Increased Use of Point of Care Tactics Offer Opportunity For Better In-office Experience

MM&M announced this week that “up to 20% of pharma brands are moving digital media spend to point-of-care tactics” which was grounded in a study fielded by ZS Associates. To a certain extent, this is unsurprising as many forms of digital media such as social and display continue to face increasing scrutiny around the topic of ad fraud.

This will have an impact on two key audiences in healthcare marketing – patients and providers – which if well thought through, should be overwhelmingly positive.

Phreesia Patient Intake Platform

Patients

Platforms such as Phreesia offer patients the opportunity to engage with content as part of the intake process. The biggest challenge here will be placements that are relevant to the specific patient as there is a potential to spend effort on poor placements. Case in point; when I took my son to the pediatrician for his flu shot this year, I was offered the opportunity to “Learn More” about a branded product. The only thing I can recall about the brand is that is had nothing to do with why I was there and wouldn’t be appropriate for my son. Contextual relevance will be critical to success in these moments.

epocrates advertising platform from athenahealth

Providers

HCPs, particularly PCPs, are the target of massive amounts of marketing. Overwhelming is an understatement here. When you consider the necessity of staying abreast of current trends and new therapies, to a certain extent, they need to be exposed to these messages. However, when it’s all said and done, the moment that matters is when the Rx decision is made. The opportunity to be a relevant part of that moment as part of the HCPs workflow in the EHR/EMR offers pharma companies an incredible opportunity. When you consider the number of drugs that don’t have the budget for mass DTC advertising, the HCP really is the decision maker in the therapy of choice.

Why It’s Hot

While contextual relevance for audiences is improving and offers plenty of potential, the real win will be when a brand can own the conversation across the moments in an office visit.

Consider a diabetes patient checking in for a check-up who is offered a message around potential therapy they may be eligible with a DTC ad based upon key factors pulled through from their EHR.

Then, at the end of the appointment, the HCP if offered a targeted message in the EHR with a savings offer the patient can print and take with them.

With brands doubling down on these POC channels, we have the opportunity to take the in-office experience to new levels.

FDA’s Digital Health Innovation Action Plan Targets Software – Not Hardware – For Regulatory Approval

A few weeks ago I posted an article that spoke to the value connected medicine dispensing could bring to healthcare.

What I neglected to mention is the plethora of HIPAA hurdles that the healthcare industry faces when it begins collecting patient-specific healthcare data on mobile devices such as phones, tablets or wearables.

Thankfully there may be a solution on the horizon that significantly circumvents this challenge.

In the past, if a client were to build an app that collected patient-specific medical data, the entire phone would then be considered a “medical device.” The challenge with this lies in the relative inability of a healthcare company to effectively to manage HIPAA compliance on a device they rarely have contact with.

However, the FDA’s new Digital Health Innovation Action Plan is looking at ways to view the software as the components of a tech solution that needs to be regulated. This effectively paves the way for healthcare companies and the companies to more deeply integrate mobile technology with healthcare.

As part of the plan, the FDA is seeking 9 that meet the following criteria for its pilot initiative;

  • Business is developing or planning to develop tools that meet the FDA’s definition of a device — one intended to be used to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease;
  • Company has an existing track record in developing, testing, and maintaining software products use key performance indicators for quality control;
  • Must agree to provide access to performance measures during the pilot
  • Collect real-world post-market performance data and provide it to the FDA;
  • Availability for consultations and site visits from FDA officials
  • Provide quality management system information

So who did the FDA deem worthy this past week from the pool of over 100 applicants?

  • Apple
  • Fitbit
  • Verily (the health unit of Google parent Alphabet)
  • Samsung
  • Roche
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Pear Therapeutics
  • Tidepool
  • Phosphorus.

“We need to modernize our regulatory framework so that it matches the kind of innovation we’re being asked to evaluate, and helps foster beneficial technology while ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality, safe and effective digital health devices,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “These pilot participants will help the agency shape a better and agiler approach toward digital health technology that focuses on the software developer rather than an individual product.”

The end goal of the program is to develop a regulatory framework for software as a medical device so that companies with established, tried and tested quality assurance protocols would be able to update their products faster.

Why It’s Hot:

in the past, mobile devices such as wearables, phone or tablets that collected patient data weren’t HIPAA compliant. This new FDA initiative opens up the potential to build technology that makes these devices HIPAA compliant opening up vast new opportunities for the healthcare industry.

Pillboxes May Not Belong in the “Internet of Things” After All

Many people working in the healthcare space have been excited about the potential of expanding device connectivity to medication administration in recent years. After all, pill bottles are “things” so why not incorporate them into the “Internet of Things,” right?

As a result, various private innovation firms, as well as major pharmaceutical companies, have been making significant investments in developing “connected” medication dispensing systems in an effort to combat poor treatment compliance.

Lack of compliance – a patient’s inability to take a given medication as intended by their physician – is estimated to cost the US healthcare system $100 billion to $300 billion dollars a year.

Take, for example, a therapy that is self-administered once daily that also needs to be titrated to meet the unique, metabolic needs of a particular patient. If the patient skips a few doses, goes in for a follow up and swears, “Scout’s Honor, Doc!” that he didn’t miss a day – but in fact only remembered to take it about 60% of the time – the dose adjustment the HCP gives him to meet his unique, but misrepresented, needs may trigger an adverse event – pharma-speak for “serious side-effect” – if he suddenly decides to take the medication as intended.

Now consider the value of a medication container that communicates with the patient’s Bluetooth equipped phone. It can remind the patient to take his medication, record the time it was taken down to the second, and, when paired with a wearable technology, could also record additional health related data that gives additional context. This additional context also gives the health care provider more context in which to manage chronic conditions.

When paired with a relevant app, it can also give an additional view into consumer behavior to help marketers better understand optimal cadence and content topics to increase performance in their marketing plans.

However, a recent study published in JAMA showed that a study of post heart attack patients who were provided electronic pill bottles, combined with financial incentives and social support for medication adherence, had the same outcome in terms of re-hospitalization rate, medication adherence, and total medical costs as those who were not provided these resources.

Why It’s Hot:

While making the health connection has been a major leap forward from a technological perspective, it hasn’t solved the challenge of reshaping human behavior. Yet.

Until this technology has a better rate of success in reshaping patient outcomes, broader adoption of this technology may be in question.

Augmented reality without glasses

Diagram of artificial lense

Artificial lens diagram via techcrunch.com

Six months ago, Omega Ophthalmics did a small trial of seven patients outside of the US. Their goal was to test for adverse effects of a surgery similar to lens replacements that often accompany cataract removals. The difference? Rather than replacing the cloudy lens with a normal artificial lens, surgeons instead implanted a lens that could be used for augmented reality, interactive sensors, or drug delivery.

Why it’s hot

Although widespread adoption of this technology is unlikely in the near future, scientists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists hope that there is a market for such implants in an aging population that wants to be independent for longer. Whether this small trial is successful may pave the way for larger trials to test additional possibilities and risk.

Learn more at TechCrunch.com

In Two Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail We’ll be Growing Humans in Fluid Filled Bags

So we’re able to let Lambs develop outside the womb.

Physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia worked with 23 week-old lambs to in order test a synthetic device that imitates a woman’s uterus, hoping to limit mortality and disease in premature children that are born before 37 weeks.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death for newborns. So it makes sense that we try to find a solution, albeit a creepy looking one. In this successful breakthrough, lambs were placed in transparent biobags just 105 days after they started development, which is equivalent to about 22 weeks of human development.

The lambs were kept in the biobags for four weeks. During this time, they grew hair; their lungs developed; and they reached the point where they could survive on their own.

Remarkably, the eight lambs in the trial developed normally in the artificial womb and each survived, proving that the biobag successfully mimicked the natural conditions found in the uterus—and paving the way for a new life-saving device for humans.

Although the fluid-filled plastic enclosure can’t develop a child for an entire nine-month term, it can allow us to incubate them remarkably soon after conception. The team of physicians is already in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and clinical trials are slated to begin in the next 3 to 5 years.

Image result for the matrix image coming out of the goo

Read more here.

Why it’s hot:

  1. ‘Cause this new device could allow premature babies to develop in natural conditions and maybe avoid a host of chronic health conditions.

Telehealth is here, it’s what next that is truly…

Scary? Amazing? Ruined by bad user experience? Right for some not for others? Revolutionary?

Telehealth video calls surpassed 50 million in the US last year. Telehealth video visits will reach 158 million by 2020. Just pick up your phone and you get a video consult with a doctor. There are two points to be made: it is not that Telehealth is big news, it is the dramatic rate of adoption starting…now.

A recent study done by AmericanWell, a major Telehealth provider, basically proves an aggressive adoption rate, but with caveats.  One of the major barriers? A doctor is really not allolwed to diagnose you over the phone. Another? Telehealth also weakens your relationship with a doctor, who uses visual observation as a key tool for diagnosis. But here are the stats that make it hot:

  1. Today, 50 million U.S. consumers would switch providers to one that offers telehealth.*
  2. Willingness to switch to a doctor that offers Telehealth is highest among parents of children under age 18 and 35-44 year olds.
  3. 60 percent of consumers who are willing to have an online Telehealth visit would see a doctor online for help managing a chronic condition.
  4. 67 percent of adults ages 45-64 who are willing to have an online Telehealth visit would see a doctor online for help managing a chronic condition.
  5. 79 percent of consumers currently caring for an ill or aging relative say a multi-way video Telehealth service would be helpful.

Why this is hot? Not because it is accelerating in use, but for what comes next: biometric sensors for your phone so when you do a video tele-consult, any of us will allow the doctor’s network to hook into all your health data, perhaps resolving the “no diagnosing” barrier. But there are real concerns. Is convenience gained but something lost? Would you like the world better if you didn’t have to go through the hastle of arranging and going to a doctors office? How do the doctors feel? And who is this doctor anyway — do you medical advice from someone you know and trust?

This year, with our IPG health insurance, we all received a plastic flyer offering the service to all employees, 24/7. Please share any experiences you have, if you feel comfortable doing so.

How A Harvard Professor Is Digitizing Scent

Cyrano is a “digital smell speaker” and the latest endeavor from Harvard professor and serial inventor, David Edwards—known for such madcap creations as smokable chocolate, edible food packaging, and inhalable alcohol.

Cyrano is a compact, portable device that emits 12 different scents that users can mix and match to create a “playlist” they can control via an app. The scents are divided into smells that are energizing, relaxing, and escapist. Selecting “Get Away,” for example, will give you a tropical melody of Bellini, guava, coconut, and suntan lotion; meanwhile, “Get Energized” will wake you up with scents like peppermint and orange ginger.

Edwards and his team are focused on incorporating curated scents into our environments to improve our well-being. He sees it as similar to how sunlight or sound can improve your mood. “From a conscious point of view, our perception of scent is secondary [to light and sound],” he says. “But from a emotive point of view, it is primary. In particular, in relation to wellness, scent is far more powerful than light or sound.”

At a conference, Edwards used data to explain how Cyrano can improve our lifestyles and well beings: “There’s a lot of data around wellness and driving,” he says, citing statistics that about 14% of driving Americans fall asleep in the car a day. “The car is also the perfect-sized space for containing a scent so that it doesn’t dilute or mix with other smells.” Cyrano is designed to fit snugly inside a car cup holder and can play “scent melodies” to keep you energized or emit odors that calm you down. The playlist is timed to shift scents every eight minutes in order to avoid olfactory fatigue—the point at which you become so used to the smell that you stop noticing it.

Perhaps the most interesting potential application for Cyrano is medical—and Edwards is already exploring it with the help of Richard Doty, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Smell and Taste Center. Doty’s research focuses on how scent detection correlates with disease—loss of scent is seen as an early detector for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, for example—and sees the app as a way to administer scent tests digitally. Eventually, Edwards says, they could adapt scent tests to broad public use, so that individuals could check their health in the morning with their own custom scent track. According to Doty, “humans actually have a very advanced sense of smell, we just don’t exercise it as much as other animals”.

For now, Cyrano is being released in a limited run of 500 devices—available here for $149—with a full product release later this year.

Source: FastCo

Why is this hot?

In a modern world where natural scents are lost in the madness of industrial odors, stimulating our senses to improve our health and wellness is like going back to our origins.

Walmart Disrupts Healthcare?

8009-2-HW-Shoot-Walmart-Dallas-10.10-Store-5823-106-Accessibility is a key issue in healthcare. No surprise the titan of retail access, Walmart, is tackling the issue and looking to define its place. Walmart is quietly testing and extending wellness programming in-store and online, looking to become the chief destination of retail health and wellness, service and lower cost primary care options. Business insiders are predicting Walmart’s presence here as a major disruption in the U.S. healthcare system.

CMI wrote of the news:  In addition to making healthcare and healthier food more affordable and accessible, the retailer is focusing on preventive care and supporting overall well-being through in-store events, online education and an expanding array of healthy products and services. Walmart offers over 1,700 organic products, with nearly 10% in the produce aisle, and has been quietly opening its Care Clinic model across several markets, including Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. The Walmart Care Clinic aims to be a primary medical provider offering diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute illnesses, as well as preventative services, such as immunizations, physicals and other health screenings.

The Quantified Car

tom_automatic

Automatic is a combination adapter and app that interfaces with your car’s on-board computer. The adapter gathers data on fuel efficiency, miles driven, and bad driving habits (jackrabbit accelerations and hard braking). The app can then give drivers insights into their driver profile, their car’s mechanical condition, tell you where you parked, and in an accident, can even notify loved ones and signal for help.  Ever wonder what that check engine light really means? Automatic can tell you the exact error code, what is usually the causing the problem, and connect you to local mechanics.

As a consequence of gathering all this data, Automatic is able to issue yearly “Your Driving Year in Review” reports. Here’s mine. I commute far too much, drive too fast to optimize fuel efficiency, and sadly, when you add up all my driving time, I spend more than two weeks a year behind the wheel.

Why it’s hot:
Newer cars are starting to include these tracking features standard, but for the majority of older vehicles on the road, tools like Automatic can provide actionable data right now. And since driving is one of the most dangerous (and unhealthy) activities we can do in our lives, any data that can optimize the experience will help us make better decisions. Look for car brands (other automotive related brands) to embrace this data, creating better experiences and deeper integrations.

 

Newest Sleep Number Bed Tracks Your Daytime Activities

The latest Sleep Number “It” bed not only analyzes how you sleep but also tracks what you do during the day to help you get the best sleep possible. In addition, it can pull in data such as weather forecasts and traffic reports to provide you with recommendations, such as going to bed earlier, to help you get the most out of your sleep.

The “It” bed was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas this week. In addition to using the existing sleep-tracking SleepIQ biometric technology that uses sensors to track presence, movement, and heart and breathing rates while using the mattress, the new bed connects to your mobile devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to track your activity throughout the day.

The data can include when you eat, exercise, your schedule for the day, etc. Based on this data, the mattress suggests ideal firmness levels and ideas for how to get the best sleep.

Why It’s Hot
 We spend a large percentage of our lives sleeping, and sleep is vital to our health. As mhealth and the Internet of Things continues to grow, it makes sense that data be used to optimize our sleep experiences. This in turn may lead to better overall health and improved productivity!

Under Armour– Powered by Watson

Amongst the new partnerships announced at CES is one between Under Armour and IBM, which promises to launch “Cognitive Coaching Powered by IBM Watson,” which both companies call the “world’s first complete health and fitness insights app.”

Activity-Insight-1_640_1136How does it plan to stand out against the typical fitness app consisting of wearable device & smartphone sensor? Using Watson’s smarts. The program will integrate data signals from wearable fitness gear with Under Armour’s Connected Fitness community of users, research studies, and institutions with data from IBM Watson. To help individuals achieve their fitness goals as accurately as possible, the Watson database will compare each user’s fitness data to a cohort of people with similar characteristics and goals– a sort of crowdsourcing in which individuals can see real-time results of others they share commonalities with.

Two other projects in the works: using IBM Watson’s visual recognition capabilities to identify foods and their nutritional value and integrating weather- related and environmental factors as they relate to your health and fitness (powerful, as IBM purchased much of Weather.com’s digital assets).

Why it’s hot: the Under Armour- IBM Watson partnership is one of the first brand integrations with the IBM Watson system and the first fitness integration of its kind to use consumer data in a way that allows people to compare themselves to others in real time.

When Coping with Mental Illness Turns into Awareness Driving Artwork + Gratitude

When coping with his own anxiety, UK-based illustrator, Toby Allen, found that drawing his worries and fears as little monsters would help him think about them differently and make his anxiety feel more manageable. Allen imagined that his anxiety could be overcome by giving it a physical from, giving it a visible weakness that he could learn to exploit.

From his creatively ideated coping mechanism, Real Monsters was born, creating a series of drawings that aim to raise mental health awareness – by depicting different disorders and conditions as monsters.

Toby Allen, Real Monsters Series

DepressionAllen’s Real Monsters series is a collection of 16 illustrations (with another eight in the pipeline) that tackle everything from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD Anxiety

After receiving a positive response on his Tumblr-shared illustrations, Allen decided to tackle a variety of other conditions as part of a larger project. “I also wanted to try and educate people about mental illness and maybe even reduce the stigma surrounding it, through helping viewers to understand what it’s like to have one of these conditions,” he explained.

“I begin each monster design by researching the condition or disorder extensively, often relying on real life case studies or first person stories to get a better understanding of the illness I intend to draw,” continued Allen. “Of course each person’s experience with a mental illness will differ, so I try to create something that many people will find familiar.”

Allen said he regularly receives emails from people who thank him for creating the work.

“I have received so many wonderful messages from people who live with one or many of the disorders I have drawn, each telling me how much the work means to them and how it has helped them to think about their condition in a different or more positive way,” he said. “Of course, due to the sensitive subject matter, I have also received some negative feedback but that’s to be expected and I respect people’s opinions on the work.”

lightWhy It’s HOT: The destigmatization of mental illness has reached a much deserved tipping point, in which, discussing mental health has overcome countless cultural, gender, and age barriers due largely in part to raising awareness through social media. Today the sharing of one’s mental health condition often feels philanthropic in nature giving the person sharing and their journey through coping and living through managing their own challenges great meaning when used to help others.

Toby Allen’s Real Monsters series exemplifies the power of social to share one’s personal coping mechanism to help others while letting others know that are not alone.

You can see more of Real Monsters, as well as examples of Allen’s other work, on his Tumblr account: zestydoesthings.tumblr.com.

 

Source: Mashable

Can migraines be prevented? Not by pills. Try this wearable.

Offcie space migraine shot HS 6.5.15

15% of the world’s population suffers from migraines. If you happen to be one of those people, you know how awful they are; you feel it coming on, then suddenly you are in a dark cave, hiding until it passes. While there are many medications for migraines, scary enough, a Botox shot to the forehead seems to work better than most. Additionally, many people find they ‘cycle-through’ the many medications because often it is hit-or-miss whether they work. Something new is needed beyond just another pill.

The need is clear. But the answer is surprising; a wearable. Or maybe calling it that is a stretch. It is a headband. Very Wonder Woman tiara looking.

Migraine wearable HS 6.3.15

 Why it is hot? This device crosses a number of relevant and “hot” axis. First, it is FDA-approved. Second, with our society so focused on pills but also holding a almost pathological fear of electro-shock sounding therapies, this shows how desperate people are and how radical an approach is needed. This also shows how neurological disorders are finally being dealt with using our own electric wiring versus creating a chemical (pill) to impact the brains’ pathways. Adoption will be a challenge, even if it is as effective as it claims.

This is the YouTube demo; the device actually has been proven to, over time, reduce the number of migraines. Prevent a migraine? Simply amazing.

The only downside? As a wearable, metal headbands are not in fashion. On a more serious note, the real challenge is not that the device works, it is that American have a visceral fear of anything that sounds like electro-shock therapy — a prejudice deeply lodged in our collective mind since the 1950’s.

Belgium-based Cefaly Technologies already secured FDA approval for its headband-like device that stimulates the trigeminal nerve to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines in March 2014. But now it has revealed positron emission tomography (PET) scan data showing that its Cefaly device can aid areas of the brain in returning to their normal metabolic rate in migraine patients.The idea was to better understand the short- and medium-term metabolic changes in the areas of the brain involved in migraine: the orbitofrontal cortex and the rostral cingulate, which are involved in decision-making and emotional behavior. In migraine patients, those areas of the brain tend to be sub-metabolic compared to people without migraines.

“This is a major breakthrough in understanding the mechanism of action of the device on the central nervous system,” said Cefaly CEO Dr. Pierre Rigaux in a statement. “It will help us take developments in this non-invasive, drug-free, technology even further.”

Two things to watch for: where can you buy this for those we know who suffer? And is the device market starting to crowd into the pill market to solve seemingly intractable problems?

Nivea Teachs Kids About the Importance of Sunscreen

Short of letting a child experience the lingering pain of a sunburn, how can you really teach them the importance of wearing sunscreen? Tell an overstimulated kid to wait 15 minutes for mounds of sunscreen to soak in before they can dive into the ocean and you’re basically asking for tears.

Nivea and FCB Brazil, last year’s Gravity winners in Adweek’s Project Isaac awards competition, have come up with one solution for educating kids about the sun in a language they’re sure to understand: toys.

The Nivea Doll is made with UV-sensitive material and quickly turns lobster-red when exposed to harsh rays without sunscreen, just like your own skin eventually would if left unprotected. If the child uses sunscreen on the doll, it will be protected from sunburn. If the doll’s already red, putting a dollop of Nivea on it will turn the skin back to its normal shade (not a perfect comparison to a real sunburn, which is far harder to undo, but it’s an effective illustration for kids).

Why It’s Hot

With this campaign, Nivea is leveraging technology in a very innovative way- and by taking a child-centric approach by creating a doll, they will hopefully be able to teach kids a lesson that will stick with them into their adult years.

Source

Doctors code bills for payment. On October 1st, 2015, this will blow-up. Welcome to ICD-10!

ICD-10 COFUSION 5.29Ever look closely at the form the doctor or nurse gives you as you leave? There are codes that describe your specific medical reason for the visit; and thus, the specific amount of money they will be paid.

This is about to be turned on it’s head and everyone is scrambling. ICD-10 is about to cause potential chaos in our healthcare system.

Once again, government regulation is kicking into place another level of complexity for the entire healthcare system. It’s pretty straight-forward: as of October 1st, 2015, ALL doctors need to use a new coding system called ICD-10. Sounds simple enough until you realize the complexity of switching from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and how the market is reacting; it reveals both the inate fear and reminds us that as consumers we need to pay attention.

ICD-9 vs ICD-10 chart 5.29

ICD-9: 13,000 codes. ICD-10: 68,000 codes. Imagine the fear if they get it wrong. One of the leaders in electronic Health Records, Athena Health, is using this countdown (fear) with an aggressive offer (guarantee) to drive new business. Here is their guarantee:

“We take on the burden of the ICD-10 transition for our practices with a combination of continuously updated cloud-based software, including a team of experts handling payer and interface outreach and testing.  And, because we align our overall financial goals with yours, we put ourselves at risk for your resultsSee full details.”

They use a compelling video, too: http://www.athenahealth.com/guarantee/icd-10

ICD-10 Athena Hot Sauce

Why is this hot? Complexity that requires simplicity is a challenge we all face as communicators and strategists. This is a great trend to watch to see how true disruption is managed. The software mentioned in an earlier post — Sensentia — is a great example of innovation meant to remove the complexity and humanize it. Hot Sauce Sensentia page 1

 

“To help de-stigmatize HIV, let’s print our magazine in their blood.”

Link

HS Vangardists HIV issue 4.30.15

“This Magazine Has Been Printed With The Blood of HIV+ People,” it reads, and it’s true.

Despite our obsession with digital media, print media still play a powerful role; and the Vangardist decided to reignite the conversation over de-stigmatizing HIV through what might be called a promotion, but is really a call-to-arms. Over 3,000 copies of the spring issue have been printed with ink containing a small amount of infected blood, as an attempt to end the social stigma of HIV in Europe and abroad.

Why is this hot? Our clients ask for, and expect, us to develop unique promotions that break through the clutter. Promotions at their best align relevance with calls-to-action and offers. Well, FastCo Design picked up this specific call-to-action. If we were working on an HIV treatment — and it should be known that a vaccine is almost here — this would be one way to both activate a patient base, caregivers, advocacy groups and all those stakeholders who would say; this is a Brand we can get behind. Is it too outrageous? Is it too gimmicky? Or is it incredibly human that when you hold this magazine, you are holding something printed with the blood of patients.

HS Vangardsit spread HIV 4.30.15

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3045711/to-help-destigmatize-hiv-victims-this-magazine-was-printed-with-infected-blood

This is thought-provoking but we need to frame it the right way and ask ourselves; Can cause-related marketing go this far for established Brands as means to activate their base or break through the clutter?

Google Smart Contact Lenses With Focus on Healthcare

Earlier this year, Google announced ambitions to make “smart” contact lenses. This week the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office granted the Mountain View, Calif. company a patent describing a sensor in a lens that could monitor glucose, among other things.

While Novartis confirmed a partnership with Google in July 2014, to make a glucose-monitoring contact lens for diabetics, the smart contact lens could be used for so much more than monitoring glucose levels.

google lense

Why It’s Hot

The combination of Google’s technology with a Pharma company like Novartis could help to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans that suffer from diabetes. In addition to it’s impact on diabetes, the concept of a “smart” contact lens could result in countless improvements to the healthcare industry.

Source

MyHealthPal: Platform for Managing Long-Term Health Conditions

MyHealthPal is a new iOS app and analytics platform designed to help patients diagnosed with chronic health conditions manage their disease. Though the platform will initially focus on Parkinson’s Disease, it is scalable to other diseases should it prove successful.

MyHealthPal employs a clean dashboard interface to let sufferers (or their caregivers) manage and measure the effectiveness of his medication, track symptoms, log mood, diet, exercise and other metrics and their impact on his quality of life.

screen-shot-2015-03-27-at-10-00-30

TechCrunch also reports., “The clever move with this startup is that is also allows users to donate their anonimized data in return for a share of the revenues that data generates to scientific research institutions and charities supporting research and care.” The app is HIPAA compliant.

Why It’s Hot

What’s most impressive about MyHealthPal isn’t its features, or that it even exists in this growing mHealth field. It’s that this was designed by an actual patient. This could help MyHealthPal flourish where others have failed, because it was designed by/for the end user. And the sale of health data makes this option financially viable in the way that a branded health tracker from a pharmaceutical company simply can never be.

Source: TechCrunch

Move aside, Apple Watch: These fruit-based devices are the future of wearables

The lead-up to the Tokyo Marathon seems to have given rise to a new breed of wearable technology: fruit-based gadgets.

Japanese ketchup maker Kagome designed an 18-pound tomato-dispensing backpack. The unwieldy device is a tomato-headed humanoid robot that straddles a runner’s shoulders with an arm that swoops down on command to deploy tomatoes to a runner’s mouth.

Why tomatoes? A Kagome spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that tomatoes are rich in nutrients like beta-carotene and citric and amino acids, but easier to munch on than bananas, which are a go-to snack for marathon runners in need of a pick-me-up.

But the tomato robot is not the only new player in the fruit wearable game. The Japanese division of Dole, the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer, is looking to capitalize on the banana snacking with its own edible wearable.

Why it’s hot:

While we’ve seen wearable bands, clothes, this is the first time we’ve seen eatable wearables. This maybe a tongue in cheek joke meant to advertise Dole’s bananas.  It is possible not in the distant future, when ingestible products, most likely medicine, will have such features. Would you like to visually see how your body consumes the medicine and monitor your body’s effect?

 

 

3D Printing Helps to Treat Brain Tumor

In the summer of 2013, Pamela Shavaun Scott started having “24/7 severe headaches” — so severe that she couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t before December that she heard for sure that it was a brain tumor. Through two MRIs several month apart doctors determined that Scott’s tumor was growing and several neurosurgeons told her that, because of the mass’ location (behind her left eye), the only option was “sawing your skull open” and lifting the brain to remove the tumor, which, of course, comes with tons of risks, including possible cognitive damage and blindness. Scott worried she’d never be the same.

Scott’s husband, Michael Balzer, who is a 3D imaging expert behind the website AllThings3D, used Photoshop and layered the 2D images to compare what radiologists were telling his wife to his own research. He found the tumor hadn’t grown at all. It was clear they couldn’t simply rely on what the doctors were saying.

Using a tool called InVesalius — open-source software from Brazil that uses DICOM, MRI and CT files to visualize medical images — as well as another imaging software 3D Slicer, Balzer was able to create renderings of his wife’s tumor. The couple sent them out to hospitals across the country around February, Balzer said.

Through the 3D renderings, doctors decided to take a less invasive approach to remove the tumor. Instead of sawing into her skull and lifting the brain, the doctors planned to go through her eyelid.

The surgery was successful as the surgeons were able to remove 95% of the tumor (about 5% was wrapped around the optical nerve — too dangerous to remove). There’s a very slim chance that it will grow back, the couple said. After the surgery, Scott said it took her fewer than three weeks to recover enough to return to work.

ComparisonOverlayCoronal

Anterior skull section with skull based tumor
by slo 3D creators
on Sketchfab

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Why It’s Hot

This is great example of the use of emerging technology and the way it can improve someone’s life. According to Balzer, this was the first time surgeons were able to examine physical 3D renderings prior to a medical procedure. This case study proves that 3D technology can provide value to the healthcare industry.

Source

Vaccine Trains Immune System to Attack Cancer Cells

While a be-all, end-all cure for cancer remains a reach, mankind is getting closer to winning the fight. An Israeli biotechnology company called Vaxil BioTherapeutics is developing a vaccine for cancer designed not to treat the disease, but to prevent it from returning.

The prophylactic vaccine, called ImMucin, has been in development for over 5 years and has proven in clinical trials to trigger a response in about 90% of cancers. Although it’s classified as a vaccine, it is given to people who are already sick, either at the early detection stage or when the patient is in remission, to prevent the disease from coming back. It does this by training the patient’s immune system to attack cancer cells.

Read more via NoCamels.com.

Why It’s Hot: According to the World Health Organization, 14 million new cancer cases are diagnosed around the world each year. The disease is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. and scientists have been trying to find a cure for decades.

This type of immunotherapy for an illness usually thought of as incurable gives hope that a cure is out there, and may arrive sooner than we think. Having a family member recently declared in remission from cancer, this hits home for me.

Aside from the human element, as marketers, especially those who work on our pharma and healthcare clients, innovations like ImMucin are huge. When our clients are innovative, it makes our job a little bit easier.

As science and technology advance, our options become endless. Perhaps we really can do [almost] anything.

CES 2015

CES wearables

The evolution from Comdex days to the current CES is astounding– this year, the show expanded to three separate venues across Las Vegas. the Health section, relegated to a basement corner in its first year was an entire hall in it’s second year. From 130 wearable companies last year to 1300 companies this year. Connected homes running on laptops. All held together by “Intelligence Everywhere” powered by processors Intel is releasing that are enabling the proliferation of drones, wearable devices, connected appliances and automated homes.

60 Seconds from CES: The MRM//McCann Blog

http://www.pcmag.com/ces

http://www.digitaltrends.com/ces/digital-trends-top-tech-of-ces-2015-nominees/

 

Insurer Offers ‘Cash’ for Every Health Goal You Hit

Oscar Health Insurance is trying to improve patient outcomes the old fashioned way: cold hard cash. Running with the tagline, “a new kind of health insurance company,” Oscar is challenging the health insurance model by offering rewards to subscribers who achieve set lifestyle/health outcomes with a new wearable device they call “Misfit.”

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The Misfit initiative makes it easy for anyone to participate. Oscar customers order their free Misfit wearable through the Oscar’s iOS or Android apps. Misfit syncs to their app automatically, eliminating the requirement for setup. Next, Oscar’s algorithm calculates what appropriate activity milestones should be set for individual users based on their health data. For each goal passed, users earn $1. Once they accrue $20, users can cash out their earnings in the form of an Amazon gift card.

Misfit may be an innovation to the health industry category, but it is hardly new to the world of insurance. Oscar co-founder Mario Schlosser explained the idea came to him by looking to other insurance categories, such as auto: “If I stay accident free, my car insurer will lower my rates,” says Mario Schlosser, “Why don’t we give these rewards to people when they stay healthy?”

Oscar is no stranger to cash reward programs either. The company previously offered customers $20 to get a flu shot at their local pharmacy. And though cash rewards might not work on everyone, Oscar found that customers were 2.5x more likely to get a flu shot with the reward system in-place.

Why It’s Hot

Misfit by Oscar Health Insurance is a disruptive program in a historically antiquated category. Ambitious, and certainly news-worthy we will see how successful the program becomes over time. Consumer health tracking technology offers insurers, healthcare providers and even pharmaceutical companies new opportunities to improve health outcomes and create meaningful shifts in behavior. And the more consumer healthcare data can be tied back to cost-savings and healthier patients, the sooner we’ll see more “Misfits” enter the marketplace.

Microsoft’s Band: The Perfect Rival for the Apple Watch

I need to start this post by saying that I am a Mac guy. One hundred percent!

My first computer was a Mac, back in the days where laptops didn’t exist. In fact, the Dell they gave me at my current job, it’s the first PC I have ever had; and I’m still struggling with it! I just don’t get it…

That being said, I love the fact that Microsoft products have always (well, almost always) been cross-platform (think Microsoft Office and Windows Operating System, for example).

Now Microsoft does it again with the new Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band.

Microsoft Band

If Microsoft wanted to grab a slice of the impending Apple Watch audience, it couldn’t have crafted a better plan than with its just-released, cross-platform Microsoft Band. The company’s first wearable piggybacks off of the style and functions we’re already familiar with in today’s activity trackers. But with nifty features, a more affordable price tag, and a broader potential audience, Microsoft is taking a different approach than Apple and other wearable makers:

  • First and foremost, the Microsoft Band is cross-platform. This is huge as it’s something Apple can’t, and will not, do. Microsoft Health, the Band’s corresponding software platform, is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone making the tracker itself cross-platform, too. This opens the Band up to a huge audience (virtually all smartphone owners) rather than, in Apple’s case, limiting the product to devotees of its insular ecosystem.
  • microsoftband-315x258Unlike the Apple Watch, Microsoft’s wristband is not a watch replacement. It’s designed to be worn 24-hours a day on your less dominant hand. It can track your activity and sleep patterns, and if you have a favorite watch, it wouldn’t be weird to wear it on your other wrist.
  • Microsoft Band is not just functional, but also good looking enough to wear every day. It comes in an incredible number of colors, types of bands and textures. It’s a fashion item.

Why It’s Hot  |  We’ve been talking and hearing about the importance of putting consumers at the center. Microsoft has done just that. This is about user’s wellbeing, whether we are Mac lovers, Android fans, or PC enthusiasts. Run, Microsoft. Run!

Sources: Wired.com, Microsoft.com

Same Trick, New Punchline

Earlier this year, we posted about this innovative transit ad in Sweden, where the billboard recognizes when a train pulls into the station, then shows the model’s hair blowing around as if she was actually standing on the platform.

It was interesting, it was simple. And it’s been taken to another level for the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation. Watch it here:

hair

Source: AdFreak

Why It’s Hot

First, we’ve been seeing a lot of well done public-interest awareness work lately, and this adds to the pot. It’s attention-grabbing and stops you in your tracks.

Secondly, it shows the power of leveraging technology in innovative ways — even if someone has done it before. This caught my eye because I was at first doubtful that the same thing could be done twice — but it can when done right.

 

 

Bra-Cam Begs the Question: Other People are Paying Attention; Shouldn’t You?

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nestle Fitness‘ new campaign brings forth an interesting thought- with so many people paying attention to women’s breasts, perhaps women should pay more attention to their own.

As part of the #CheckYourSelfie campaign, Nestle Fitness equipped one woman’s bra with a hidden camera to capture just how many people couldn’t resist looking at her chest throughout a day. (Yes, it does seem quite obvious that her revealing bright pink bra might have attracted extra attention as well.)

Read more about the “bra-cam” on TIME.

Why It’s Hot | Though a little awkward, the campaign does raise awareness of just how much attention our breasts get from other people, begging women to question why we don’t pay more attention to our own. For years, medical professionals have been urging women to use self-exams to monitor for changes that could be breast cancer. It’s interesting to see how that same message is being shared in new ways throughout the years.

Tech Tattoos

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What will wearable tech look when it reaches beyond the wrist?

It will/can be invasive implantation. Weaving together biology science, medicine, electronics, a lot of interaction, and cultural wisdom, implantable technologies are now in development. Surprisingly, the drag on development isnt connectivity, sensors, implantation or power– its figuring out the display.

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/10/02/tech-tattoos-could-be-the-next-thing-in-wearables

Why It’s Hot

Tracking the cultural norms surrounding such invasive/physical technology will be as important as the enablement and opportunities. We may create a completely new set of signals/communication formats because the old ones wont hold– do you want Starbucks ads poppiing up on your wrist?

 

Siri, the battle for her voice & tech

Siri

The voice we have all come to love and adore with our useless, yet relevant questions may be changing hands quietly in the background.  Voice recognition and language interpretation is the key to Siri’s success on Apple devices compared to other devices such as Samsung.  Nuance, the company which developed the technology and has worked on Siri is gearing up to be sold.  Apple is liquid enough to buy, but it will take a significant chunk, as Nuance’s market cap is $4.8 billion.  The slight hick-up is that Nuance would come with significant other work, such as a large health care and imaging department.  This would increase Apple’s operation expense and be considered a distraction by the Board, since Apple currently has no intention of entering that type of market in healthcare.

Is Apple about to lose Siri to Samsung?

Why It’s Hot

If Samsung would acquire Nuance, it would be beyond embarrassing for Apple and would only fuel the fire of Samsung antagonizing Apple.  Apple would lose part of their brand identity with the lack of Siri’s voice capability, and would be forced to grab Kasisto, a SRI developed voice assistant that is poised to be better than Siri one day, as it integrates into individual apps/media.  The consequences of all this on user experience? It means for digital media that Kasisto/Siri will one day fuel online purchases and increase the interaction of corporations with consumers.

JMIR Publishes Scientific Study Testing Sponsored Health Consultation on Facebook

JMIR.org has posted a new clinical paper that investigates how the parents of young children would interact with a sponsored health consultation service facilitated through Facebook. The goal of the study was to present a model for delivering helpful and relevant pediatric health information to parents through a social media site.

To test this idea, a Facebook page was launched for 11 months based on a question-and-answer service produced by a pediatrician. The page was open to Facebook users over 18 years old. If the answer did not include a further referral to a health care service provider, the question was considered comprehensively answered.

Here’s the kicker: The site was funded by a pharmaceutical company, and it included an advertisement of a pharmaceutical product for children’s fever and pain.

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During the study:

  • 768 questions were submitted: an average of 69.8 per month
  • 245,533 users visited the page, averaging 727 visitors per day

Why It’s Hot

The results here demonstrate that among the target population, Facebook was seen as a positive digital resource to users. The study shows that delivering personalized healthcare information was not only possible, but also reduced the number of referral visits to healthcare providers (50%)–saving time and money. Brands and agencies need to rethink how sponsorship can enable a new model for patients/caregivers to interact with healthcare specialists, and the relationship that social media can have to creating a more educated consumer population.

Source: Pharma Guy

More Science, Less Fear: New Campaign Offers Optimism in Otherwise Grim Space

We’ve all seen those commercials that showcase real patients talking about their illnesses and the treatments they’ve received. While those ads help show the reality behind what many medical centers actually do and the human element involved, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center opted for a different approach in their latest campaign.

Abandoning the popular model of hospital advertising, MSK (and agency Pereira & O’Dell New York) introduced a campaign that uses words and bright colors to address the fears surrounding cancer while highlighting advancements in care and research. The tagline also captures that optimism: “More science. Less fear.”

Watch the commercial and read more about the campaign on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | Firstly, it was important for me to share this effort from MSK, as their technology and teams of expert oncologists are directly responsible for saving my mother’s life. Beyond my personal investment in telling others about their incredible services, this campaign is still interesting from a marketing perspective.

Hospital advertising has become much more widespread in the past few years, and in a space where ads can so easily feel offensive or insensitive, most medical centers focus their ads on the patients they care for. Though MSK has become synonymous with leadership in cancer treatment, they still wanted to differentiate themselves in this space.

Focusing on understanding while sharing information about scientific advancements, works together to send messages of hope and optimism to many. As many of our clients also work to help people living with terrible illnesses, perhaps we can be mindful of this approach.