"The tech fueled transformation of the healthcare industry began in earnest about five years ago, and it's only really been accelerating in pace," WE Worldwide president, global health Stephanie Marchesi tells Doug Simon. "And in my opinion, I think it's nothing short of revolutionary, the advances that we're seeing being made at the intersection of these two industries, health and tech."
One of those advances, she says, is "the enormous adoption of telemedicine" that has taken place during the pandemic, allowing patients "to still get on their phones or their computers and talk to their doctor despite not being able to get there in person."
Others include the increased use of electronic medical records and the role of such wearable devices as Fitbit.
But not all companies in this field have the same emphasis, Marchesi says. She distinguishes between what she calls "health tech" and "tech health" organizations.
"In my estimation, 'health tech' companies tend to be those that originated as a health care company," she tells Simon. "They're looking at how technology can be infused into healthcare in order to innovate and do healthcare better." Because of that, they understand such hurdles as the regulatory pathway, and "tend to be a little bit more cautious and risk-averse."
A "tech health" company is "more of a technology founded company that is looking to disrupt the traditional health care approach. They're far more risk takers."
But to be successful with any company in the healthcare space, Marchesi says, communicators need to make their message "human to the core." Audiences, she says, want to hear "more about how the technology is going to improve or change their lives day to day."
She says that apporach may sometimes be a challenge for more tech-focused companies. "Technology companies inherently like to talk about the new the cool technology of their product or their what makes your offering unique. However, what drives healthcare has always inherently been purpose-driven. And so healthcare was purpose-driven before it became a mandate. So you can talk about your functionality and what makes you unique in this broader context, but you need to lead with what is the purpose that it serves in the world."
Marchesi also emphasizes the need for communicators to "think differently." She tells Simon that "with the transformation of healthcare, it's really important that we bring more progressive approaches to what has historically been a very traditional industry."
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