Experts describe a future in which the chronically ill have their bodies minutely and continuously monitored by wearable devices. But that’s not the future. That’s today.
This article on Motley Fool – Could Fitbit’s Wearables Transform Healthcare – is written on the heels of Fitbit’s successful IPO. While this is due to the company’s personal fitness tracking success, a bigger $2.6 trillion healthcare market potentially awaits.
According to IMS Research, the market for wearable medical devices is projected to account for at least half of all wearable technology sales by 2016. And there are instances mentioned in the article where this is already the case.
But another important implication is from a brand-building perspective. For health system and hospital marketers, Wearables is yet another non-traditional segment (like pharmacies turned health providers) encroaching upon your traditional provider turf. And given this, it impacts how consumers think about the healthcare category as a whole.
The upshot is that the consumer healthcare lens has widened beyond your narrow view. For health system and hospital marketers, this means…
• thinking more expansively about your healthcare brand and its potential role in the life of a customer (like CVS and Apple)
• examining how to create new forms of value given that your customers (formerly known as patients) have more resources and choices than ever before (like Patients Like Me)
• adapting a more expansive approach to brand engagement that marries products, services, experiences and communications (like Mayo Clinic)
It’s important to remember that it’s not brand marketing that your sharing, but rather brand relevance and meaning. And in this transformative period for healthcare, things just don’t work the way they used to.