The mHealth Revolution: It Goes Beyond Fitness Tracking

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.With the latest mobile health movement, the lethargic healthcare industry is finally awakened. Although this mHealth movement is fairly recent, it has become one of the most impactful changes in the industry. These technological advancements are now placing consumers in the driver’s seat of their own health. Although fitness trackers might be the most popular form of mobile health technologies these days, there are many new technologies that are up and coming.

This week in health and wellness:

  • A new Mayo Clinic analysis demonstrates how digital technologies are significantly reducing the reoccurrence of heart attacks and strokes
  • SmartPlate utilizes built-in cameras and sensors to identify and measure food portions
  • A biosensor chip implanted under your skin provides up-to-date molecule measurements for personalized medication measurements

Digital Technology Helps Lower Risk of Heart Attacks

This Wall Street Journal article discusses a recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic to analyze the benefits of health-related smartphone apps, text message reminders, and other mobile health technologies. It was found that the “use of the technologies was associated with a significant 1.24% reduction in patients’ Framingham risk score, which estimates the 10-year risk of a first heart attack”. Some of these apps are used to monitor blood-sugar levels while others are primarily used to remind patients to take their medications. Either way, these apps have been playing a significant role in providing preventative measures for patients.

Marketing Strategy Insights:

  • Accuracy and reliability are two of the most detrimental factors in the success of these mobile technologies
  • Hospitals and clinics will enter this market by providing their own mobile apps and text message reminders for patients to have a much more personalized experience
  • Will all generations be open to this flood of notifications? There might be a gap of acceptance between the generations as baby boomers might not be as accepting of relying on mobile apps for health data as millennials

SmartPlate Contains Hidden Digital Cameras to Identify Food Automatically

This Daily Mail article describes the latest new technology that is predicted to be the FitBit for healthier meals. SmartPlate, which is currently in the prototype phase, utilizes built-in cameras and sensors to identify and weigh food placed on the plate and sending this information to an accompanying mobile app. This app “will analyze and track each meal, integrating extra data from wearables, fitness and other food trackers so users can see the big picture in one place.” This cross-integration of information will analyze the user’s eating habits and monitor their food intake to eventually be able to make recommendations based on their set dietary goals.

Marketing Strategy Insights:

  • Who is the target market? SmartPlate should understand the needs of the market to be able to narrow down their focus. Will it be considered a consumer product or medically related one?
  • SmartPlate’s unique features are strong differentiators from other products. Can they provide the consumer what other competitors cannot?
  • Accurate identification of food items is extremely important. There are a lot of responsibilities that come into place when dealing with food allergies that SmartPlate must take into consideration

A Chip Placed Under The Skin For More Precise Medicine

This Science Daily article introduces the latest wave of in-body sensors that will provide more precise measurements. This one-centimeter chip is implanted under the skin to continuously monitor and transmit accurate real time blood glucose levels and other metabolism-related molecules. Currently, doctors are relying on a snapshot of these molecule levels as the blood is drawn. However, this might not be an accurately representative snapshot of the patients’ molecule levels. Therefore, “knowing the precise and real-time effect of drugs on the metabolism is one of the keys to the type of personalized, precision medicine that we are striving for," said Dr. Carrara.

Marketing Strategy Insights:

  • Understanding the needs of patients is essential. Will they accept placing a chip under the skin to monitor their glucose levels? Companies must present the value provided
  • Real-time accurate data is a strong differentiator in this field. Branding of this technology should revolve around this component
  • Patients and doctors must be educated about this product and all of its benefits in order to capture the market quickly and provide value
The mHealth Revolution: It Goes Beyond Fitness Tracking - PW