CES 2015 took place last week. The top digital health trends were wearables, telemedicine, nanotechnology, 3D printing, visualization, artificial intelligence, genomics, cybersecurity, and the decline of traditional medical facilities. Which trends are you most excited about? Which pose challenges or opportunities for healthcare brands? How can traditional medical facilities protect their brands and endure in a digital world?
CES is chalk-full of tech eye-candy, but it’s hard to predict which products will stand the test of time. Innovative tech is just one of the many trends in healthcare today. What most excites us at InterbrandHealth is the change in how one receives traditional medical treatment. With empowered consumers using telemedicine, retail pharma clinics, and urgent care centers, healthcare is truly being brought to the masses, and it’s only in its very early stages. While there will be no lack of gadgetry for fitness enthusiasts monitoring their heart rates, oxygen levels, and sleep patterns, for the first time, care for those with chronic conditions is becoming more accessible and affordable . . . and that will make a huge difference in health worldwide.
There has been a significant uptick in the convergence of the technology and healthcare sectors in recent years. How is this trend benefitting healthcare brands? Conversely, what challenges does this trend present? What should a healthcare brand consider prior to getting involved with this trend?
Technology has revolutionized healthcare and will play a huge role in the future—the advent of EMRs and the ability of big data to aid in the analyses of protocols, patient monitoring, and readmissions has been a boon to the industry. In addition, the balance of power has shifted in large part to the patient—where it belongs—by making the data that informs choices more accessible. Big data and technology platforms have affected a number of brand experiences. They offer patients/consumers the ability to adjust their own behaviors based on others’ outcomes and the ability to connect with healthcare professionals in a timely fashion. They change the way our society manages health overall—shifting the paradigm from acute treatments to prevention. Finally, they alter where the practice of medicine occurs, from hospitals to the home, increasing the number of touch points health brands have to consider. These innovations have also resulted in new entrants into the health category like Nike or Google.
Mecosystems were discussed extensively in October’s Best Global Brands report. What effects will the increasing personalization of healthcare have on brands?
Personalized medicine puts the consumer/patient at the epi-center of healthcare and choice. Brands will have to balance the highly targeted therapies with their identities and experience: what experience should a brand create with a small, affected group of people to optimize outcomes?
Wearables and apps for fitness have been flooding the marketplace. But we are also seeing a trend towards more serious disease-management systems, such as glucose monitors for diabetics. Since any device that is connected to the Internet is at risk of being hijacked, security must be a top priority for healthcare brand leaders. What have you observed? How are healthcare brands working to strike a balance between technological innovation and ensuring patients’ data/information is kept secure?
A good safeguard for patient data security is ensuring that clinical standards are met and that physicians are the ones in the drivers’ seats—and given the proper tools and education they need.
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