Infographic: How healthcare professionals use social media

BETSY CARON |

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Healthcare IT News has covered the rise of social media in healthcare from many angles, including privacy concerns, live OR tweets and the need for organizations to adopt social media policies. This infographic illustrates some of the many ways healthcare professionals are using social media in their careers...

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Preparing for the Future of Healthcare in Light of Automation

Article | February 24, 2020

Software automation accelerates processes and makes them more cost-effective, accurate, scalable, and measurable. But it also lets organizations coordinate and manage a collection of disparate systems according to business rules. These benefits offer enough value that automation is becoming an indispensable part of the enterprise toolkit. A 2019 Deloitte survey of 523 executives across industries found that 58% of organizations were already using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) combined. The top four objectives of this intelligent automation: increased productivity, cost savings, accuracy, and customer experience. How will this trend affect the healthcare job market? In the healthcare industry, examples include scheduling appointments, physician order entry, checking for allergies, ordering electronic prescriptions, validating a spreadsheet’s entries against data on a website, and manually transferring data from one system to another. Healthcare office workers tend to hate these tasks, which typically require very little decision-making, judgment, or creativity.

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Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

Article | February 24, 2020

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. Reviews Matter 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.

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Effective ways to Speed-up your Health Tech Sales Cycle

Article | February 24, 2020

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. Prospect This is the stage where the sales team attracts leads and listens to them, and learns to offer what they need. Connect 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. Research As a salesperson, this is when you learn about leads and determine whether the prospect intends to buy. Present 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. Close 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.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Post Pandemic Meltdown: Gamified Dieting Success Rates, Sign-ups Surge Amid ‘Quarantine 15’ Concerns

Article | February 24, 2020

Let’s face it. It’s been one tough year with too many of us sitting idle and indulging in calorie-laden foods for way too long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe. For all too many, sheltering in place has prompted unwelcome weight gain—a troublesome truth as we head into the holiday season where gluttony oft reigns supreme. That said, many individuals did have foresight and motivation back in March and the months that followed, wisely leveraging that extreme downtime to “diet for dollars” with HealthyWage—a pioneer of money-driven weight loss contests and challenges for individuals, teams and business groups. In fact, those who started a 6-month HealthyWager challenge during the pandemic (late March through May) broke company records, spurring a dramatic increase in pound shedding success rates—and in-kind cash payouts—against the norm. So motivated became America to drop, or avoid, the so-called ‘quarantine 15’ and score some cold hard cash in the process, HealthyWage reports that this past May it logged a substantial year-over-year increase in challenge participants at large. This is not surprising given Google search trends indicates the portion of people searching for weight loss hit a 5-year high in May of 2020—a level even exceeding the quintessential New Year’s diet resolution season. Beyond the fact that people who started weight loss wagers during the pandemic achieved much greater success as compared to participant results the prior year, and earning hundreds and even thousands of dollars for their efforts, it is women and individuals under 30 years of age primarily accounting for the sustained increases. For example, among the litany of pandemic era success stories, Lisa S. won over $1,900 for losing 50 pounds in 6 months while Hayden T. won over $1,200 for losing over 62 pounds in 6 months—both during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus rages on well into the fourth quarter, we collectively find ourselves again having to shelter-in-place. Those trying to reconcile how they will survive this next round of being home bound, and the holiday season at large, with mitigated waistline and budgetary wreckage—and who are even planning their New Year resolution approach just beyond—would be wise to consider the gamified dieting approach. “Loss Aversion is a powerful dynamic and the reality of having ‘skin in the game’ can propel the results of a gamified weight loss initiative,” notes HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. The efficacy of diet gamification is well-proven. For one, according to study findings published by JAMA Internal Medicine, behavioral economics-based gamification led to “significantly” increased physical activity among overweight and obese Americans. In this particular study, pairing a step tracking device with social incentives led to sustained, long-term behavior change—prompting participants to take more steps then with a step tracking device, alone. While the report explains that “gamification interventions significantly increased physical activity during the 24-week intervention,” with competition being the “most effective.” That’s something HealthyWage has seen play out since launching its weight-loss gamification platform in 2009. HealthyWage is, in fact, founded on earlier substantive research and "double-incentivization" methodology that proves competition and rewards—especially the cash variety—can as much as triple the effectiveness of weight loss programs. “A key element for the success of a gamification program is giving participants something to lose if they fail to meet their goal—whether tangible or intangible,” notes Roddenberry. “In this particular study, it was just points at stake but even this effected behavior change. There are actually throngs of studies demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” A few other notable HealthyWager success stories (both female and male) are case-in-point. These include Jean N. who lost 71 lbs. and won $3,357.99 for her efforts, and Jeremy M. who also lost 71 lbs. and won $1,886.32 for his own slimdown success. From its website, HealthyWage.com shares yet more inspirational success stories of both women and men who gained financially for their pound-shedding achievements using the company’s unique gamification approach. This includes Kristin W. who lost a staggering 114 pounds and won $4,000 for her efforts, Anastasia W. who lost 41 pounds and won a whopping $10,000 in kind, and Blake S. who lost an impressive 151 pounds and won $4,670 for his own slimdown success. Figures that are tasty, indeed. These and other such HealthyWage payouts are proof positive. For their weight-loss achievements that collectively exceeds an astounding 1,050,000 pounds for this year, alone—269 of which losing in excess of 100 pounds (and nearly 7.5 million pounds lost since the company’s launch), HealthyWage has reportedly paid more than xx30,000 dieters over $13 million cash in 2020, specifically, and over $55 million cash since its inception in 2009. HealthyWage programs apply these principles: HealthyWager Challenge: participants commit to a weight loss goal and an upfront financial payment and get their money back plus a financial return if they accomplish their weight loss goal. The average participant loses 40.7 pounds and gets paid $1,245. HealthyWage Step Challenge: participants commit money and agree to increase their steps by 25% over 60-days. If they achieve their goal they get their money back plus the money from those who don't hit their goal. Upholding the new findings while also further validating HealthyWage’s well-honed approach, an additional study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine continue to prove that money is an effective motivator to “increase both the magnitude and duration of weight loss.” The same hold true in business for staff wellness initiatives. Results from one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that “Loss Incentive’ Motivates Employees to Take More Steps ,” finding that financial incentives framed as a loss were most effective for achieving physical activity goals. As a prolific corporate and group wellness purveyor, since 2009 HealthyWage has worked with an array of hi-caliber participants on workplace and staff wellness initiatives, including Halliburton, ConocoPhillips and more than 25% of the largest school districts in the country. HealthyWage has, in fact, formally created competitive, money-motivated programs for more than 1000 Fortune 500 and other public and private companies, hospitals, health systems, insurers, school systems, municipal governments and other organizations throughout the U.S., and their program has been more informally run at more than 7,000 companies and organizations seeking to bolster staff health and well-being, and boost bottom lines in kind. “Throngs of studies reiterate the importance of the 'stick' in the design of a wellness incentive program, whether for individuals at home or for employee groups,” Roddenberry says. “Many studies have demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” Studies do consistently show that monetary incentives serve to enhance the effectiveness of, and duly complement, weight-loss programs of any and all sorts, especially when paid out quickly like HealthyWage’s various programs. For its part, HealthyWage reports that the average participant more than doubles their investment if they are successful at achieving their goal. The financial upside potential is impressive. So, if this is the season when you would like to not only resolve to lose those extra lbs. but also actually achieve that worthy goal, consider a cash-fueled approach. It just might give you that extra dose of motivation that’ll truly help you stay the course, shed weight and make some extra money in the process. There’s no better time than right now to bank on yourself.

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DocOnline's vision is to make healthcare available everywhere for everyone at anytime and anywhere. How? Through a combination of steadily increasing Internet presence as well as computer intelligence, we can create a healthcare plan available to all people on their terms.

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