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Technology and the healthcare industry

We all need to behave like start-ups in a fast-changing healthcare environment  

Lansons Health Tina WoodsJust like the forces of disruptive innovation have wreaked havoc in other industries like financial services, developments in technology and rising consumer expectations are creating a whirlwind of challenges and opportunities in the healthcare landscape.

From the application of bioinformatics and genomics to transform drug discovery through to mobile technology connecting everyone in the health ecosystem to revolutionise outcomes, change is everywhere. Global telecoms, tech giants, digital accelerators and biotech start-ups are all taking their place alongside the more established pharma players to do their bit to make patients' healthcare journeys better, happier and less costly. 

Pharma companies have little choice but to adapt quickly to 'beyond the pill' and become more agile players in a health ecosystem that is changing profoundly - those businesses that do not start to address the challenges of healthcare reform, consumer empowerment and technological disruption now risk being overtaken by adaptive and more patient- and customer-centred competitors.

Hype themes and key mega trends 
At the November Exponential Medicine conference held by Singularity University in California, new developments in artificial intelligence and the microbiome were the hype themes, and the key mega trends explored in the future of healthcare and aided by technology were:

• Prevention: sick care to healthcare and diagnosis to prevention

• Democratisation: patient empowerment, crowdsourcing and sharing economy 

• Data: this no longer exists as its own theme but is a commonality across topics

• Scaling innovation: exploration of the opportunities and challenges in scaling exponential innovation

• Integration and ecosystems: a shift from where companies/platforms are the key to optimisation to companies that orchestrate the actions of hundreds of others.

Consumer empowerment
In the words of Dr Daniel Kraft, founder of Exponential Medicine, “the new drug is the empowered patient”. There is no doubt consumer empowerment is a force that pharma must embrace. As consumers realise the boundless potential of the value of their own health information to improve their lives, there is no limit to the innovations that will emerge from this growing awareness and power. We are already seeing start-ups vying for space in the creation of health banks and personal data marketplaces (and yes, the healthcare industry would be foolish not to take lessons from the financial services sector, which has had major reputational issues around the way it manages customer data). 

So what does this mean for healthcare comms agencies? We need to keep pace with these developments and be nimble players in our own right- keeping a step ahead on where the future trends of health are going and ensuring we are as agile as the innovators disrupting the business models of our clients. We need to be able to help established healthcare organisations manage change, innovate, build their profile, manage their reputations and develop inspired initiatives to educate and communicate to audiences evolving quickly in a multichannel world. 

Future trends
Lansons Health brings this expertise through our award-winning work with other industry sectors that have been heavily disrupted and through our experience working with the entrepreneurial disrupters launching challenger brands into the marketplace. We also harness the power of collaboration and networks.

Health Tech Innovation Labs, a leading incubator and accelerator in digital healthcare, is our strategic partner, and our joint venture Heath Innovators TV is a global platform to support and promote grassroots innovation here and abroad, including, for example, Health Education England's TELHack hackathon on disruptive innovation in healthcare education we recently supported. Extended members of the Lansons Health team are the hundreds of digital healthcare and technology start-ups, third sector organisations and patient networks who form part of our innovation network. 

We run a Lansons Health Solutions Incubator that uses a sophisticated crowdsourcing engine powered by Wazoku, a leading ideas management software firm, to source pioneering ideas and potential partners to help our clients with their challenges and briefs, including a 'hotline to insight' through our links with innovation partners like Doctorpreneurs and Health Tech Women who represent the young medics and change makers of tomorrow. 

We also run citizen healthcare initiatives, in areas such as diabetes and elderly care, in association with our strategic insight partner Opinium Research, who we collaborated with on our recent report, People Powered Health - Engaging Citizens in the Future of Health and Technological Innovation. One of our partners, SP+EE, is a pioneering start-up specialising in design-led research to gain deep insight and ethnographic understanding of human needs and wants.

Please contact Tina Woods at Tinaw@lansons.com if you would like to learn more about Lansons Health.

In association with Lansons Health Innovators TV

3rd February 2016

From: Marketing

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