Sponsored: The Post-ACA World at a Glance

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Healthcare is among the most highly regulated industries. To further complicate matters, the regulations are ever-changing. Today, healthcare organizations must possess the agility to transform current practices and constantly navigate new waters. Following the Affordable Care Act (ACA), key changes must now be made to the current care paradigm. These changes center around three initiatives in 1) expanding preventive care programs, 2) adopting a pay-for-performance (P4P) reimbursement system, and 3) increasing the focus on patient-centered outcomes. These sweeping changes will require significant improvements to healthcare’s current workflows and IT infrastructures…

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Affect Mental Health

At Affect, we seek to harness contemporary innovations in science and technology to address the challenges of stigma, access, and quality of mental healthcare. Our ambition is to build sustainable enterprises unafraid of transforming traditional approaches to mental health.

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Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Transforming the Future of Healthcare

Article | December 29, 2020

Virtual reality (VR), the new technological advancement, is set to transform practices in the healthcare industry. According to Statista, it is estimated that, by 2022, the second largest market share of VR will be from the healthcare industry. Virtual reality in healthcare operates in various divisions to offer a greater quality of patient care and performance of medical professionals. For the health and healthcare industry, from the clinical process to the user, VR has a multitude of applications such as tutoring future doctors, generating new life-saving routines, etc. Virtual reality in healthcare can confront the challenges in the industry, including efficiently handling huge healthcare databases, training and development of medical professionals, patient engagement, disease awareness, medical marketing, patient treatment, etc. Virtual reality in the healthcare market, according to a report from Reports and Data, is expected to reach USD 8.03 billion by 2027 from USD 2.06 billion in 2019. This article discusses how virtual reality in healthcare is going to transform the industry by applying it in various divisions such as medical training, patient treatment, patient engagement, disease awareness, and medical marketing. Virtual Reality in Healthcare Training VR in healthcare can transport you to areas, inside of the human body, that otherwise would be impossible to access and view. Medical students currently use cadavers to learn, but cadavers do not react the same way live patients do. Also, cadavers are very difficult to get hold of. When VR is used in healthcare training, students can view even minute detail of all parts of the body. This view is possible in stunning 360° CGI reconstruction and creates training scenarios, which would replicate real surgical procedures. Virtual Reality in healthcare can be used to deliver high-quality surgical training. Using virtual reality, 4K 360° video of real-life surgery is filmed from multiple angles. Then it is combined with CGI models of the anatomy, which is being operated. This advanced use of virtual reality in healthcare provides medical students with an interactive and immersive training experience. Treatment Patient Education The ability of virtual reality in healthcare to see inside of the human body is useful for both doctors and patients. With the help of VR, doctors can take patients through their surgical plan. This is made possible by a virtual view of the anatomy and pathology of patients through a patient-specific 360° VR reconstruction. The result of this is an enhanced understanding of the treatment for patients and higher patient satisfaction. Robotic Surgery Robotic surgery is a recent innovation. A robotic device, such as a robotic arm, is used in a robotic surgery while being controlled by a human surgeon. This utilization of virtual reality in healthcare makes sure of fewer or no risk of complications in surgeries. This also makes the surgeon finish the surgery procedure faster with greater accuracy. The robotic devices are accurate with reduced blood loss, smaller incisions, and faster recovery. Mental Health and Psychological Therapy The unique ability of virtual reality technology to take you anywhere virtually can be utilized to create a powerful virtual reality simulation in healthcare of various scenarios in which psychological issues occur. This eliminates the necessity of a therapist accompanying patients to various scenarios such as a tall building or a crowded shopping center to provide proper counseling. These scenarios can be easily created with virtual reality technology in healthcare. Virtual reality in healthcare market has also been used to help autistic children in the classroom, curb memory loss, and gather data for dementia research. Pain Management and Physical Therapy Apart from psychological issues, the healing capabilities of VR are also used in pain management and physical treatment. According to a study by the UW Harborview Burn Centre and the University of Washington Seattle, a full VR immersion acted as a distraction for patients, who were undergoing physical therapy after a skin graft. This distraction subsequently reduced their feeling of pain. Virtual reality in healthcare is also found to be effective in reducing recovery time in physical therapy. Patients performing their daily exercises in a virtual environment, find the task to be more fun than usual. It also keeps the patients focused and helps them keep their spirits up and recover sooner. Patient Engagement With the help of virtual reality in healthcare, patients can experience a virtual tour of the inside of their bodies before surgeries. This is a 360-degree, three-dimensional (3D) tour. This enables patients to know their body, anatomy, and pathology, before the surgical procedures. Virtual Reality Medical Visualization platform is developed for the tour. These advancements with virtual reality in healthcare engage patients thoroughly, which reduces tension and lead to a speedy recovery. Medical Marketing The most popular and initial application of Virtual reality was marketing. Still, it continues to be one of the most effective and powerful marketing tools. The ability to use VR to project the future of healthcare is the most powerful tactic in healthcare marketing. With Virtual reality in healthcare, one of the most powerful tactics that you can have to market in the industry is to show people what changes they can expect when they start or stop exercising, lose or gain weight, the progress they make through cancer treatments, etc. As the possibilities of virtual reality in healthcare are endless, healthcare professionals and providers can attract more patients, doctors with high caliber, and nursing staff to your facilities. When those are in short supply, virtual reality in healthcare can be used as an excellent healthcare marketing tool to ensure expected results. Disease Awareness AbbVie, a pharmaceutical research & development company, created an experience to educate medical professionals and raise awareness among them regarding the daily struggle Parkinson’s disease patients undergo. The experience was demonstrated at a pharmaceutical industry trade show. People put on a headset and experienced how Parkinson’s sufferers navigate a virtual supermarket, meeting with difficult moments when they come in contact with other people. Such experiences with virtual reality in healthcare help raise awareness for various diseases among professionals and patients. Virtual reality presentations can be conducted to raise awareness of certain diseases. The Future of Virtual Reality in Healthcare A lot of applications of virtual reality in healthcare are in their nascent stage. In the coming years, virtual reality will be used more in healthcare, which will improve the effectiveness and accuracy of present procedures. It will also enhance the various human capabilities, for both patients and medical professionals. Virtual reality in healthcare has huge potential, but only limited by the ingenuity and creativity of people who create and apply the technology. VR will surely transform medical training, physical and psychological therapies, rehabilitation, mental health treatments, and patient engagement, among others. Virtual reality in healthcare holds the power to transform the way doctors are trained and treatment is provided to patients. According to reports from various market research companies, especially research done by Grand View Research, predict that, by 2025, virtual reality in the healthcare market will grow to a whopping US$5.1 billion. The major driving forces behind this growth are Rapid technological advancements in the healthcare industry and driving demand for rehabilitation and simulation training. Frequently asked questions How is virtual reality used in healthcare? In healthcare, virtual reality is used in treatment, training, and to raise awareness among medical professionals and patients regarding various diseases. Patients and doctors are made to view the inside of the human body using virtual reality. Where is virtual reality used in healthcare? Virtual reality is used in various sectors of healthcare to deliver high quality patient care. Treatment with the assistance of virtual reality also increases the efficiency of medical professionals. Virtual treating is applied in all aspects of medical treatment. What are the benefits of virtual reality? Virtual reality in healthcare saves both, the time and money of healthcare providers. It also makes the work of medical professionals more convenient. It eliminates unnecessary travel for treatments by making appropriate decisions. How virtual reality is changing healthcare? Virtual reality is changing the healthcare by providing different advanced ways of treatments, especially for physical and psychological therapy, surgeries, pain management, and stress management and by assisting the rehabilitation process effectively.

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HIMSS Canceled Amid Coronavirus – What Can Healthcare IT Take Away?

Article | December 29, 2020

With the announcement of the HIMSS conference cancellation the healthcare IT industry is hit hard. Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the super bowl of healthcare tech. 45,000 attendees from 50 countries were scheduled to fly into Orlando and spend 5 days immersed in innovative healthcare tech – and of course, shop around on the Expo floor. For many companies, the HIMSS event is the lifeline of their sales pipeline for the entire year – we’re talking tons of leads. Not having HIMSS means major threats to healthcare technology company revenue. We need to be more prepared to deal with pandemics no matter what. And as an industry, we need to be focused on developing technology solutions for disease detection, tracking, and prevention. And we need greater emphasis on data interoperability. Every time a crisis happens, the world is reminded of why it’s so important for systems and entities to share information. We learned this lesson when 9/11 happened. Data interoperability can help us identify problems earlier and get a handle on mitigation before issues get out of control.

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4 Key Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging

Article | December 29, 2020

COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of healthcare technology solutions by healthcare providers. This has unexpectedly brought a peak in opportunity for health tech companies to achieve important business, demonstrating your innovations. However, it is very challenging and competitive as bigger health tech companies pivot and new health tech start-ups keep coming into the healthcare market. This also makes the healthcare technology market an increasingly competitive space. Thus, all health tech companies need to depend more on effective health tech messaging for their business purpose and credibility. This will help them bring their targeted clients on board for the long-term. Health tech Messaging Challenges Faced by Marketers Nowadays, the process of marketing products online is a combat sport. With every passing year, it is becoming more challenging for health tech marketers to beat the algorithms, build the audience, and ultimately win the hearts of the customers through effective health tech messaging. Digital health leaders are coming up with amazing technology innovations that can revolutionize the healthcare industry. Electronic medical records (EMR) software, medical billing software, medical practice management software, electronic claims software, medical database software, medical research software, medical diagnosis software, medical imaging software, telemedicine software, etc. are some of the examples of amazing technology innovations and latest healthcare technologies. But, things fall apart when it comes to marketing through effective health tech messaging. The following are some of the health tech messaging challenges faced by marketers. • Communicating the purpose and value of your business and the products effectively to clients • Making the clients understand the credibility of the technology products and your business • Product positioning • Lack of clear healthcare marketing strategy • Bad marketing advice • Lack of effective and compelling marketing content • Failing to understand the client/buyer persona • Failing to understand the brand pillars, • Ignorant of effective use of various messaging channels, and much more Why Does Effective Health Tech Messaging Matter? From the introduction part, you might have already understood the power of a good health tech messaging strategy. If you do not have a unified marketing strategy, you will end up merely alienating potential customers; they may end up in confusion about the purpose of your health tech brand. Moreover, without an effective health tech messaging strategy, you may become incoherent to your audience. But the real impact of a cohesive and good health tech messaging strategy will surely go beyond everything we have talked about already and empower your business in all aspects. Different marketing materials, whether they are social media posts, emails, podcasts, videos, or something else, your health tech messaging strategy will guide you in determining what to focus on and what tone to be used. If you are planning a social media campaign or writing blogs and articles, you will know the attention-grabbing ways of speaking to your customers. This is possible only if you have a defined messaging strategy. Customer service teamwork also becomes more effective and easier, when you have a good health tech messaging strategy. Educating the customer is easier when you speak to them in a tone and language that you know they will understand. Doing it consistently makes you win the customer. How Health Tech Messaging Can Work for Reaching Healthcare Decision Makers It is not an easy task to engage healthcare decision-makers in hospitals, insurance providers, health systems, and private practices. These high-powered directors, managers, and executives are busier than ever. This makes the process of health tech marketing difficult. Apart from overwhelming job responsibilities, these healthcare professionals are also inundated with ads, emails, and phone calls. So rather than sending them messages randomly, it is important to help your prospects when they are free from their daily disruptions and have time. Here, an effective health tech messaging strategy can help you reach out to decision makers easily. Health tech messaging strategy lays out various health tech marketing techniques, tricks, or tactics. These health tech messaging techniques or methodologies are helpful in the three stages of your health tech client journey: awareness, consideration, and decision making stages. Through all these stages of health tech massaging, you help or influence health tech decision makers to recognise they have a problem, consider a solution, and finally they take the decision to purchase your product. 4 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging Performing your brand messaging haphazardly is not going to take you anywhere in reaching out to people, who need your products. Instead, you should slow down yourself a bit and build a compelling health tech messaging strategy. Test it, launch it, and learn from it. If you are strategic, you are truly going to drive your mission despite the noise that is existing on the internet today. Here are four important factors that will help you make your health tech messaging strategy effective and compelling. Understanding Your Targeted Audience You have a better idea of who you are and what you offer. Now you need to know who your audience is, which is equally important in building health tech messaging strategy. Throughout the process of messaging, it is vital to keep your ideal buyer in mind. So, you will only create messages that will resonate with the needs, interests, motivations, and pain points of your potential clients. The things you want to know about your targeted clients are called buyer/client persona. Buyer Persona It is better to create a buyer persona that tells who your customer and what their goals are. Buyer persona also will help you align your brand with your customers. According to HubSpot, a buyer persona can be a semi-fictional representation of your potential customers based on real data and market research and about your current customers. Knowing who your messages are aimed at is important in developing a successful health tech brand messaging strategy. Before you go any further, buyer persona makes you know: • Who you are marketing to • What they care about and value • The sort of language they use and will respond to • Geographical location • Educational and income levels • Psychographics and behavioral patterns, etc. Focusing on Your Differentiating Factors from Competitors To figure out your differentiating factors from the competitors is as important as you understand your place in the market. You will have to assess the differences and similarities between the products and services you offer and your competitors’ offerings. Also, compare the targeted audience of you and your competitors. Understanding your competition, you face from the market, will get you a clear image of your brand and what health tech message you may have to send out to your targeted audience. Just remember that each of the health tech brands can have only one message; it needs to be unique. Due to the competition, messages can be too similar, but it should not make your customers get confused about your business. Thus, communicating your uniqueness to your audience is a very important factor. In this regard, conducting some competitor analysis may help you a lot. Making your Value Propositions Obvious You can influence how people perceive your brand if you could successfully communicate the values of your business. Values are principles or mission that guide all actions of brands. Storytelling can be effectively used to illustrate the values of your brand. Success stories from Salesforce and Microsoft’s Story Labs are examples. These stories can be on things such as empowering small businesses or improving the world through technology. It creates loyalty when you make your clients feel they are part of something that is going to change the world for the better. It is very helpful to start your health tech messaging process with your value prop because it is the core of what you do and who you are. Your value prop explains both the emotional and functional benefits your service or products provides. This means the value people get out of your products. Communicating the values of your company is considered strong health tech messaging only when it specifies how your brand is going to solve a problem and why should people choose your product. Using Multiple Technology Channels for Brand Messaging In general, digital health tech messaging has to be pinpointed. The spray and pray method will not work to bring in inbound leads. However, if you want to reach out to health tech audience with your health tech messaging, you should be there on all the channels they are on. Here are a few examples of channels, which can be used to reach out to people effectively with your health tech messaging process. Digital Ads If digital ads are used effectively for health tech messaging, you can reach out to your target audience easily. When digital ads are used correctly, you can pinpoint the audience through audience targeting and keywords. Moreover, through ad channels, you can reach out to people who otherwise would not have ever known about your products. However, if you are not using digital ads effectively, you will lose money without any results. Social Media Most people are active on some sort of social media channels. Many of these people use these channels either for networking or educating themselves in their field. This is the reason why you should concentrate on social media platforms for effective health tech messaging in a way that encourages interaction and feedback. Along with establishing a strong relationship with your prospects, you can also use social media platforms to build brand awareness through health tech messaging process. Emails Emails are the fruitful medium for effective health tech messaging. You can build brand awareness through seeding emails regularly. It will work as a bookmark than a selling point. Potential clients will remember the good interaction you had with them through emails when they have a problem in the future. Along with these channels, other channels such as videos, websites, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc. also can be used for effective health tech messaging. These multiple channels, where most of your potential clients are present, are selling points for your health tech products or helps in lead generation for healthcare technology products. To sum up, what matters more in health tech messaging and marketing is projecting your values, differentiating factors, knowing A to Z about your targeted audience, and meeting them on the channel, where they are present. Your health tech brand message is something that makes you dwell in the minds of people. Thus, how you are perceived matters a lot. Start building your brand today by sending out effective health tech messages to your potential clients. Frequently Asked Questions How does health tech messaging help? Heathtech messaging helps you to improve your business by making your potential clients understand what you are and what you do. Brand awareness of your products is done through effective health tech messaging. What is the best health tech messaging method? The best health tech messaging method is to project your business values in all the marketing campaigns you do. It should specify what your customers can expect from your products and services and what changes it will make in society. How does technology help in healthcare? Technology helps healthcare to avail all patients the best treatment available and make them satisfied and engaged. Also, technology helps healthcare industry to innovate treatments and revolutionize the entire practice in the healthcare sector. Why is technology important in healthcare? For achieving optimum patient satisfaction and engagement, technology is important in healthcare. Also, technology plays a role in improving the healthcare system and saving the lives of people.

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The innovations bridging health sciences and business in 2020

Article | December 29, 2020

The decade’s first global health crisis has placed the spotlight on the need for healthcare technology that can prevent and solve the world’s critical health challenges. This last week, Microsoft shared progress on innovations helping to meet these objectives. Today, we’re spotlighting intelligent health and business solutions from Microsoft Business Applications that empower health providers to help transform operations and deliver better patient experiences, better insights, and better care. Healthcare organizations are leveraging Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform to improve both provider operations and patient outcomes. These customers are prime examples of our focus to enable tech intensity across healthcare, empowering organizations to develop their own digital capabilities that use data and AI to address challenges and tackle new opportunities. Across healthcare, quality of care is increasingly dependent on synchronizing operations across staff to gain greater efficiencies and accelerate decision-making.

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Affect Mental Health

At Affect, we seek to harness contemporary innovations in science and technology to address the challenges of stigma, access, and quality of mental healthcare. Our ambition is to build sustainable enterprises unafraid of transforming traditional approaches to mental health.

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