Healthcare Marketing News: Health and Wellness News and Trends

Healthcare and Technology | Health & Wellness This Week

This article is part of ParkerWhite’s weekly series, “Health and Wellness This Week,” a roundup of the latest healthcare marketing news and what it means for your marketing strategy.

This week, we look at the emergence of established companies engaging in healthcare technology. We review the new trend of smartclothes and their impact on the wearables market. Lastly, we look at how artificial intelligence is helping patients find quality medical information.

This week in health and wellness:

  • Walgreens wants to be a leader in healthcare technology
  • Smartclothes are the future of wearables
  • Artificial Intelligence helps personalize answers to medical questions

The Increased Convergence of Healthcare and Technology

As the technology and healthcare industries continue to evolve, we are seeing Walgreens and other businesses throw their hat into the ring to become a cog in the new healthcare system. It’s a no-brainer that technology companies like Apple, IBM and Samsung would enter the fray, but we’re also seeing an increase in participation from companies that are instituting big changes in their product mix in an attempt to position themselves as heavyweights in this new vision of healthcare.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • As healthcare companies continue to adopt & integrate with technology, new revenue streams could materialize for existing businesses.
  • The EHR mandate will continue to cement technology’s place in healthcare.
  • Analytics and big data will continue to be pillars of the new healthcare landscape.

Forget Smartwatches – Smartclothes Are The Future, Analysts Say

According to market analysis, smartwatches and smartclothing may cause the popularity of fitness-tracking wristbands to decline over the next 12 months. Smartclothing from Adidas and Under Armour already utilize sensors close to the skin to collect more data than today’s wristbands. The Polo Tech smartshirt by Ralph Lauren can even measure heart rate and respiration, and uses Bluetooth to connect with smartphones. By integrating technology into garments, this type of versatile smartclothing could replace traditional chest straps and other wearable fitness gadgets for not only professional athletes, but also everyday fitness enthusiasts.

Nonetheless, Angela McIntyre, Gartner Research Director, doesn’t believe wristbands will disappear entirely. They have potential for other kinds of use, including building access, identification, etc. “We’re going to see quite a spectrum of designs and capabilities by 2016,” she said. However, it’s worth nothing that it’s unclear whether users will stick with new smart wearables or not; Half of Americans who own a fitness tracker no longer use it, and one-third ditched the technology within six months.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • As this market gets more and more cluttered, fitness trackers and smartwatches will compete for consumer attention in 2015.
  • Consumer choice is growing within wearable electronics; if one device doesn’t work, consumers may not change brands – they may turn to a completely different category.
  • Fitness gadgets should become more affordable and accessible to the general public as the wearable electronics market continues to grow.

How Artificial Intelligence Is Personalizing Medical Answers

HealthTap has launched their Top Doctor Insights, providing personalized, easy to digest medical answers. These insights are curated and processed from over 64,000 participating doctors and the 2.2 billion answers they have provided, using HealthTap’s new artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology.

CEO Ron Gutman says, “For patients and people who want to improve their health and well being, sifting through reams of health information online and in mobile apps is often time consuming and very stressful. Now, for the first time ever, users on HealthTap can very quickly and conveniently get multiple insights from top doctors customized to their needs and wants right at their fingertips.”

Top Doctor Insights can be accessed for free through the HealthTap mobile application and website.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • Companies can utilize user-generated content to create new products and services.
  • Providing context to aggregated data is key to helping consumers and businesses find what they are looking for.
  • As companies continue to collect useful, shared insights from knowledge leaders, they must also develop strategies for redistributing information that’s easy to find and consume.