Wearable technology (wearables) is categorized as a hands-free electronic device that can be worn as an accessory, implanted in the user’s body, tattooed or embedded in clothing. Not only is this every sci-fi fan’s dream come true, but this could alter the way we interpret and share data. Now, patients and doctors are using wearable devices in medical facilities and their personal lives. This includes innovative wearables such as the Apple Watch and Google Glass (Glass), both of which sparked a new era of tech and gained popularity in many industries, including healthcare. Although it’s still a growing sector, we’re already living in a world where wearables detect heart disease and helmets successfully treat depression.
While Forbes proposes that “the sky is the limit” when it comes to wearable tech in healthcare, the industry is already saturated with technology. So, how does wearable tech stand out and raise its head above the clutter?
Here are three ways that can help set one technology apart from the pack:
- Target the right audience with the most compelling messaging
- Establish partnerships that can help advance the technology
- Always think and plan ahead
TARGETED AUDIENCE AND MESSAGING
Google Glass faced several obstacles when it did not target the right consumer. Originally, Google’s glasses that stimulate faster hands-on work, aimed to woo the general, tech-savvy buyer. However, it quickly became clear that the general public was not buying it, literally and figuratively. After spending time, money and resources on their previously targeted audience, in 2019 Google released an updated model, explicitly intended for manufacturing, logistics and healthcare. The decision to go from business-to-consumer (B2C) to business-to-business (B2B) was a game-changer for the future of the product.
Glass found its place in the healthcare industry when the advanced design provided doctors with quick access to health records, the ability to rapidly record important patient information and access to notes as they work. Ian Altman, a Forbes contributing writer, said that “while Google Glass (original version) showed no issue with its technology, the product did not offer a clear solution or purpose.” Making a quick turnaround, Glass shifted its consumer-targeting strategy and messaging, and this is why we look back and use Glass as an example of how to make calculated business decisions and how to choose the appropriate audience.
Thought-out partnerships can be a useful way to extend your business, increase awareness and reach new markets. Often, we hear of “co-founded” companies. Another common tactic is co-branding. One example of this was the strategic partnership between Apple and UnitedHealthcare in 2018. Together, they launched the “Motion” program where patients could “walk off” the cost of the Apple Watch over a six-month period. If they completed a set amount of daily exercise, then, they would essentially earn the device for free.
Many enrolled in “Motion” through their employer, benefiting Apple sales, and encouraging thousands of people to meet daily fitness goals. Key takeaways to consider from this partnership are threefold:
- Share a vision and goal. Identify partners that share your vision and take the time to develop the “why” behind your actions.
- Utilize each other’s strengths. While you might bring an innovative product to the partnership, another company may have greater manufacturing and distribution resources or greater brand visibility, for example.
- Address expectations and concerns early. Clear and effective communication early on will save you a lot of time and money.
So, you have the perfect audience and partnerships, and you are doing well at the moment. What about tomorrow? Years from now, healthcare will look nothing like it does today. Wearables in healthcare give both patients and providers access to faster and more efficient services. With the pace of wearables saturating the healthcare industry, there is an entire world of data ready to be discovered.
According to an Insight Report from the World Economic Forum, the future of healthcare may have two fundamental shifts. First, healthcare is predicted to be delivered as a seamless continuum of care and will focus on prevention. Second, healthcare delivery will be focused on each patient’s ecosystem, referred to as the “Consumerization of Healthcare”. Additionally, a recent study anticipates that future medical tech will assist in collecting data from clinical trial participants while they are in natural settings, which may alter the strategy behind clinical trials and how information is obtained.
Although wearables are in relatively early stages, the market is expected to grow approximately 17% over the next five years. With strategic business positioning and strong marketing tactics, it is possible to overcome a saturated market and reach your audience. Have more questions about how to appeal to your target audience or enhance your marketing platform? Contact us, and we’ll be happy to brainstorm with you or answer any questions you might have.