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Health Tech Marketing: PR Agencies Bring Vigor to Breakthrough Firms

Published on June 16, 2022

As healthcare practitioners make more use of digital information and diagnostic tools, marketing plays a vital role in the growth and impact of advanced health technology.

Data and technology breakthroughs allow healthcare teams to spend more time with patients and less time on red tape. For a growing, highly complex and competitive industry like health tech, marketing is particularly critical.

Innovation in health information technology enables medical practitioners to follow best-practice guidelines, monitor results and avoid medication errors. Even access to electronic medical records, a relatively simple benefit on the surface, is a big step in an industry that still relies on faxes.  EMR access allows doctors to make more informed treatment decisions in real time—preventive steps that lead to better outcomes.

What Is a Health Tech Company?

Hundreds of innovative healthcare incumbents and startups harness complex technology to change established healthcare practices and systems. McKinsey projects that telehealth alone could shift up to $250 billion in current healthcare spending to virtual settings.

Many global health tech firms have their foundations in pure tech: IT firms, biotech operations and startups that channel big data analysis and artificial intelligence expertise into health and wellness care.

Wellness apps have made health tech part of daily routine. Weight-loss apps like Noom and WW (Weight Watchers) and meditation apps like Headspace and Calm gained momentum during the pandemic as gyms closed and work at home increased employee isolation and stress.

 

The health tech sector includes biopharmaceutical firms that combine data and artificial intelligence to develop drugs and advance immuno-oncology and other disciplines; software companies that work on interactive response systems and support the life sciences industry; and robotics companies that manufacture medical products that enable doctors to perform minimally invasive surgeries.

What Is Health Tech Marketing?

Consumers began to embrace digital health products and innovations like telehealth well before the pandemic. However, COVID-19 dramatically sped the public acceptance of health tech. Countries turned to digital-first practices by necessity to quickly fight the spread of the coronavirus with less in-person contact. Firms such as Teladoc Health and Doxy.me offered virtual connections to primary care, mental health resources and chronic care treatment.

Recent Deloitte research suggests the pandemic has driven the convergence of healthcare delivery models and digital technologies, the demand for telehealth and the rise of consumerism in medical care.

Savvy health tech marketers engage digital platforms to highlight content that advances the health tech company’s mission. Innovative health tech marketing strategies not only engage target audiences but also keep their attention.

The UK-based social network HealthUnlocked, for example, forms online communities that trade experiences around wellness issues like marathon training and chronic health conditions like arthritis. The company also puts together self-paced e-learning courses with healthcare organization sponsors on topics such as atrial fibrillation, sponsored by the AF Association. The online course explains symptoms, treatment plans and related conditions in 10 sessions, a process that not only educates participants, but also gives them a reason to return to the site.

Other health tech providers tie their marketing campaigns to more traditional social media platforms. Doctify, for example, turned to Facebook for a two-prong outreach that closed a loop between medical providers and patients. It reached out to doctors to provide them with data on patient feedback – data that they provided separately to patients to help them make the best choice of a doctor or healthcare provider.

What Is Health Tech PR?

An effective health tech public relations plan enables a company to get noticed in a packed, multifaceted field, to push ahead and find its place in the industry through relevant content and thought leadership.

The first step in creating a health tech PR campaign is to define a company’s message and align it with brand strategy. Then the content marketing team tells that story in multiple formats, from press releases, white papers, blogs and op-ed pieces to webinars, podcasts and videos. PR output can include newsletters that circulate internally and externally, virtual town halls; interview opportunities for executives and subject experts; and a vibrant social media profile that drive traffic to the company’s website.

By its very nature, health tech also has a social responsibility component that benefits from amplification and explanation, much like ESG marketing. Since health tech is a natural disruptor of long-established medical practices, health tech PR highlights tech’s unique benefits in an appeal to veteran healthcare leaders.

What Is a Health Tech PR Agency?

A good PR agency ties the “story” of a company—its purpose and mission—to its messaging and brand, creating impactful communications in the process. For a health tech company, that means clearly educating consumers and prospective users of its products and providing information about its possibilities and progress, both pro and con.

The PR agency also is well-versed in market conditions, opportunities and competing companies and can mitigate unfavorable news honestly and effectively, allowing the client to weather a crisis.

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