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  • Posted by: InterbrandHealth on Tuesday, January 28 2014 05:19 PM | Comments (0)

    Google contact lensesGoogle is the latest powerhouse consumer brand to dip its very large toe in the healthcare pool, specifically in the medtech space. And they’ve created a great deal of buzz, even though many of us are still coming down off our CES-high, where we saw gadgets and gizmos galore that could monitor our muscle quality, track a baby’s sleep patterns, and even tell us when to put on more sunscreen. 

    In the wake of all that tech-citement, sometimes we forget just how impactful these advancements are. Brands have the power to change lives in extraordinary ways, and nowhere is that more true than in healthcare where innovation can not only transform lives, but save them. 

    Google’s latest device may very well do just that. The pioneers at Google X Lab are developing a contact lens with biosensors that would monitor glucose levels for people with diabetes. This would be a life-altering piece of technology for those dealing with this condition. They would no longer need to subject themselves to daily needle pricks to test their glucose levels, and, if Google X Lab has its way, the contact lens will also alert them when their insulin levels hit the danger zone. 

    We were excited to hear about the launch of Google’s aging-research company Calico this past fall and can’t wait to see where Google goes next in the healthcare space. It’s another example of consumer brands shifting into the healthcare world- a movement we’re now seeing on a daily basis and experiencing in our own lives with the Affordable Care Act, uprising of wearable health tech, and more. 

    All healthcare companies can have a place in this shifting ecosystem should they choose to. Medtech devices may not be on brand for your company, but there are still many ways to drive your team towards innovation. 

    However, just because you’re a great technology brand, it doesn’t mean that entering the serious healthcare space will be without its pitfalls. It’s a challenging market with an array of stakeholders and dubious consumers. Google, which consistently ranks as one of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands, has shown great versatility in navigating an array of categories and customer groups. 

    But not every technology or engineering-based company has the depth of experience to navigate across new and different segments seamlessly. And more importantly, what makes a strong technology brand may not translate into making a strong health technology brand. 

    You'll be introducing your product to new and unique audiences and the criteria for success will be altered. You'll be competing against a group of brands already established in the category, and you’ll be expected to maintain your brand's standard against this new competitive set. 

    A Brand Strength analysis can help you meet these challenges. Brand Strength is one of the three core elements that informs Interbrand’s Best Global Brands annual ranking. InterbrandHealth has used Brand Strength to help a number of companies identify brand characteristics that should be retained, adapted, or strengthened to meet the unique needs and, often, skeptical reception of the healthcare audience. 

    Brand Strength will provide you with the tools you need to understand your brand as it relates to healthcare consumers and to the healthcare market at large and how to successfully navigate it. Once you have a solid blueprint for entering the healthcare space, the next revolutionary, life-changing product could be yours.

    Connect with InterbrandHealth, the only full-service global branding consultancy with an exclusive focus on healthcare.

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  • Posted by: Jane Parker on Wednesday, December 11 2013 10:54 AM | Comments (0)
    Healthcare Big Data

    Co.Exist recently explored what our future hospitals, healthcare, and medical data systems could look like—and what they could do for disease research, treatment, and medicine. How can brands leverage this trend for presence and profitability?

    Recently author Jessica Leber posited in Co.Exist that healthcare IT may be going the way of social networking, connecting our medical records and bio data for mapping and patterning, which could aid in better diagnostic methodology, specialized treatments and even gene therapies based on unearthed connections.

    As the healthcare industry slowly but surely evolves to embrace these technologies, strong healthcare brands will have a unique opportunity to break away from the pack. In the same way that consumer brands gather information on customers’ preferences and past purchases to better understand needs and develop target marketing, healthcare companies will be able to provide big data through service offerings while delivering insights that can help healthcare systems evaluate performance and refine protocols. Image and medical device brands in particular will find this extremely valuable; the sophistication of this data capturing can indeed establish value at the c-suite level and demonstrate ROI.

    At InterbrandHealth we believe that focusing on patient-centered brands and creating an impactful experience for customers are two crucial tenets companies must embrace to succeed in the healthcare industry. The personalization of health will only continue to grow in 2014 and beyond. Brands must strive to be compelling for both service providers and payors, as well as within the industry. As discussions of privacy and information sharing continue, strong brands can differentiate themselves in the marketplace, developing their portfolio and championing our new, health-connected environment.

    Jane Parker is CEO of InterbrandHealth.

    Connect with InterbrandHealth, the only full-service global branding consultancy with an exclusive focus on healthcare.

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  • Posted by: Katherine Lee on Monday, January 28 2013 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

    HealthSpotThe US spends an annual $8,233 per person on healthcare, a figure that represents more than 2.5 times what comparatively developed nations spend. By a significant margin, the US spends the most on healthcare of any country in the world, a massive 17.6% of national GDP. *

    In the face of this, costs only continue to rise, and the 2011 National Scorecard on US Health System Performance suggests that healthcare access is still constrained by cost and a weak national primary care foundation. Primary care is the most cost-efficient form of medical care, many times cheaper than an urgent care visit.

    HealthSpot is a start-up that’s thinking outside of the traditional doctor’s office, aiming to assuage access issues by providing tiny, portable health clinics that offer patients a comprehensive primary care visit for $60-80 per visit.

    Their offering consists of a 10-foot mini-clinic equipped with dashboard screen, a chair, and medical tools you would expect to find in a primary care facility. A certified medical assistant is there to help patients check in, and a physician guides the patient through basic diagnostics via a graphic interface.

    Patients can visit for a variety of conditions usually treated in primary or urgent care settings, from a cold or flu or minor illnesses, to allergies, infections, and more. HealthSpot is working on finding ways to secure coverage for telemedicine and e-prescriptions, and they plan to place these tiny clinics conveniently, near highly frequented places like your local pharmacy, where you can be treated and walk right out to pick up your prescription.

    What do you think about this tiny, portable health clinic? Would you visit?

    Katherine Lee is Senior Creative Manager, Science Writer for InterbrandHealth.

    *OECD Health Data 2012

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  • Posted by: Jonathan Lanznar on Thursday, June 28 2012 04:55 PM | Comments (0)
    Corporate Citizenship & Healthcare


    Over the past few years, we have seen many non-healthcare organizations focusing more and more on health. Companies including Bosch, Philips, Siemens, Microsoft and GE, to name just a few, have done significant work in healthcare related areas and earned a lot of positive credit. Healthcare businesses are leading ambitious drives in corporate citizenship as well, but attention for these campaigns seems minimal. Did you know that the same company that created VIOXX also helped cure river blindness in developing nations?

    So the questions we've been asking ourselves are: Why are healthcare businesses, whose primary focus and goal are advancing care, getting less credit for their work in healthcare than other businesses? And how can they amplify this message effectively?

    The answers to these questions are not all that simple. Corporate citizenship used to center mainly on sustainability and green initiatives, but health initiatives have gained increasing importance. As we’ve been saying: If five years ago “green was the new black,” then health is now the new green.

    Given this shifting focus, the health and life sciences industry is faced with a unique business opportunity and some questions. At the precise time that corporations across other industries are placing greater emphasis on corporate citizenship efforts, how does corporate citizenship play a role in this unique field? What role does it have in brand strategies and, ultimately, in driving business goals?

    I imagine that when most people think about the healthcare industry, corporate citizenship is rarely a subject that rises to the top. Instead, what comes to mind are typical issues that have continued to demonize the industry over the past few decades—pricing strategies, limited access to care, rising costs, and ubiquitous lawsuits, to name a few. No one seems to be talking about the incredible advances in cancer therapy or initiatives to eliminate preventable disease across the world. The result: work that is essentially good for people and society is most often viewed through only a negative lens.

    It seems as though health and life sciences companies are missing a large opportunity. So why is it that health and life sciences companies are not leveraging their brands to help mitigate some of this risk and negative perception?

    It’s not that healthcare companies haven’t been doing good work all along— it’s that they haven’t been able to effectively communicate the good work that they do. The reason is that product brands have historically dominated the pharma, biotech, and medical device industries, and product brands don't have the ability to communicate the positive impact of corporate citizenship. A product brand can’t take credit for creating drastic advances in cancer care— but a corporate brand can. A product brand can’t take credit for corporate citizenship activities— but a corporate brand can.

    At InterbrandHealth we’ve been focusing on the increasing role of the corporate brand in healthcare— see Wes Wilkes’ white paper “Vital Times: The Changing Role of Brand in the Health and Life Sciences Industry.” We believe the health and life sciences industry is experiencing dramatic value-driven transformational change, and along with that comes the need to shift the focus from product brands to corporate brands.

    As health and life sciences companies begin to emphasize the corporate brand over product brands, the commitment to corporate citizenship can finally benefit the brand and business.

    While we’re not so enthusiastic as to assume that this shift will make people think only positively about the industry, we do believe this will allow companies to at least get credit for the good that they do. Health and life sciences companies will always have to deal with risk, for example, product failures and black box warnings, but being a good corporate citizen— and letting the world know about it— can potentially help mitigate some of the risks that inevitably will come by demonstrating company cultures focused on helping society and developing innovative solutions to global health problems.

    Ultimately, with this increased focus on corporate citizenship and the growing visibility of corporate brands, there’s one question left to ask: Is your current corporate brand strong enough to support the increased presence and visibility?

    Jonathan Lanznar is a Strategy Consultant for InterbrandHealth.

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  • Posted by: Jyotsna Kini on Monday, April 9 2012 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

    On March 27th, the FDA approved Omontys (peginesatide), a drug used to treat anemia in adult dialysis patients who have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Omontys represents the first innovation in two decades – 20 years where the only option for CKD patients has been Amgen's Epogen. InterbrandHealth worked with Affymax and Takeda Pharmaceuticals to develop a brand name that would allow peginesatide to breathe fresh air into an older category riddled with monopoly.

    The market is excited to have a new treatment option and Omontys is poised to transform the world of anemia in CKD – it is slated to generate as much as $700 million in peak sales by 2017.

    Congratulations to Affymax and Takeda on this significant FDA approval!

    Jyotsna Kini is a Creative Director with InterbrandHealth in New York.

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