Healthcare experts use the term “technological upheaval” to describe the current trend of how digital innovation is reshaping the medical landscape, along with other disciplines.  This radical transformation cost healthcare organizations $3.2 trillion in 2015 alone, equating to $9,990 for each citizen living in the United States. The nation’s healthcare administrators hope that this spending will make services more affordable for patients. This transformation, however, is only on the cusp of its potential.
In other healthcare sectors, even more transformation is taking place within the patient-doctor dynamic. The balance of power is steadily shifting from the care provider to the care seeker. Patients are increasingly more active, informed and involved in the management of their own health.
Technology isn’t the only impetus driving change in medicine. Patients, empowered with digital devices and social media tools, are taking charge of their own wellness in significant numbers. As a result, the following five marketing trends have emerged in everyday healthcare communication, as reported on in the Holmes Report’s 2016 PR Trend Forecast: Healthcare.
Two Organizations Become One—Many Times
In the forecast, communications firm CEO Brandon Edward discusses the continuous state of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in big pharma and medical equipment companies.  In fact, these sectors generated $700 billion in M&A expenditures in 2015 and are expected to continue this course.
Hospital, health insurance, and pharmaceutical company mergers are driving monolithic changes in the field. As these enterprises merge, their primary offering sometimes changes, creating opportunities for both growth and conflict. These changes are also affecting organizational objectives, causing newly merged organizations to entirely revamp how they operate and to whom they deliver brand messages.
Patients with Power
In today’s healthcare environment, people are empowered by innovative technologies, which allow them to dictate terms to care providers and reverse the traditional balance of power between care providers and patients. As a result, the relationship among medical equipment manufacturers, drug manufacturers, patients, and healthcare professionals will change dramatically in the coming years.
In this new environment, care providers must pay attention to basic customer service issues as applied to medicine, such as providing useful online information that patients can access at will. Healthcare administrators are well aware of this phenomenon and are increasingly turning to digital content management to provide useful information to patients 24 hours a day.
Political Risk in the New Healthcare Marketplace
Although pharmaceutical companies are experiencing less political pressure now they still face challenges from lawmakers. In response, drug manufacturers are implementing strategies, such as therapy-based pricing, increasing product value, and working with care providers, to promote public wellness. As an example, many of today’s drug manufacturers offer their goods to patients at deep discounts or, in the case of low-income individuals, for free. It is a good time for pharmaceutical companies to position themselves as population health advocates to avoid their traditional roles as political campaign targets.
Moving at the Speed of Information
Data is now king in healthcare. Tomorrow’s care providers will be experts at interpreting tomes of information. Firms providing goods and services to care organizations will be deeply impacted by the rapid growth and access to information and will need to adapt and innovate processes and practices to remain competitive in this fast-changing information landscape. As this process continues, medical analysts will be able to communicate findings and concepts with increasing precision and speed.
Unique Healthcare Content
In the future, healthcare organizations will not be able to survive without dedicated digital content task forces. As this trend continues, medical executives such as Kumi Sato, CEO of Japanese healthcare enterprise Cosmo, believes that regular partnerships will emerge to publish medical innovation stories for consumers that put a face on the theories behind new concepts.
Healthcare administrators assume a large part of the responsibility for gathering, collecting, storing, and sharing personal and educational health information.  As consumers heighten their demand for information so that they can make their own informed decisions, this responsibility will increase. The trend represents more than patient empowerment; it’s the start of healthcare revolution for United States citizens.
Healthcare markets are expanding. The workforce is growing. That means demand for new leadership is rising, too. Through the online Master of Healthcare Administration in Strategy and Innovation at Adventist University of Health Sciences, you can learn to steer multifaceted health systems toward a culture of innovation, all in line with your core morals. We believe furthering healthcare starts with advancing dedicated leaders like you.