Doctors, nurses and voice technology: Three pillars of healthcare

Today, Amazon’s Alexa (along with devices from Google and Apple) provide a near seamless user experience and perform fairly complex tasks. This, of course, is still only the beginning. Amazon has been vocal about its desire to extend Alexa’s reach virtually everywhere. The goal is to create access to voice technology platforms in every setting, from smart thermostats to smart refrigerators.
Ultimately, Amazon aims to have developers embed Alexa’s technology in all kinds of objects — and one of the spaces where Alexa is already seeing significant integration is the healthcare sector.

Paging Dr. Alexa?

Across the world IT departments at major medical centers, along with third party voice app developers, are busy figuring out new and novel ways to incorporate Alexa and Google Home into healthcare settings.

It’s not difficult to understand why those in the healthcare sector are so intrigued by the possibilities offered by voice technology. It’s a life or death business where even a relatively small mistake can have deadly consequences. Any technology that can increase efficiency while reducing errors (and subsequently lowering potential liability costs) will be heartily embraced.

Ashraf Shehata, a partner at KPMG’s Global Healthcare Center of Excellence, reports that Alexa is continually becoming more sophisticated in terms of responding to health care requests. In other word’s, she’s becoming smarter over time.

Currently, Alexa is being used to help surgeons run through pre-procedure safety checklists, photograph, log and timestamp comments made during surgery and log patient notes between caregiver shifts. All of these functions not only improve health care processes, they also help protect against liability by enhancing safety and accuracy while providing a clear digital record.

Additionally, voice technology is used to help patients follow their prescription dosages, identify and treat minor illnesses and even route them to the medical center with the lowest patient backlog. Alexa and Google Home also offer access to a large and continually growing digital content library of health care information. Users can access information about symptoms, illnesses, medications and treatments with a simple voice command.

Voice technology also has the potential to transform administrative tasks. Anyone who has worked in the healthcare space understands the enormous amount of time that’s spent record keeping, scheduling and dealing with supply chain issues. Voice technology platforms can simplify and streamline these processes, allowing medical professionals to focus on patient care and other areas where the most value is added.

The takeaway

Voice technology is already impacting patient care for the better, but we are still at the very beginning of a profound transformation. Those who start adapting early will receive the greatest benefits in terms of efficiency, accuracy and productivity.

Third party developers play a key role in helping businesses and organizations unlock the true potential of Alexa and other services. If your organization could benefit from the implementation of a world-class voice technology application, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

How voice technology is transforming the healthcare industry

In the healthcare field, the voice technology platforms developed by both businesses (Amazon Alexa and Google Home) have been lauded by medical practitioners and developers alike.
It’s not difficult to see why the interest has been so apparent. While voice interaction has been a resounding success in the consumer market, allowing users to save time by automating essential home functions, its applications in business and organizational contexts are just now being explored.
One thing, however, is certain: As voice technology matures, its effect on the healthcare industry operations will be profound.

How voice technology changes how patient care is delivered

Voice app development in the medical field is somewhat constrained by the fact that most major voice tech products are not yet HIPAA compliant (though Amazon and others are working to achieve this). Yet even working within these limitations, developers have already made remarkable strides toward making healthcare more efficient and accurate.

Medical centers are using Alexa and other platforms to transmit routine medical data to patients in their homes. Hospitals are also using voice technology to help with surgical note taking or record keeping. Voice technology also has a crucial role to play in helping people become more involved in their own health care.

One app, as well as many others, created by Boston Children’s Hospital, allows users to access information about common medical conditions and prescription medicine dosage. Apps such as these can help deliver much-needed information virtually instantly, without the need to waste time performing manual searches.
Communicating via voice, rather than having an experience that’s mediated by a screen, has immense potential for helping patients become more engaged with their own health. This will ultimately give them the power and agency necessary to make substantial improvements to their own lives.

What the future holds

While these initial developments are quite promising, they represent merely the first steps toward deeper voice technology integration with healthcare services. Some of the world’s most prominent medical centers are experimenting with voice technology in an effort to build applications that will transform how hospitals operate and how patients are treated.

Third party voice application developers are busy dreaming up innovative new uses for Alexa and her competitors in healthcare settings. Amazon is busy supporting this wave of development; one example is a recent software development challenge the company co-hosted with pharmaceutical giant Merck. Developers were tasked with finding creative voice technology solutions to help people manage chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Devices such as Alexa are well-suited to help people manage these chronic conditions. By asking simple questions such as “have you taken your medication today?” Alexa and other platforms can help ensure that patients remain compliant with their treatment needs. This is critically important, as some studies have shown up to 50-percent of patients do not comply with their dosing schedule — a problem that has massive public health consequences.

The takeaway

Voice technology has a major role to play in the healthcare field — and we’ve only begun to see this impact take shape. Our firm has been at the forefront of this trend, and we’ve used our expertise to help clients in a variety of fields harness the power of voice technology to improve their own processes.
In the coming days and weeks, we’ll publish more content explaining how voice technology can benefit both hospitals and patients by driving better financial and personal health outcomes.

Need help incorporating voice technology into your current strategy? Contact our team of professionals today to learn more about our voice interaction services.

Read why home health marketing needs social media

When establishing a positive reputation in the highly regulated, highly saturated healthcare market, your social media agency can transform your brand into a go-to source for information and wellness. Beyond traditional social media management, your agency can tap into digital education techniques — such as webinars and groundbreaking thought leadership through blogs and digital posts – that will break through the clutter in your market. Here are our top six favorite ways you can get started with a social media agency today.
1. Use market research and big data to understand your audience

Because your patients may not be the same people who are choosing your home health services, it’s important to understand how your audience is finding information about your services and what criteria they are using to make decisions. A good social media agency can offer a unique look into where people start their journey (perhaps via a magazine ad or radio campaign), and how they migrate across platforms from their mobile devices, map and GPS apps, and onto their desktops. By using proprietary data and mapping that against third-party information, these agencies can paint a clear picture of who your audience is, and what is most important to those individuals.

2. Give customers something they can’t find anywhere else

Online learning opportunities, guest speakers, and panel discussion can transform the home health education and shopping experience through highly shareable, personalized content. Host a webinar with the founder of your organization, a leading specialist in your health field, or customers willing to share their testimonials. In addition to the potential customers you touch during that event, online events generate a substantial amount of buzz with very little effort. The best part is that these events also serve as mini focus groups where you can learn about the issues your customers care about most, what information they aren’t getting in the broader marketplace, and reveal key areas where you can differentiate yourself as a provider. By listening to your attendees’ questions, evaluating the type of people who sign up, and following up with a post-session survey, you can take your market research to the next level.

3. Practice makes perfect

Once you think you’ve found a niche, begin testing content that appeals to your audience. You might not nail your social media, content, or marketing strategy the first time so we recommend testing everything. Use your social media agency to prioritize the big swings against small improvements to balance revolutionary ideas against critical, business updates. If you don’t get something right the first time, try it again. Web tests allow you to expose only a small part of your digital audience to certain content or ideas, giving you freedom to break outside the traditional healthcare box.

4. Grab their attention

The healthcare industry is not always known for its cutting edge social presence and interactivity. By keeping your content fresh and on the cutting edge, you can unlock new client potential. A good social media agency knows what trends are emerging and how to use them effectively, so you can find the right balance between staying ahead of the curve and veering too far away from your target audience. Your social media agency can look at where your customers are spending their time online, understand the devices they are using, and build custom-made marketing campaigns around these individualized behaviors.

5. Embrace the second screen

Understanding that most customers are searching for information across multiple devices at the same time can be a huge benefit to home health marketing professionals. Geo-based, local apps complement broader SEO initiatives, and mobile app development that create a seamless customer and prospect experience. The better your agency understands the organic migration across platform, the more easily you can be at the right place at the right time for your customers.

6. Use a social media agency to solicit feedback

Some customers may be reticent to provide feedback to their home health provider in fear that their service may falter or that they don’t have other options. If your organization is truly dedicated to improving, you can use your social media agency to solicit open, honest (or even anonymous) feedback about your marketing outreach, and service experiences. Social listening and customer management are critical mechanisms your agency can support to compile this feedback and turn it into actionable items.

Your social media agency can serve as an extra set of eyes and ears to get to know your clients better. Sure, they can support your Facebook and Twitter pages, but there is a lot more to social media management than meets the eye. Check out some of our work and see how we can help.

Retargeting (or remarketing) is creepy, but it sure works

Retargeting has been described as “turning window shoppers into buyers,” something that every business craves.
But this actually isn’t the best analogy – perhaps more of an overeager sales clerk who helps you in the store, then accompanies you to several other stores, all the while telling you what you’re missing out on.

You may call it a little creepy. The sales associate may call it being pleasantly persistent. Digital marketing experts call it a smart, effective method to encourage customers to learn about a product or business, and then be reminded about it later, and once again for good measure.

For those aren’t entirely sure what retargeting is, the short version is that it’s the ability for an advertiser to “follow” you when you visit their site, and have their ads appear on other pages you visit after you’ve departed. The frequency varies, but it explains why ads reappear for places you just visited on the Web or social media, even though the site you’re currently connected to may not have anything to do with that particular topic.

Far more than mere coincidence, (or in case you might have envisioned an advertiser with an unlimited budget who is keenly aware of the sites you visit), retargeting is a way to constantly remind customers about a particular business.

It also works: according to CMO, Adobe’s marketing blog, businesses typically see a 2 percent rate of people visiting and buying. But when retargeting is in place, all sorts of good things can happen, including a 400 percent increase in ad response, and 3 out of 5 buyers saying they notice ads on other sites. Those are impressive results.

Retargeting also isn’t terribly annoying – 25 percent of people surveyed had a positive or very positive reaction to seeing extra ads, compared to 19 percent who dislike them, and 57 percent who are neutral on the notion of retargeting.

For marketers considering adding the practice to your greater digital strategy, here’s what you should know:

How retargeting works

The mechanics of retargeting ads are pretty simple. On your home page or any inside page, you include a bit of invisible Javascript code at the footer. When visitors arrive at your site, your script will send a browser cookie to their phones or desktops. When they visit other pages in the future, the cookie will instruct the page to call and display your ad in one of the page’s available ad slots.

Retargeting requires working with a remarketing company, which usually is a member of common digital ad exchanges, and can help you craft your message. Social media channels like Facebook have their own process for targeting or retargeting, which can include ads on the right –hand column, or in your news feed.

When you establish your retargeting campaign, you’re able to configure how often your ad is displayed, be it every time visitors go to another page; or possibly, every fifth site they visit; when a certain keyword shows up (such as shoes). This also begs the question, “Does that style of ads end if the customer goes back to your site and buys something, or does it expire after a week or longer?”

AdRoll, a popular online provider, has confirmed that different subjects can require different timing when setting-up your unique campaigns. It recommends that people seeking travel info should be retargeted immediately, while those who are more interested in specific retail goods may not need to see these ads as frequently.

Some retargeting services allow you to get even more hands-on in your ad. ReTargeter, another option, said some people prefer self-serve campaigns, where they design all the aspects of their program, from the sizes of ads to where they appear. This may be better for your budget, however it may elicit more of a technical challenge than seeking a full-serve provider. The following include different types of retargeting, with varying strategies for various industries:

Health Care Retargeting

Pew Research study stated that 72 percent of Internet users tried to find health info during the past year. To counter the sometimes “iffy” results on various sites, there are also a variety of useful resources that have a stake in providing searchers with adequate details, including community health providers, along with plenty of pharmaceutical companies who don’t want anyone to forget their product.

According to HealthCareCommunication, retargeting allows health info seekers to do their homework, while returning slightly more educated about a specific topic. For instance, an individual may visit a site for their local doctor or hospital to learn about a particular procedure, and then, in turn, visit other sites to explore the topic further. Following all of this research, seekers will be prepared to be return to their initial site, hopefully with more knowledge.

Providers are advised to include a call to action – ask people to do something – and not have a retargeting campaign last longer than 30 days.

Hospitality/Tourism Retargeting

We’re all familiar with the frugal traveler who goes out of his/her way to spend as little as possible when on the road. On the other hand, there are those who stimulate the local economy with plenty of purchases of food and lodging, car rentals, souvenirs, and other expenditures. Either way, much of a traveler’s research is performed online, especially when comparing prices and making reservations.

If you’re a travel business, Trooz, a travel marketing site, suggests that a retargeting service can help you partner with other related businesses, especially of the higher-priced variety. That way, if you represent an inexpensive B&B, you may still target customers who visit airfare or local travel sites. In addition, you might also consider a service that includes international visitors.

Restaurants, another part of the industry, also have the potential to reap benefits. Restaurantnews.com confirms that those who click on your ads will already be familiar with you and what you offer, resulting in a stronger lead, rather simply than trying to tell the world that your brand exists. Throw in a coupons or a deal, and position your company in an even more exciting manner to fellow restaurant fans.

Retail Retargeting

Here’s where retargeting/remarketing really is a winner. If an item catches a shoppper’s eye, but he/she say “better not,” retargeting gives brands a second, third, and even fourth chance to talk the potential buyer into their purchase. Since so much of shopping can be deemed an impulse buy, a merchant can retarget shoppers by frequency alone, with phrases such as, “Are you sure?”, or, “Are you still thinking about these snazzy boots?” In addition, retargeting can be used to highlight items in an online shopping cart that that a prospective purchaser may have abandoned. With a reminder that the items are still waiting to be purchased, it’s not as difficult to successfully complete the transaction.

Based on the popularity of retargeting, there’s plenty of potential to include it as component of your marketing plan. Some experts warn not to rely too much on this singular service at the expense of other marketing options, but it has the potential to help extend your reach and politely nudge your audience in a desired direction.

Still have questions about retargeting, and considering a potential partner to lend industry expertise to your campaign? Contact our team of digital marketing experts to help close more sales – and drive-up revenue – for your brand.

To check out more of our media planning strategies, visit our Media services page.

4 reasons why digital advertising matters in healthcare marketing

It’s definitely a challenging time to be working in healthcare.
There are political pressures – and competing agendas – to expand or undo the insurance structure. Along with increases in billing, every insurance provider requires their own rules and paperwork, and regulations are constantly evolving regarding the best practices for discussing or sharing patient information.

On the brighter side, there are also more tools to help patients, such as information that can be easily accessed or shared on mobile devices. And the economic outlook for the industry as a whole is nothing but positive – the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the medical and health services workforce to grow by 23 percent by 2020. More Americans are now eligible for care, which is good for them, but it may create challenges for providers who already have been feeling stretched thin. Consumers are also increasingly interested in managing their own care, which also is a noble goal but can create concerns about quality.

So healthcare marketing is especially critical – providers need to get the word out that they’re available to assist. And they also need to connect with audiences who no longer seek their services in the same places that they used to, such as newspapers or phone books.

For those who follow current healthcare marketing trends, the industry is increasingly going digital. Here are 4 reasons why you need to secure an online presence via a sound digital advertising strategy:

1. It’s where the audiences are:
According to the U.S. Census, 83.8 percent of households owned computers in 2013 – and jumped to 87 percent the next year. Of these, 78.5 percent own a desktop or laptop and 63 percent have a handheld computer. As of 2015, 84 percent of households reported regular Internet use, and 73.4 reported high-speed connections. The Pew Research Center said that up to 80 percent of Americans have also tried to look up health info online, especially specific conditions or diseases for themselves or others. Whether you’re promoting your medical services on social media or online ads on other sites, your healthcare advertising can reach a significant amount of the general population. Ad programs also can let you drill down and target certain age groups or geographic areas who will especially receptive to your message.

2. Audiences want health info:
The same Pew study showed that 70 percent of surveyed adults received healthcare information from their health provider, which is good. But 60 percent said they also get health info from friends and family, which may be riskier. With the power of the Internet, people can now learn about any sort of ailment, no matter how uncommon. It’s also an easy source to self-diagnose, from basic sniffles to a new blemish. According to the U.S. Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus site, teens are especially prone to seek out their information online first, even before talking to their parents, their teachers or health providers – 58 percent usually start with a Google search. Your healthcare digital marketing can focus on you as someone who can help find answers quickly and easily.

3. To counter the bad stuff:
Though an online community that’s increasingly aware of basic health can have its advantages, the downside can be that they may wind up at questionable, unreliable, even dangerous sites. However, you can portray yourself as a health professional who will always provide accurate information, or dispel some of the half-truths or outright lies they may run across online. Your healthcare digital advertising can drive people to your site to get our perspective, and you can even reinforce the point with web content or blog posts telling why some online claims aren’t quite true.

4. To build your brand:
Whether you’re a sole provider, part of a group of physicians or even part of a hospital community, you need to claim your online presence and find a way to stand out from the other area providers. A hospital marketing itself online can portray itself as the community’s prime source for all levels of medical needs. Consider allowing visitors to do everything at the site from learning about the facility to paying a bill to finding out about area health resources and even job openings. Even though an established local health center may have good word-of-mouth by nature, a comprehensive site and an online hospital advertising campaign can increase its presence – and the perception that it is the local authority.

Though it’s easy to want to focus on performing healthcare services well, today’s consumer desires even more. At this least, prospective patients are seeking assistance to educate themselves on a specific service to determine if it might be the right avenue to pursue in treatment. It’s easy to receive unqualified advice from one’s well-meaning friends, but there’s no substitute for reliable, qualified medical opinions.

Are you a healthcare marketer in need of some digital advertising prowess to positively impact your strategy for success? Contact our team of experts today for your own “check-up,” and to learn more about reaching prospective patients online.

What goes into the beauty of a brand’s social campaign

Looking back at ad campaigns with lasting impact, one could safely gauge that the past year-and-a half has undoubtedly been that of taking an honest look in the mirror (naturally, pun intended) through judgment-free eyes – at least that’s been the mantra according to Dove. From the brand’s “Real Beauty Sketches” to the short video “Evolution,” I have to admit that Dove has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to empowering women. Continuing this message on to Super Bowl XLIX, Dove challenged us all to think differently about doing things “like a girl” – with the basis of running, throwing a ball, and the larger impasse – showcasing the differences in how young women, boys, and young girls respectively perceive the phrase. The Super Bowl ad won significant online kudos for changing the conversation, and again, during the 87th Annual Academy Awards, the brand started an entirely new conversation — this time on Twitter.

As part of a hashtag campaign, #SpeakBeautifully, Dove teamed up with the social media platform to add a positive spin on some of the negative tweets about beauty and body image on awards night. Arguably one of the chattiest (and often, cattiest) nights on social media, Dove created a Twitter tool that identified hateful keywords, and responded to them with non-automated tweets during the show. When someone tweeted a nasty comment about someone else, Dove’s Twitter accounted tweeted back constructive advice to encourage more positive online language and habits.

The campaign is based on a study done by Dove, which found that 50% of women are more likely to post something negative about themselves on Twitter, rather than positive. Even more upsetting, four out of five women encounter negative tweets commenting on other women’s appearances. Twitter CEO Dick Costalo has addressed the issue that seems to run rampant on Twitter, saying “We stink at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve been bad at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day.” Through a strong partnership with Dove – viewed as having changed the paradigm in the industry – on this social media campaign, he endeavors to encourage positivity towards women, and on a grander scale, initiate changed perceptions on the Twittersphere.

It’s no surprise that the significant, lasting impact of social media’s oft-unmonitored commentary and postings may prove to be incredibly damaging to women’s self-esteem, especially for young girls. As a caveat to that, the anonymity of the Internet, including insults easily shared regarding appearance, can be even more hateful and significantly more widespread. “Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post,” says Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Dove. [quote]“The power to #SpeakBeautifully is in the hands of us all – we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online.”[/quote]

The campaign, Dove says, will continue long after awards season is over. Social change doesn’t happen overnight, but the #SpeakBeautifully campaign sends an inspiring message – that hopefully social media will serve as the catalyst to create a less hostile online environment for women.

Although it’s early in the year, (and admittedly, this national brand has tried to make me cry twice already), I’m growing to realize that there can be true societal beauty in a brand’s social media presence. We at BIGEYE admire a company that uses such a highly televised event to promote genuine, positive change – and not to simply push a product to consumers. Dove, if we could present you with an Oscar for that, we most certainly would.

View the #SpeakBeautifully ad.

If we’ve left you feeling inspired to generate an innovative social media strategy for your brand, contact our team of digital experts today! We have significant expertise in consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketing – like the folks at Dove – and really understand the value of differentiating through the creation of a brand strategy and presence that truly generates lasting emotive impact with your target audience.