Sally Bain
Sally Bain

As we move deeper into the final quarter of 2018, we’ve observed and experienced some significant trends emerging in our healthcare practice.

Notably, we’ve collaborated with a steady influx of healthcare companies headquartered in Asia who are staking a claim for their brands in the U.S. market. We’re also getting back to basics: our team has had an increased refocus on traditional earned media asks from both existing clients and prospects. Finally, the second coming of the digital health revolution is here. Companies are innovating in regards to how they’re engaging with stakeholders and influencers that matter.

O'Dwyer's Oct. '18 Healthcare & Medical PR MagazineO'Dwyer's Oct. '18 Healthcare & Medical PR Magazine

East meets west in the west

The interest and expansion of healthcare companies based in APAC or funded by APAC investors to launch their brands in the U.S. has grown significantly. We’ve had the exciting opportunity to work with a number of these companies and to support the introductions of their unique and innovative services, including investigative therapeutics. Their approach to communications and engagement has been a welcomed transformation as we continue to expand and refine our global capabilities.

More specifically, a global healthcare company with headquarters in Singapore who’s cultivated a number of spinoff brands playing in the hottest healthcare trends including digital health, drug delivery, AI and patient engagement, recently came to us with one request: help us establish these companies with a targeted and strategic approach. The team recently launched a technology that can support a fully remote clinical trial through smart-phone technology. The back-end analytics that’s produced through the company’s technology platform is the first-of-its-kind and there’s no doubt that we believe that the benefits of a remote digital trial will positively impact how drugs are brought to market.

Our team also engaged with a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company with investments from a large Korean pharmaceutical organization that truly has a unique approach to its clinical pipeline. With treatments currently being investigated to treat neuropathic pain and Alzheimer’s, in true East meets West fashion, the therapy combines chemical compounds with botanicals from China and Korea. The offering will be a category disruptor for its mechanism of action.

Traditional media is evolving

We’re a work in progress. We’ve continued to fine-tune our integrated offering but earned media has and will continue to live at our core. In this new real-time media environment, where the rules of engagement are changing daily, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are in lock step with our clients and their communications objectives.

Whether you define yourself as on the left or the right, red or blue, a supporter or resister of the current administration, we as an industry can’t ignore the impact it’s had on our day-to-day work. It’s affected our planning, approach, how we counsel our clients and ultimately, the results.

So, what does this look like in real terms? We’re dedicating more time to the development of storytelling and narratives that support our client’s mission but also follow trends that allow us to insert points of view on to the national stage. We’ve created our own version of a war room except we’re not in crisis mode, we’re in creative mode. In this mindset, we’re analyzing the current healthcare media landscape and how we approach inundated reporters and influencers with our messaging.

The digital health revolution continues

We believe that every company is a technology company. Over the past 12 months, we’ve experienced an upsurge of interest in the digital health arena. We’ve continued to successfully serve clients that are driven by technology at their core offering. Whether it’s optimizing clinical research to enable discoveries through the creation of real-world evidence or providing amplification for a social platform for doctors to collaborate, we’re helping to differentiate their value proposition to targeted decision makers.

With so many healthcare and healthcare technology trade publications dedicated to covering the evolution of digital health, we recognized — quickly — as a team that it’s essential for us to follow, read, like, retweet and engage with influencers to effectively stay on top of the news and guidance in a regulated environment. Most recently, a statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb detailed the new steps they are taking to spur innovation in digital health — a recognized and welcomed big step for a regulated entity. Gottlieb detailed their approach as a government agency to assist companies not accustomed to operating in a regulatory environment.

As we anticipate a bright and productive 2019, growth and a streamlined and focused approach will continue for us. Building stories to support our clients is second nature to our team. We thrive on digging into the details and creating opportunities to define our clients’ unique and innovative solutions to the market.

Storytelling gets us out of bed every day. Let us do it for you.


Sally Bain is senior vice president, earned media at Racepoint Global.