Hotwire | Health Tech - Hotwire

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Hotwire & Health Tech

Health Tech is a rapidly evolving category that delivers ever more sophisticated technology solutions for the provision and management of healthcare.

Advancements in medical and pharmaceutical science have prolonged life expectancies but as a consequence, has placed increasing pressure on the delivery and management of health services. Clinicians and administrators alike are looking to the next generation of technology not just to help drive efficiencies but to make a positive contribution in many facets of health including remote diagnostics, mHealth provision, patient records and overall health management.

Disruption within the sector, fuelled by the demand for products and services, the availability of patient data and the need for intelligent, secure and interoperable systems is revolutionising healthcare provision and management.

As consumers, we are increasingly familiar with wearables and with the benefits of lifestyle and health oriented mobile apps. But it’s in patient care that Health Tech has the potential to make the most dramatic impact on the quality of life and on the management of many conditions.

Technologies and equipment that helps to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities and independence of a patient or telehealth solutions that can monitor physiological data remotely have the potential to revolutionise the provision of healthcare while building a more efficient healthcare service. Technological innovation is the future of healthcare; from empowering savvy patients through mHealth devices, to using analytics and creating information systems which enable faster accessibility to patient data leading to higher impact clinical decision making.

At Hotwire, we help clients navigate some of the toughest issues.

Regardless of the challenge, we have a proven history of translating complex messages into clear, concise campaigns that deliver real, measurable results – whether that’s educating patients or consumers, building awareness, or differentiating you from the competition.

Our range of services, developed with a made-to-measure team with the right skills and contacts, can meet any PR and communication challenge. Our in-depth understanding of the health technology market combined with our expertise of the media and influencer landscape, enables us to shape opinions, build awareness and support your business outcome.

Thought Leadership

Posted by Alexa Chaffer, via HealthUnlocked

Could social networks revolutionise patient engagement across health and pharma?

The term patient engagement continues to be a much used ‘buzzword’ or ‘must do’ in the health and pharmaceutical sectors. Yet we infrequently see any evidence of it happening in a meaningful and consistent way. The NHS can be a repeat offender in this regard, reaching out sporadically to a whole local population with the fleeting hope that someone will respond with their views.  Likewise the pharmaceutical industry continues to use traditional media channels, like radio advertising, to take part in research, which can be long, tiresome and expensive.

So what is the answer to better engagement? Why are we falling behind the curve on user engagement and experience, compared how other industries that use technology to improve? The answer lies in understanding the root causes, from the unique risk-aversion inherent in healthcare to a natural reluctance to innovate. The complexity of decision-making is additionally a factor, as is the lack of knowledge of how new technologies could help – which is particularly true within the world of social networks.

As the leading health social network for health, HealthUnlocked has witnessed a noticeable change in the market in the last 12 months. Both healthcare and pharma are increasingly pushing back on this notion and looking to fully understand the opportunities and relevance in social networks. Understandably given that on HealthUnlocked alone there are 40 million people with a health condition coming to the platform every year, all of which are fully active and engaged with their own health. 

Right from the very beginnings of HealthUnlocked, charities and non-profit patient organisations were quick to adopt the power of the social network; seeing and harnessing the value of engaging the very people they were set up to support. Now, the vast majority of our 700 online communities are managed, supported and used by these non-profits for both engagement and health promotion, or as an education tool. These communities have become online spaces for people with health conditions to come to and safely access information from people who really understand what they were going through.

LUPUS UK joined the HealthUnlocked network back in 2011. Since then, they have grown a highly active community of 15,000 people. Paul Howard, projects manager for LUPUS UK says: “Lupus is an uncommon condition which can have a significant impact on a person’s mobility, independence and self-esteem. Reducing the isolation experienced by people with lupus is very important to LUPUS UK. The HealthUnlocked platform has allowed us to form a highly engaged online community which offers information and emotional support to people with lupus.”

A survey of LUPUS UK’s community members found participation had significant positive health outcomes for many of them. 46.4 per cent of members ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that since joining they are “more confident managing their disease on a day to day basis” and 39 per cent of their members ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that since joining they have had “better interactions with their doctor or other health professionals”. In addition to these benefits, LUPUS UK also found it was able to improve its provision of services by regularly engaging with this active community and better understanding their needs.

One of the biggest barriers that the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector have faced in adoption of this technology has been the outdated view that social networks are a PR tool rather than a clinical resource. As more evidence of their success emerges, these attitudes are changing and organisations are increasingly looking at how social media and networks could provide them with a large and relevant digital ready audience and provide an alternative to more traditional methods.

Over the past year, more businesses than ever before from pharmaceutical or research industries have been working with us to realise the value of HealthUnlocked in the quest to seek patients or engage a particular audience. Being able to source and engage patients to a clinical trial 200 per cent faster than using traditional methods, or change the understanding of a drug by collating hundreds of opinions and experiences of usage is a hard argument to fight against.

Despite these compelling arguments, none of these are the single most important reason we should all be looking closer at social networks. So what is? All these technologies naturally put the patient firmly at the very middle of all these processes. Patient centricity is deservedly becoming more important throughout health and pharma, and the future almost certainly seems to point to using technology to engage better with groups of people and making them the very centre of everything we do. The next few years are going to be an exciting time to be a social network in the health space.

Alexa Chaffer

Communications lead at HealthUnlocked

About HealthUnlocked

HealthUnlocked is the world’s largest social network for health. Millions of people come to HealthUnlocked each month to get free peer to peer and expert support from hundreds and health and wellbeing online communities.

Useage of the site has been shown to produce a better engaged cohort of individuals, who have better health outcomes, feel more confident in managing their health, use clinical services less and have more positive reactions with doctors and health professionals.

Key Facts and Figures about HealthUnlocked:

  • Over 600,000 members spread across the globe sharing experiences of living with a condition
  • Over 40 million visitors to the platform every year
  • More than 700 communities for people with long term conditions
  • 70% of HealthUnlocked members want to take part in medical research
  • The HealthUnlocked platform is used as a clinical care planning tool in 75 hospitals in the UK, with plans to role this out further in 2016.
  • Named in The 2016 Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 2016, one of the UK’s foremost technology award programmes.
  • HealthUnlocked is a part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA)
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100 Health Tech Influencers

2016 has been marked as the year digital health begins to reach its potential. Hot Topics introduces the 100 most influential drivers of the Health Tech revolution, globally.

HT100 Healthtech update

Healthcare is currently undergoing a digital revolution, and its rapidly developing relationship with technology is beginning to shape potentially one of the largest industry sectors in the world.

The digital sector and its stakeholders began to acknowledge the role of technology within the healthcare system barely five years ago, but it has since allowed a reservoir of investor capital, startup creation, and consumer adoption to explode.

By 2020, it is projected that $102 billion will be spent on health and wellness technology across nine different markets, and the growing value of the global Health Tech market pushes well over $100 trillion.

It’s development has been hotly anticipated: the healthcare industry was initially slow to adopt innovative solutions within its services, but recent traction points towards a rewarding future.

Driving this growth is not only technology innovation, but behavioural changes in the general public’s attitude towards health and wellbeing, regulatory changes – in the US in particular – are beginning to open up the space to entrepreneurship, and changing demographics are forcing governments to ameliorate the effects of an ageing population.

These macro-trends go some way to explain the perfect storm scenario that Health Tech is predicted to experience this year.

Crucial to the safe, responsible, efficient and productive delivery of each Health Tech innovation are the many people, healthcare influencers, across the world, that seek to improve the consumption and experience of care.

Of those, there are 100 Health Tech influencers who operate as practitioners, founders, investors, digital leaders, government representatives, consultants and pharmaceutical heads that have a particular knowledge of their field, product or service, that truly makes them influential in these important, early, days of Health Tech.

There are challenges to the future of Health Tech that both unique and common, but these 100 Health Tech influencers that cover and represent such a vast digital sub-sector are driving digital innovation in each area of their particular space.

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