Healthcare Technology...Is Google Leading the Way?

Google has always seen itself as more than a search bar.  In fact, if you saw the news last week, Google is committing itself to the healthcare space from a variety of angles. 

Google announced last Friday that Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg has been hired to head up their healthcare initiatives.  Feinberg will work to coordinate Google’s move into the $3 trillion healthcare market across many groups including Google Brain (the artificial intelligence team), Nest home automation group and Google Fit wearables team.

Google’s entry into healthcare leans heavily on its expertise in AI (Artificial Intelligence).  (We are using Google in reference to other Alphabet companies).  With electronic health records becoming the standard and more health data getting digitized, Google is betting it can speed up the process.   By creating new ways to ingest data and using AI to make sense of the data quickly and more accurately than current methods, Google is well-positioned to be a leader going forward.

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According to CBInsights, Google’s strategy involves an end-to-end approach to healthcare, including:

Data Generation

Digitizing and ingesting data produced by wearables, imaging and MRI’s among others.  This data stream is critical to AI-driven anomaly detection.

Disease Detection

Using AI to detect anomalies in a given dataset that might signal the presence of a disease.

Disease/Lifestyle Management

Tools helping people who have been diagnosed with a disease, or are at-risk of developing one, go about their daily lives and make positive lifestyle modifications.

As we all know one of the biggest challenges in healthcare today is that data is heavily siloed.  According to a Clear Data article a recent survey of nearly 3,000 physicians revealed that 95% have experienced a delay or difficulty delivering medical care because patients health records were not easily accessible or shared.  Google plans to be part of a solution by powering a new healthcare data infrastructure layer.

So it seems that Google is expanding its roster of healthcare initiatives.  Other big tech companies making moves into healthcare include Apple, particularly in health hardware, Amazon who is looking into areas including prescription medicines, medical supplies and employer health, as well as partnering with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan to brainstorm ways to lower health care costs and make health care more efficient.

So what does this mean for healthcare marketers today?

We know that in 2018 the healthcare industry experienced a digital revolution. Emerging technologies like telehealth and AI have impacted healthcare delivery and patient engagement. Research shows that patients are ready and waiting for more technology. A survey in early 2018 showed that 90% of physicians are already using mobile devices to engage patients and 52% of hospitals currently use three or more connected health technologies. Heading into 2019 healthcare marketers will need to adapt to continuously evolving technologies, led by many of the industry giants. These changes, while challenging, bring new opportunities. Here are four things you should consider priority in 2019.

Social Media Marketing

The stage of regulatory confusion is over and more and more healthcare organizations are creating a bigger presence on social media.  2019 is the year to move past information sharing and find a way to truly engage with audiences.  Need help getting started?  Download our Checkpoints in Social Media Strategy for Healthcare Marketers.

Custom Content

Understanding your audience is key to providing information they value and find informative.  Here again, engagement is key.   And with 87% of online marketers using video content and 85% of the U.S. internet audience watches videos online, video should be an important part of your content.  Follow the 80/20 rule.  80% independent content and 20% company and/or product messages.

Using Media Relations

The political climate and news cycle have made this area more of a challenge in the last year.  Healthcare marketers need to get creative and identify the right storylines and insert your unique point of view.  Healthcare Technology will be a major talking point in 2019.  It’s important to stay on top of industry trends and advancements.

Measurement

Creating and tracking KPI’s for all marketing efforts should be a top priority for healthcare marketers.  Technological advancements have made it easier to track data and metrics.  With a wealth of information at your fingertips, using that to inform and advise is critical to showing the value that healthcare marketing provides.

With ongoing investment from the tech giants, technology, and its effect on healthcare marketing, will constantly change and advance.  Voice assistants, chat bots, AI, wearables…all will be important as we look forward to engaging and being a resource for customers going forward.  Stay tuned!

Topics: Social Media, technology, video, Healthcare