What Is Innovation in Healthcare? Entrepreneurs From Around the World Weigh In

By | 2017-10-12T14:48:02+00:00 October 11, 2017|Brand Planning, Healthcare Trends, Innovation, Marketing, Viewpoints|

Referred to as the most overused word in the corporate world, the buzzword of the century, the answer to what all businesses need to be successful, and that is Innovation.

Yet for as often as it is used, there is no universally embraced definition of what innovation is, particularly in healthcare.

Think for a moment: How do you define innovation in healthcare?

We took this challenge to our annual meeting of the Worldwide Partners, Inc, (WPI), the largest independent advertising agency network, where our entrepreneurial partners from around the world come together to exchange ideas, collaborate, and discuss trends. Who better to shed light on innovation than this courageous group of disruptive thinkers?

Our entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Russia, Germany, France, Ireland, and Denmark answered the question in the following ways:

Fun and delight
“Innovation in healthcare is presenting medical information in a fun way, be it surgery, taking a drug or whatever, yet believable and exciting. The fun could be in the choice of channel or the kind of story told.”

Could fun break down barriers to conversation? Could fun help a physician understand the distinct benefit of a drug? Absolutely. Is there a risk in bringing fun to pharma? It would hardly be an innovation if there weren’t.

Enlightenment
“Innovation in healthcare is when a physician or consumer experiences a moment of enlightenment about how your medicine will change someone’s life.”

Humans are remarkably adaptable creatures. Surveys have shown that the average person takes just 30 days to adjust to a new life condition, whether it’s becoming wheelchair bound or winning the lottery. In healthcare, we use the term “new normal.” Finding the means to override this powerful instinct, and convincing people to make a life change for the better, would certainly be an advancement.

Community participation
“Innovation in healthcare is harnessing the power and latent need to belong to communities to trigger participation both digitally and personally, creating life-changing moments.”

It’s a fact that people who are suffering do better when connected to others who are experiencing the same condition. Still, in most disease states, only a few people participate in communities. Making it easy, rewarding, and secure to enable the majority of people to benefit from others around the world would be a true breakthrough.

Greater patient support
“Innovation in healthcare is creating communication applications that provide full support for patients in their daily fights for better health or in recovering from sickness.”

This will likely come in the form of a Watson-empowered wearable that is all-knowing about your bodily functions, empathetic about your emotional needs, and be able to provide the right combination of coercing and coaching and nurturing.

Competitive advantage
“Innovation in healthcare: Disruption is coming to your category. Innovation is the stuff we’re going to do to beat the competition to it. Anything and everything is fair in this game.”

Depending on the disease state, the bar for staying ahead of the competition could be quite low or radically high.

Imitate
“Innovation in healthcare is doing the things your sufferers are doing already, and your competitors will be doing in two years.”

How many times do we hear that healthcare communication lags behind all other industries? Which would stand to reason that innovation in healthcare should be easy. We simply do what other forms of advertising did 5 years ago. Innovation = imitation. Easy?

Whether it’s introducing fun into your healthcare promotions or staying ahead of the competition, what our group of entrepreneurs from around the world agree on is that innovation in healthcare requires relentless dedication. It’s not an annual push or an occasional team brainstorm. Those who are successfully bringing innovation to healthcare have made it a continuous, deliberate, company-wide priority, from the top on down.

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About the Author:

Joan Wildermuth

Executive Director, Chief Creative Officer

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