer's pain points. Customers do not want to know everything about your product. They probably want to know how your product can solve their issues. When approaching buyers with your product, this health tech marketing technology bias can have many adverse effects on the buying process.
Technology bias in health tech marketing will lead to failure to get the customers' trust. They feel you are just trying to sell your product by explaining your product's features rather than solving the customer's issues. Technology bias in health tech marketing also will result in a negative effect on brand performance. As a health tech marketer, you are wrong in assuming you can sell your products by boosting the company or products of the company. It will only result in losing the customer's trust if you are not considering the buyers' problems. If you are going on with the practice, it will eventually affect your brand's performance as buyers view you as not genuine.
This unfair practice of technology bias in health tech marketing will make you realize that you are losing the customers, even the existing ones. No buyer wants to hear more about the features or the technologies used in your products. They are focused on their issues and want to know how your product can solve those issues. Thus, as a health tech marketer, you may have to focus more on the customer pain points when approaching buyers; this will help you convert potential customers into clients.
How to Get Rid of Technology Bias and Improve Health Tech Sales
FPX Digital Transformation Study 2019 says that B2B companies have shifted their focus to customer experience from internal efficiency. Most of the respondents agree that they spend much of their digital transformation funds improving the customer experience.
An important way to implement a buyer-centric or customer-centric marketing approach is to remove bias about your product from your health tech marketing efforts. Mainly, this has to be removed from the messages you send out in the early stages of the buyer journey. However, making it practical is difficult as it is ingrained in how you write, speak, and present your company to external and internal audiences.
Here are some tips to get out of technology bias in health tech marketing and get closer to your customers.
Listen to Customers Clearly
Successful marketers excel not only in communicating but also in listening. It is impossible to create a message about your health tech product if you do not know what problem it can really solve. It will help if you take the time to know your prospects and customers. Do not let your mind wander thinking about which benefits and features you have to push in your health tech marketing. Remain fully present in video, phone, and in-person meetings. That will help you find they have different problems, and you can solve them differently.
When you give importance to listening, you will not waste time and effort solving a problem that you think exists. Instead, you will start developing buyer-centric health tech marketing messages that align with your business.
Don’t Assume Anything
You hate being in a room where people are talking about a subject you know nothing about. Your health tech buyers may have the same experience if you assume your customers know what you do and how they fit into your space.
That’s why it’s essential not to take a “features-first” approach in your marketing interactions. You understand your product's ins and outs, but your prospects don’t and are likely not ready for that. As an effective health tech marketing technique, before you assume anything, give them the complete picture of who you are.
Simplify the Message
A product-driven language full of jargon will make your brand unapproachable for your audience. You can apply the old phrase here, “keep it simple stupid.” You have to position your technology as sophisticated and robust, not convoluted and tricky, through an effective health tech marketing process.
Your health tech marketing content should make sense to people both outside and inside your industry and company. Visitors of your website should not go for additional research to understand what you do precisely. It should be clear from your content. Thus, simplifying your content is essential.
Make Your Customer the Hero
The hero of your health tech marketing story is not you but your customer. After all, your customers in your industry work hard to deliver better service and results to their customers.
Your messages should position you as a mentor for your customers that provides technology support in the job of your customers to drive success. The “customer hero” approach should have a fundamental change in how you speak to your customers. The approach is not fully taken hold in the B2B health tech marketing space so far.
Share Real World Stories
One of the most practical ways to eliminate technology bias from your health tech marketing is to talk more about your customers and less about your products and company. You have to show you have the purpose of bringing in a fundamental change in your industry that enhances the day-to-day business lives of people and not just sell great technology.
Testimonials and customer case studies help a lot in shaping your brand story. Using them, narratives can be created about your customers' journey after and before using your technology. Rather than detailing the benefits and features of technology, narratives highlight the platform's tangible business value for real people in businesses.
Technology brings a change in companies, and most people do not accept changes so quickly. It is because the change pushes people to do things differently by moving beyond their comfort zones.
As part of health tech marketing, your job is not to make this change terrifying, but compelling for your buyers. This will happen only when you take your technology out of your head and start focusing on your clients' requirements, problems they face, and what exactly they need from you. It will then surely make you put your product and technology bias aside. And you will be capable of effectively executing your health tech marketing initiatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does health tech marketing become effective?
Effective health tech marketing is essential to reach out to potential clients and grab their attention. Health tech marketing becomes effective only when the marketer focuses on the requirements of the clients rather than on the features of the product or company.
What is technology bias in marketing?
Technology bias in marketing is focusing much on your product or technology when you market a technology product to your prospects. Getting rid of this bias will make you attract more clients and successful in your marketing.
How to get rid of technology bias in health tech marketing?
Technology bias in your health tech marketing makes the customers put a distance from you. The best way to get rid of it is to make the customer the hero of your marketing messages by focusing on their issues.
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"text": "Effective health tech marketing is essential to reach out to potential clients and grab their attention. Health tech marketing becomes effective only when the marketer focuses on the requirements of the clients rather than on the features of the product or company."
"name": "What is technology bias in marketing?",
"text": "Technology bias in marketing is focusing much on your product or technology when you market a technology product to your prospects. Getting rid of this bias will make you attract more clients and successful in your marketing."
"name": "How to get rid of technology bias in health tech marketing?",
"text": "Technology bias in your health tech marketing makes the customers put a distance from you. The best way to get rid of it is to make the customer the hero of your marketing messages by focusing on their issues."
Article | September 4, 2020
A digital twin is a digital representation of a real-world entity or system. The implementation of a digital twin is a model that mirrors a unique physical object, process, organization, person or other abstraction. For healthcare providers, digital twins provide an abstraction of the healthcare ecosystem’s component characteristics and behaviors. These are used in combination with other real-time health system (RTHS) capabilities to provide real-time monitoring, process simulation for efficiency improvements, population health and long-term, cross-functional statistical analyses.
Digital twins have the potential to transform and accelerate decision making, reduce clinical risk, improve operational efficiencies and lower cost of care, resulting in better competitive advantage for HDOs. However, digital twins will only be as valuable as the quality of the data utilized to create them. The digital twin of a real-world entity is a method to create relevance for descriptive data about its modeled entity. How that digital twin is built and used can lead to better-informed care pathways and organizational decisions, but it can also lead clinicians and executives down a path of frustration if they get the source data wrong. The underlying systems that gather and process data are key to the success for digital twin creation. Get those systems right and digital twins can accelerate care delivery and operational efficiencies.
Twins in Healthcare Delivery
The fact is that HDOs have been using digital twins for years. Although rudimentary in function, digital representations of patients, workflow processes and hospital operations have already been applied by caregivers and administrators across the HDO. For example, a physician uses a digital medical record to develop a treatment plan for a patient. The information in the medical record (a rudimentary digital twin) along with the physician’s experience, training and education combine to provide a diagnostic or treatment plan. Any gaps in information must be compensated through additional data gathering, trial-and-error treatments, intuitive leaps informed through experience or simply guessing. The CIO’s task now is to remove as many of those gaps as possible using available technology to give the physician the greatest opportunity to return their patients to wellness in the most efficient possible manner.
Today, one way to close those gaps is to create the technology-based mechanisms to collect accurate data for the various decision contexts within the HDO. These contexts are numerous and include decisioning perspectives for every functional unit within the enterprise. The more accurate the data collected on a specific topic, the higher the value of the downstream digital twin to each decision maker (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Digital Twins Are Only as Good as Their Data Source
HDO CIOs and other leaders that base decisions on poor-quality digital twins increase organizational risk and potential patient care risk. Alternatively, high-quality digital twins will accelerate digital business and patient care effectiveness by providing decision makers the best information in the correct context, in the right moment and at the right place — hallmarks of the RTHS.
Benefits and Uses
Digital Twin Types in Healthcare Delivery
Current practices for digital twins take two basic forms: discrete digital twins and composite digital twins. Discrete digital twins are the type that most people think about when approaching the topic. These digital twins are one-dimensional, created from a single set or source of data. An MRI study of a lung, for example, is used to create a digital representation of a patient that can be used by trained analytics processes to detect the subtle image variations that indicate a cancerous tumor. The model of the patient’s lung is a discrete digital twin. There are numerous other examples of discrete digital twins across healthcare delivery, each example tied to data collection technologies for specific clinical diagnostic purposes. Some of these data sources include vitals monitors, imaging technologies for specific conditions, sensors for electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG). All these technologies deliver discrete data describing one (or very few) aspects of a patient’s condition.
Situational awareness is at the heart of HDO digital twins. They are the culmination of information gathered from IoT and other sources to create an informed, accurate digital model of the real-world healthcare organization. Situational awareness is the engine behind various “hospital of the future,” “digital hospital” and “smart patient room” initiatives. It is at the core of the RTHS.
Digital twins, when applied through the RTHS, positively impact these organizational areas (with associated technology examples — the technologies all use one or more types of digital twins to fulfill their capability):
Clinical communication and collaboration
Next-generation nurse call
Alarms and notifications
Integrated patient room
Digital Twin Usability
Digital twin risk is tied directly to usability. Digital twin usability is another way of looking at the issue created by poor data quality or low data point counts used to create the twins. Decision making is a process that is reliant on inputs from relevant information sources combined with education, experience, risk assessment, defined requirements, criteria and opportunities to reach a plausible conclusion. There is a boundary or threshold that must be reached for each of these inputs before a person or system can derive a decision. When digital twins are used for one or many of these sources, the ability to cross these decision thresholds to create reasonable and actionable conclusions is tied to the accuracy of the twins (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Digital Twin Usability Thresholds
For example, the amount of information about a patient room required to decide if the space is too hot or cold is low (due to a single temperature reading from a wall-mounted thermostat). In addition, the accuracy or quality of that data can be low (that is, a few degrees off) and still be effective for deciding to raise or lower the room temperature. To decide if the chiller on the roof of that patient wing needs to be replaced, the decision maker needs much more information. That data may represent all thermostat readings in the wing over a long period of time with some level of verification on temperature accuracy. The data may also include energy load information over the same period consumed by the associated chiller.
If viewed in terms of a digital twin, the complexity level and accuracy level of the source data must pass an accuracy threshold that allows users to form accurate decisions. There are multiple thresholds for each digital twin — based on twin quality — whether that twin is a patient, a revenue cycle workflow or hospital wing. These thresholds create a limit of decision impact; the lower the twin quality the less important the available decision for the real-world entity the twin represents.
Trusting Digital Twins for HDOs
The concept of a limit of detail required to make certain decisions raises certain questions. First, “how does a decision maker know they have enough detail in their digital twin to take action based on what the model is describing about its real-world counterpart?” The answer lies in measurement and monitoring of specific aspects of a digital twin, whether it be a discrete twin, composite twin or organization twin.
Users must understand the inputs required for decisions and where twins will provide one or more of the components of that input. They need to examine the required decision criteria in order to reach the appropriate level of expected outcome from the decision itself. These feed into the measurements that users will have to monitor for each twin. These criteria will be unique to each twin. Composite twins will have unique measurements that may be independent from the underlying discrete twin measurement.
The monitoring of these key twin characteristics must be as current as the target twin’s data flow or update process. Digital twins that are updated once can have a single measurement to gauge its appropriateness for decisioning. A twin that is updated every second based on event stream data must be measured continuously.
This trap is the same for all digital twins regardless of context. The difference is in the potential impact. A facilities decision that leads to cooler-than-desired temperatures in the hallways pales in comparison to a faulty clinical diagnosis that leads to unnecessary testing or negative patient outcomes.
All it takes is a single instance of a digital twin used beyond its means with negative results for trust to disappear — erasing the significant investments in time and effort it took to create the twin. That is why it is imperative that twins be considered a technology product that requires constant process improvement. From the IoT edge where data is collected to the data ingestion and analytics processes that consume and mold the data to the digital twin creation routines, all must be under continuous pressure for improvement.
Include a Concise Digital Twin Vision Within the HDO Digital Transformation Strategy
Digital twins are one of the foundational constructs supporting digital transformation efforts by HDO CIOs. They are digital representations of the real-world entities targeted by organizations that benefit from the advances and efficiencies technologies bring to healthcare delivery. Those technology advances and efficiencies will only be delivered successfully if the underlying data and associated digital twins have the appropriate level of precision to sustain the transformation initiatives.
To ensure this attention to digital twin worthiness, it is imperative that HDO CIOs include a digital twin vision as part of their organization’s digital transformation strategy. Binding the two within the strategy will reinforce the important role digital twins play in achieving the desired outcomes with all participating stakeholders.
Building new capabilities — APIs, artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies enable the connections and automation that the platform provides.
Leveraging existing systems — Legacy systems that an HDO already owns can be adapted and connected to form part of its digital platform.
Applying the platform to the industry — Digital platforms must support specific use cases, and those use cases will reflect the needs of patients, employees and other consumers.
Create a Digital Twin Pilot Program
Like other advanced technology ideas, a digital twin program is best started as a simple project that can act as a starting point for maturity over time. Begin this by selecting a simple model of a patient, a department or other entity tied to a specific desired business or clinical outcome. The goal is to understand the challenges your organization will face when implementing digital twins.
The target for the digital twin should be discrete and easily managed. For example, a digital twin of a blood bank storage facility is a contained entity with a limited number of measurement points, such as temperature, humidity and door activity. The digital twin could be used to simulate the impact of door open time on temperature and humidity within the storage facility. The idea is to pick a project that allows your team to concentrate on data collection and twin creation processes rather than get tied up in specific details of the modeled object.
Begin by analyzing the underlying source data required to compose the digital twin, with the understanding that the usability of the twins is directly correlated to its data’s quality. Understand the full data pathway from the IoT devices through to where that data is stored. Think through the data collection type needed for the twin, is discrete data or real-time data required? How much data is needed to form the twin accurately? How accurate is the data generated by the IoT devices?
Create a simulation environment to exercise the digital twin through its paces against known operational variables. The twin’s value is tied to how the underlying data represents the response of the modeled entity against external input. Keep this simple to start with — concentrate on the IT mechanisms that create and execute the twin and the simulation environment.
Monitor and measure the performance of the digital twin. Use the virtuous cycle to create a constant improvement process for the sample twin. Experience gained through this simple project will create many lessons learned and best practices to follow for complex digital twins that will follow.
Article | April 16, 2020
The healthcare industry is experiencing rapid shifts. Some of this is due to the current pandemic, but much of this evolution was happening even before the COVID-19 outbreak. Understanding and embracing the introduction of new technology into the market will be important for healthcare professionals and patients alike. Here are some of the trends worth keeping tabs on: