Five messaging considerations for fast-growing US healthcare IoT companies
Brands2Life US give us their take on what fast-growing US healthcare IoT companies need to consider when developing messaging to make their voice heard in what’s becoming a very crowded market place, particularly if they have their eyes on opportunities across the Atlantic.
If you’re reading this post then we almost certainly don’t need to tell you that we stand at a tipping point for IoT technology in healthcare. Connected devices, the data they collect and the intelligence that AI can summise from them offer us a way to cope with a growing aging population, new pandemics and dwindling resources.
According to Markets and Markets, by 2021 the market for connected medical devices will reach $1.34 billion. Clearly the opportunity for IoT healthcare start-ups forging their way into the arena is huge. But as an event hosted by ReadWrite Labs and Western Digital confirmed the other week, the way in which you position yourselves in the US and when making eyes towards Europe, particularly regarding health data and security, is vital.
In a world where cybercrime and digital security have become a national priority, healthcare IoT companies must ensure that they have a concrete message on the issue. We work closely with Internet of World Things and Ovum, who predict that this will be the year that security rises to the top of the IoT agenda.
So what should US healthcare IoT start-ups be considering when developing their messaging?
- Be crystal clear about your purpose – Trust is everything in the relationship with the consumer, or in this case, the patient or medical provider. Research shows that they are less likely to do business with you if you’re being targeted by a phishing attack, that they remember negative experiences and are happy to switch providers at the drop of a hat. We no longer live in a world where we can use data without permission without facing significant consequences. Patients want to, and should know, why their data is being collected and exactly what it’s being used for.
- Spell out your security measures – While a lot of IoT startups have followed in Facebook’s footsteps to “move fast and break things”, healthcare sensitivities don’t afford the same risk embracing attitude. Organizations should not only be investing significantly in security measures, as 63% of IT pros are not confident that they can track and manage all the IoT devices on their networks; but they must then communicate the protection measures they are taking to their audience. Build a water-tight offering to protect people’s data and then use this as a selling-point.
- Trade data & privacy on a sliding scale – End-users don’t see sharing data as a black or white, all or nothing, issue. They’ll often willingly share details about their next holiday on Facebook but then keep data about their income & health issues intensely private – only sharing with their most trusted advisors. IoT providers should consider this when working out what to ask consumers to share and why. As well as how to incentivize them into divulging more. For example, asking them to share basic demographic data with you as a basic standard; but then perhaps offering them a financial reward for more initimate details, such as biometrics.
- Build an emotional relationship with the patient – Health is inherently an emotional subject. Getting sick is never a good thing and should be handled sensitively. Too often this gets forgotten by technology companies, where data speaks to the mind and not the heart. Don’t forget to treat your audience like people. Take the time to understand their experiences, empathize and build genuine connections. They are far more likely to share information with you if you connect with them as fellow humans.
- Re-think your messaging for different regions – If you are looking to expand into the UK and European market it’s important to understand that healthcare is an entirely different proposition. The vast majority of the population rely on state run healthcare, with just 8.7% of the British population purchasing private healthcare policies. It’s also essential to do your due diligence in terms of changing legislation. Next year the EU is implementing an updated version of its General Data Protection Regulation. Falling foul of the new rules could mean a €20 million fine.
With IoT World’s Founder Gavin Whitechurch predicting that 2017 is the year where IoT moves beyond hype to generate solid progress, developing a unique, clear and consistent message is essential for any fast growing IoT business looking to establish itself in a crowded market place. You need all of your assets, sales people and stakeholders to be telling the same story.